Finding balance in fitness

Let me preface this blog with this statement: I’ve never been an athlete – unless you consider marching while carrying a saxophone “athletic.” So please, do not think for one minute that I am a “balls-to-the-wall-fitness-chick.” I am the farthest thing from it. But I do like working out.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Growing up, if the sport had a “ball” of any kind – basketball, volleyball or softball – you can bet I was opting out. Lacking coordination and gumption, the idea of having balls fly in the air around my head scared me.

Cross country and track were never options because those required running. The only time I ran as a young girl or teenager was after the ice cream truck in my neighborhood.

What was a “good time” was swimming and dance (As in the kind where my parents paid an arm and a leg for me to learn how to use “jazz hands” while making “jazz squares” in overly-priced costumes that I loved!).

Eventually, I grew up – maybe.

But as we age, our bodies change and the way we worked out in our 20s and 30s doesn’t help – at least not for me. Cardio used to be “my go-to” form of workout. Raise the heart-rate and burn calories.

And it worked.

Until it didn’t.

My metabolism isn’t what it used to be. I have to pay attention to every single piece of food or drink that goes into my body.

It sucks.

The days of eating bread, pasta and any other “bad” carbs are gone. Those items are reserved for “special cheat days.” And I love pasta!! Who doesn’t?

The days of eating processed food are gone. I barely even go into my pantry any more unless it’s to get my kids something for a snack. The less I go in there, the less processed food will magically find my mouth.

It’s just better for everyone if they get their own damn snack now.

So, now not only do I just stare inside my refrigerator for endless minutes at a time trying to decide which fruit or vegetable to eat, but I am working out differently too.

Inside the LaGrange Yoga Studio is a fierce-force-of-nature. Most days by the end of planking, squatting, push-up-ing, burpeeing and whatever else this force of nature throws at us, I just want to cry or melt into the floor. Sometimes both. Sweat pools in places it shouldn’t; and it also drips off of my body like rain drops falling from the sky, splatting on the floor beneath me.

But, this fierce-force-of-nature is the best motivator I have ever met since moving out to BFE. Julie is kind, compassionate and doesn’t judge. She inspires and keeps it real.

I know making the decision to work out is a tough one.

I know that saying you will exercise is easier than actually driving to a fitness center to workout. And, some schedules allow for people to only work out in the early mornings while others are only able to work out at night. Plus, adding in family time — exercising gets pushed to the back burner until eventually, it’s off the stovetop all together.

And yes, I know that it costs money to workout when so many people have treadmills or exercise videos at home. I give you credit, lots of it, if you workout at home. I literally work from home, and somehow I have taught my brain to shut off “mom/wife brain” for several hours a day while I write. However, I cannot shut that part of my brain off long enough to workout. My brain wanders into the far corners of my basement where clothes need sorted and toys need to be tossed into a bin to go to Goodwill. The kittens walk all over my yoga mat and then nip at my legs while I am crunching The phone rings. You name it – I am doing everything BUT working out.

So, yes, for me, paying a fee to workout is my motivation. I split my time between MetaFit classes; simple fitness classes; “Fit and Fab 50” classes; and today, I even stuck around for a Silver Sneakers class. (Don’t let the name fool you – those ladies are anything but “silver …”)

It’s not cheap, but really … what’s your life worth to you?



A Letter to my Size 8 Jeans

Dear Size 8 Jeans,

I see you every day, hanging on a sad white hanger. Alone. The faded denim that comfortably fit me five years ago has been rendered “too small” for my body.

I’m so sorry Tommy Hilfiger jeans. I have let you down. You have been pushed into a part of my closet where I dream of wearing you once again. A section of my closet where clothes never see the light of day if they no longer fit, but I refuse to give them away. I refuse to let you go Size 8 Jeans.

Four years ago, I was still able to fit into you, but only if I did the “bend-and-lunge” routine first. Ladies, you know the drill – pull the pants on as far as you can and then lunge forward with one leg. Hold that stance for eight seconds and repeat with the other leg.

But as the years progressed, my body grew and you now sit in the “skinny clothes” section, along with a pair of white capris, a black skirt and cute tops that I can no longer wear in public because of the back fat roll that appears from under my bra strap.

And, ever since I turned 37 it’s as if my metabolism is screaming, “SCREW YOU MELISSA! STARVE YOURSELF TO LOSE WEIGHT!”

I could walk 10 miles a day and crunch from sun up to sun down and it wouldn’t do a damn bit of good.

Ever since I turned 37 gravity has ruined my body. The kicker is, my muffin top is still there, but I also have a bigger ass because as the year has progressed, my ass has dropped down. At this rate, by the time I turn 38 my boobs will reach my “under carriage” and my ass will touch my calf muscles.

I wonder if I were to hang myself upside down for an hour a day if gravity could reverse itself? Could the fat cells moving down to my ass somehow move to my boobs?

And, because I want to fit into my damn size 8 jeans, I have decided to torture my body, as well as my self-esteem by taking part in a weight loss program with two other girlfriends.

They are losing weight and keeping it off. I on the other hand, have plateaued since day one. Oh, wait, I did lose 3 pounds one week because I gave up drinking wine, but then I gained 2 pounds back because Fucking Flow arrived. I hate her. She ruins everything.

This week, I’m banking on my cold to put me back at the losing 3 pound mark, plus maybe an extra two less pounds. I needed this cold. I needed to have my taste buds rendered inactive.

Oh, Size 8 Jeans, I swear to God, I will not give you to Goodwill. I will never let anyone else wear you. No one else talks to you on the hanger. No one else touches your legs and whispers sweet nothings or phrases like, “I miss you, Old Friend.”

So, to you metabolism … you are messing with the wrong bitch because by Christmas Size 8 Tommy jeans, I will wear you again. I will feel your fabric on my body … even if I have to wear you on my arms.