Weighty Issues: I Surrender, Bring out The White Flags. (Better make em black, white makes me look fat.)
One day, a couple decades ago, I looked down at my thighs and realized I had cellulite on the FRONT of my thighs. SAY IT ISN’T SO! I freaked out. I was getting close to forty by then, and I didn’t take it sitting down. I worked out harder, did more squats and walked the dog more religiously. Back then I was teaching several aerobics classes a week. I was putting in full-time hours working in the yard throwing 1/2 man rocks around like Moses in Egypt, shoveling gravel and bark and wheel barrowing it all over the property and generally wearing my joints down to pithy little stumps, AND walking the dog twice a day. Yet I was still fighting a little poochy belly fat, love handles and the previously mentioned cellulite issue. I’m pretty sure my metabolism is roughly comparable to that of a common garden slug.
In my twenties, thirties and forties, I was pretty disciplined about working out. I had a membership to Living Well Lady, LWL, for years. LWL was a franchise Ladies only gym, for women who were embarrassed/disinterested/disgusted by working out in the presence of a bunch of sweaty, grunting and groaning guys. The LWL where I worked out was located in a mini mall.
There must have been a kind of mystique about us LWL gals, because guys used to walk by the window and peer in at us through the glass on their way out of the Happy Teriyaki next door. Creepy. Sometimes, when you left and walked across the parking lot to your car, you would get oogled at. The bold ones would come up with witty little pick up lines like “Hey Lady, are you living well?”, which only served to reinforce your commitment to the idea of a ladies only place to work out. Guys are such geniuses. If we wanted to be peered at and pick up lined we would have joined the YMCA.
When I turned thirty, I had the opportunity to start teaching fitness classes. I became a certified instructor and taught on and off for the next fifteen years. It was such a blast. Getting paid to work out! Woo Hoo! I had fun with the ladies and the few times we got a guy in the class, it was even more fun, bossing them around and generally telling a guy what to do for a whole hour at a time! For a girl who grew up with four older brothers, it was borderline delirium. God I miss that.
To tell you the truth, I miss just about everything about working out hard and being a fitness instructor. The sense of strength and well-being, the harder body, the comraderie with my students. The cute little wardrobe.
My fitness routine lately consists of walking the dog a mile or two a day. I still work out in the yard and have tons of things to do on our five acres, but it wears me out like nobody’s business these days. I don’t know when I turned into such a namby-pamby but I can tell you I don’t like it. I tried doing Zumba for a while, until my my fitness level improved. Then I started jumping around like a chihuahua and hurt myself. So instead I added fifteen minute standing yoga sessions a few times a week to my routine, and man, it feels good to use the old muscles. And no, I don’t miss the twerking at all.
I think my gym days are over. I’m trying to be content with regular walks and gradually lengthening yoga sessions. I want to add a little weight training to my regimen in time also. But I’m surrendering to the inevitable changes that decades of working out and commando style gardening result in. I have fibromas on both plantar fascitis and tendonitis in both shoulders. Most days, I feel pretty good and don’t have too many aches and pains. When I do have major pain, I can usually trace it back to some activity I knew was gonna hurt me. Still, sometimes it’s hard not to push it. I still have a lot to do, but just can’t seem to do it all anymore. Getting old kind of sucks that way.
I guess I’m doing okay for an old broad. I realize that I have the genetic predisposition to look like a meatball that all my mother’s female family members suffered from. Even when I worked hard and ate normal, I was still a little pudgy in key areas. I think I fought the good fight. I wasn’t perfect, but who doesn’t love pizza? Life is short, and getting shorter everyday. I feel like George Bailey standing on the bridge in the snow, praying. “I want to live Clarence. Please let me live.” Only I’m talking to a bowl of spaghetti…and meatballs, of course.
Copyright©2016 by Ilona Elliott