Round Georgie

I suck at blogging.

By now, most of you are aware of this fact. I try. I swear I do. But my biggest obstacle is trying to find a topic that I don’t think will bore you to tears. I actually just wrote an entire page, reread it, and deleted it because it was yawn-inducing.

So, as I sit here in my office, looking out the window at the crisp, sunny fall day, I decide maybe the smartest thing to do is to blog about what’s currently on my mind. Okay, then. It’s fitness. Fitness is on my mind. Why? Because I happened by the mirror while unclothed this morning and was horrified by the…roundness that has come with being in my forties. It’s all in my hips and belly. I told Bonnie I want to cover all the mirrors because I have become too round to lay eyes upon.

Her response: “I love you, Round Georgie.” (Because she knows I’m ridiculous.)

Fitness is something that hooks me in spurts. I have had three separate gym memberships, none of which I used to its full potential (the last one, I visited exactly four times, even though I paid for an entire year’s membership). I know this is because I would rather exercise alone than have strangers who are more beautiful and skinnier than I am watch me grunt and sweat and make me feel self-conscious. Therefore, I have everything I need right here at home: a ton of free weights (well…not literally a ton…), a good recumbant bike, a punching bag, a couple Jillian Michaels DVDs, and two dogs that love to take walks (and a neighborhood that’s very conducive to walking). The only excuse I have is my own laziness, and that is something I’m trying to combat. It’s often a losing battle. Do any of you suffer from this issue? You know you should get up and do something, but you’re too tired/lazy/whiny to get off your duff?

I began on Sunday. Again. I am aware that it’s ridiculous (not to mention utterly futile) to bitch and complain about something (my bod) if I’m not willing to make a change. So, I’m trying. Again. My goal is to do something–anything–that can be considered some form of exercise every day. Whether it’s walking the dogs (we have a 2 mile route we try to do every day), doing a 20-minute session with Jillian, riding the bike for half an hour, or picturing somebody’s face on the punching bag, I MUST DO AT LEAST ONE THING EVERY DAY. That’s my goal. I’ve gotten through five days, which isn’t really a lot, but I’m happy about it. Let’s see if I can keep going, especially with the holidays looming.

I read a few fitness articles here and there, and I have my favorites. I try to pay attention to what I eat because I know that food also contributes to my shape. As do the beginnings of menopause, which I know I can do very little about, but still makes me want to scream, “This is so unfair!” Maybe it’s because I’ve always been in decent shape without a whole lot of effort. I’ve never been a small girl, but I’ve always been athletic and busy. Now, age, hormones, a bad back, and life in general has kept me from being as athletic, and the calories I do eat hang around longer instead of burning off. I can’t fight some of those things; I get that. And I do know that fitness is just as much about health as it is about appearance, and I’m trying to remember that. I want to keep my heart healthy so I can stick around for a while and annoy Bonnie.

The biggest thing, the most important thing, I think, is perspective. Sometimes, we lose it and it takes something eye-opening to help us gain it again. I may not be thrilled with the shape my body has taken over the past year or two, but let’s be honest. I’m fairly fit. I’m healthy. I’m alive. Those three facts alone give me permission to roll my eyes at myself, shut the hell up, and be thankful.

Tell me your stories. How did those of you who’ve gotten through the dreaded menopause years combat the changes in your body? How did those of you who went from unfit to fit do it? I will read all guidance and advice voraciously! Just help me get through this before I drive my wife insane!

I’m going to go ride the bike now…

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Kim

Kudos to you for trying again! I have started and stopped many times over the years for a variety of reasons. Mostly I have started again because I feel so much better in my body when I am active and strong. And I have stopped due to injuries and boredom. I have found that I am most successful when I power through the first couple of months of actually making, “doing something physical,” a part of my routine. Then, like taking a shower, it becomes part of my day. After a while, I feel much better and start to actually look forward to my workout sessions. That is, if I find something that is fun and keeps me interested. Set goals. Challenge yourself. Good luck!

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Janet

Ah the frustration of watching your body become something you don’t recognize. Menopause. The change. It really has been The Change of Life for me. I’ve always gained weight in my middle section except its different now. I can no longer sleep all night without many interruptions. My internal thermostat is broken. I have so far not suffered with drastic mood swings. But my body changes are the most difficult to accept for me. I truly believe my body processes food differently. It just hangs on to every calorie I eat. But really Georgia it just all came to acceptance of myself. All summer long as I was approaching 50 I looked in the mirror and felt sadness. By the time I got to 50 I was totally excited to turn this milestone age. We’re not 20 anymore so why should we expect or want to look like we’re 20? Or 30 even? We’re experienced. We’re mature (most if the time). We’ve lived. My father died at 49 and believe me I have thought about this a lot this year. I even knew what day I had surpassed my fathers entire life. I guess what I’m trying to say is something I’ve said to you on and off for oh I don’t know 20 something years… You are beautiful as you are right this second. Acceptance of self is very freeing.

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Michele

Well… Here are my thoughts. I’m not nearing menopause and maybe that makes me unqualified here, however my wife is. Yes, there are quite a few years between us and she is thrilled I will be turning 30 in 2 years while she “enjoys” her new 50s. So I’m on the other end of this and she goes through her dieting phases, workout phases, health phases and all of that good stuff. Her perception and my perception are two very different things. She sees herself as “unfit” let’s say and I think she is sexier than hell! So how is this helping you, you ask? I suppose I’m trying to give you perspective from the “other side”. Bonnie obviously thinks you’re smokin’ and I feel certain there are quite a few others that would agree.. Myself included. (which should be no surprise to you at this point :), however I understand YOUR personal perception and desire to feel satisfied with yourself. The truth is though, we all ridicule ourselves. Menopause or not. Young or not. I just started finding grey hair and I had a melt down over it, but it is what it is so I’ll rock the hell out of my grey hair when it all turns. I can guarantee Jennifer Aniston.. Let’s use her as an example because she is dubbed as near “perfect” in Hollywood, but I’m quite confident she looks in the mirror and thinks “WTF” sometimes. It’s human nature. The most important thing here and this is just my opinion of course, is that you are healthy, happy and feel good about yourself. So if working out like crazy makes you feel good, then do it. If being lazy makes you feel good, then do it. If both make you feel good, then do it. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t develop a crazy workout regime and execute on it everyday for the rest of your life. I started a gym membership back in March of this year and I have only gone twice just to tan! There’s a moral here somewhere… Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just do what you do. Live it up. Unless you have to be cut out of your house, I wouldn’t worry about it! 😉

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ElaineB

How’s your cholesterol? Mine is very low, but my doc wants my HDL (that’s the good stuff) higher, since my mother had heart disease. The only way to do it is aerobic exercise, more precisely averaging 30 min. a day, five days a week, at your target heart rate (which varies and she told me what mine is). Ugh. But it has helped to have a goal, and I keep track with a spreadsheet (for real–do whatever works for you). Because I slacked off during the hot summer, I’m now cranking out the minutes on the bike to meet the goal by year’s end. It helps me to keep track, to have a goal, and to have it prescribed by my doc. It’s now become habit, so I can take a day off, but not much more before I miss it. Yes, I actually miss it if I don’t do it!

No denying it’s good for me. I lost about 10 pounds and my legs look just a tad better (but still dreadful). My knees and back feel better, too. As for menopause, the exercise helps me sleep like a rock, which I was so not doing before. You are only in your 40s, but, yes, seeing yourself change is difficult. Eventually you will get used to the inevitable. Like that cliche–a new normal.

Just remember that when you are in your 50s, you will be reminiscing about how good you looked and felt in your 40s! So try to remain positive. Good luck!

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