On the road again

00387446 After weeks of laying off the knee I injured in the embarrassing incident now known as The Matrix Paper Retrieval Incident (TMPRI), I finally took the old knee for a test drive. It was a short one. A one and a half mile walk, with Kingston along for support. I even prepared for it by getting myself a pair of those butt/calf toning sneakers (not the Reebok version shown in their soft-core porn ad, but a cheaper, less salacious brand), and donning a knee brace. The verdict – the walk was great – until the day after. My knee, sadly, is not back to its pre-Matrix-move state, and my walks, which had gotten up to five times per week, will probably only be two to three times weekly for the next few months. It’s a fork in the road to fitness I hadn’t expected.

It’s ironic that just before the TMPRI, I’d decided that since so much of what happens to us in life seem out of our control – jobs, lay-offs, the economy – we should take ownership of the things we actually can control. Eating and exercising was at the top of my “Things I can control” list. Or so I thought. The next day I broke the record for the most embarrassing knee injury story ever. Coincidence? I’m not sure.

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Metabolism Madness and Turning 40

00410155 If you tuned in to The Dr. Oz Show on Monday, it probably confirmed some things you’d already suspected. To use myself as an example, why after months of walking, cutting back on my food consumption, and eating (most of the time) a pretty healthy diet, was I not losing weight? According to Dr. Oz, the answer is simple; After 40 your metabolism decreases 5% every 10 years. And, if like me, you’ve been yo-yo dieting your entire adult life, the news gets even worse. Crash diets, disuse of muscles and a drop in testosterone level all add to the metabolism dive. The drop in testosterone was news to me and the rogue hairs that keep popping up on my face (why couldn’t the testosterone drop do something useful like vanquish those hairs?)  So, what’s a women at 40 to do?

While there are a lot of great things about turning 40, rogue joint poppage, mutinous facial hair and decreased metabolism aren’t any of them. So here are a couple of suggestions for managing the post- 40 metabolism slow down:

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Fit at Forty: A bump in the road

00321118 In case you missed the headlines, a couple of weeks ago I busted up my left knee pretty badly. And while it never actually made the headlines, it should have. It was that painful and important – to me anyway. Thankfully, with a sister who’s an OT and a little R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), I’m on the road to recovery.

Needless to say the whole incident put a monkey wrench in my plan to be fit at forty. I had finally found a morning rhythm, getting up early and walking anywhere from 2-4 miles daily. I was even at the point where I was, wait for it… enjoying my walks. And then this.

I wish I could say I busted my knee hiking, preparing for a marathon or secretly rendezvousing with my mystery man one night. I wish I could say that’s how it happened. You know what really happened? I got up to take a sheet of paper off the printer *hangs head in shame* That’s it. There was no earthquake while I was reaching for the paper, and my printer didn’t start doing something out of a Transformers movie. I just stood up.

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A Fit-at-Forty Check In

00407391 It’s 2 days before my 40th birthday – the perfect time for a Fit-at-Forty check in. It’s been about five months since I undertook my $25-a-week healthy food challenge. For those not in the know, I began the challenge after watching an Oprah episode which featured the documentary, Food Inc. That show got me to watch the actual documentary and led me to ask the question, can a single, 39 year old woman eat consciously on a $25-a-week budget? You can read all about my great 4 week adventure here. My goals were to eat consciously and healthily on a $25 a week budget, and lose weight in the process.

Five months after officially ending the challenge, I have (for the most part) stuck to healthier, more conscious eating habits. The $25-a-week budget looks more like $35 now, but still, the end result is that I’m much more mindful of what’s in the food I’m eating and where it’s coming from.

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Great expectations – Easier said than done

j0387456 Last week I played tennis twice, each time for about an hour. And when it was over, it was sheer pride that stopped me from crawling on all fours, instead of walking, to my car. When did that happen? When did the woman who years ago, in an average week, took hour long karate classes, followed by 45 minute kick boxing classes and played tennis a few times a week and threw in a salsa class on the weekend for good measure, turn into this almost-40 year old for whom an hour of tennis renders her absolutely useless for two days? I let that other Grace become a distant memory, and I’m paying for it now.

At the beginning of this year I set out with a lofty goal of being fit at forty. I was determined to reclaim myself – my health, my time, my goals, in pursuit of a more authentic me. It started with my $25 good food challenge and a change in the way I shop for and relate to the foods I eat. It also meant a return to a time in my life when I was healthier and much more active. Three months into 2010 and I’m finding out that the authentic me is lazy, whiny and a tad arthritic. Nice to meet you – me – whatever. Continue reading Great expectations – Easier said than done