The War on Middle-Age Fat

Diet and weight loss war with healthy foodThis is not a New Year’s Resolution story chronicling one woman’s resolve to become thin in 2015!  My journey began in November 2014 when I finally became sufficiently disgusted at wearing the same clothes over and over, because so few items in my closet fit.  After years of exercising daily, I had allowed my workout routine to shrink to playing tennis 1-3 times a week.  That is simply not enough to keep a 54-year-old healthy and in reasonable physical condition, much less at a proper weight.  Although caring for both parents throughout their illnesses and deaths from cancer, experiencing a painful exit from a beloved job, and starting my own business contributed to my lack of fitness over a period of time, the real culprits were sloth, lack of focus, and absence of self-discipline.

I started with a basic daily walking habit that proved to be pure joy.  Having always been a morning person, I eagerly greeted the day in my most worn and wretched-looking exercise gear, reflector vest in place, and FitBit in my jacket pocket.  Off I went to greet the dawn, along with the newspaper delivery man, school buses, and other early morning beings.  Four weeks later, with a daily workout firmly in place, it was time to implement phase II of my plan.

It’s one thing to hoof it through one’s familiar, peaceful neighborhood early in the morning and quite another to hop into the pool at the local YMCA at the unholy hour of 8:00 a.m.  Maria von Trapp didn’t count swimming laps among her favorite things, and I certainly understand why.  Nevertheless, with a reconstructed ACL, arthritis in both branches of the family tree (thanks mom and dad), and a recent spate of soreness in aforementioned knee, I knew it was prudent to add an exercise that didn’t involve pounding pavement.  Thus, I am now to be found on Monday and Friday mornings slogging it through my current 1/2-mile swim with a plan to work up to one mile . . . slowly.

Next up is an eight-week “boot camp” at the Y on Saturday mornings.  It is described as a training program devised for Navy SEALS modified for mortals like me and is slightly more terrifying than the prospect of lap swimming.  Still, it is another opportunity to exercise strenuously without my feet touching pavement, a win/win situation unless I don’t survive.

So far, tangible results include being able to wear slacks that haven’t fit in  . . . a while, feeling stronger, and following a healthful diet with greater consistency. More importantly, pursuit of this fitness plan helps me  remember two huge blessings that I often take for granted:  having my own business allows flexibility for working out that an 8-5 job simply would not, and belonging to the YMCA and to an indoor tennis facility are great privileges that permit and promote fun and healthy lifestyle choices.

Now, if I could just get that FitBit to count laps for me . . . .