Thursday, January 27, 2011

Older and Possibly Wiser

The other day I was having a conversation with one of my million (okay, four) awesome BFFs that I frequently chat with, and we were talking about working out. And here's the thing:

I'm wiser now. Because I'm older. It's a trip.

When I was younger, I was totally fine with looking somehow emaciated yet curvy. What the hell is that, Rubenesque Emaciation? No, it's just a thin girl who still has hips. This was my goal. I didn't really have a weight PROBLEM, per se, but I didn't exactly have the college experience of my dreams either.

I had a long-term unhealthy relationship, and I had about two years of carrying too much on a small frame. Then, in a dressing room induced breakdown, I met Dr. Atkins.

I ate pretty much everything BUT the carbs I'd lived on. I ate a lot of salads, a lot of meat and indulged occasionally in pitcher long islands. I dropped, no lie, about 45 lbs in several months. No work outs required. I was happy! I could wear my favorite adorbs Express outfits again!

I never (except in pregnancy) got up to that weight again....BUT, I did discover, thin or 10 pounds heavier here or there, I was WOEFULLY out of shape. Weight training? What fresh hell was that? Cardio?! Now you're just talking crazy. Why can't we just go back to eating nothing but bacon?!

When I dropped my unhealthy relationship, I also went crazy organic vegetarian. Talk about opposites! I walked several miles every day and went to the gym three days a week. That was the beginning.

I'm not a rabid gym rat, *but* I work out pretty regularly. (It helps offset moments of Dorito-style weakness.) I didn't stick it out veg, but I'm not ruling out a comeback tour. The most important thing was my mindset change.

I've realized the shift in perspective. When I see a girl in a magazine with an upper arm the size of her forearm, I think.....whoa. That girl needs to eat. She's never touched a weight in her life. The women in magazines are there as window dressing to the clothing. Clothing has to hang and drape; boobs and butt get in the way of that. So, apparently, do biceps.

I'm not all "the gun show came to town" or anything, but I'll admit one fitness goal is to get Jillian biceps by summer. Jillian Michaels. Biggest Loser? Yeah, it could happen.

I don't admire thin for the sake of it; now I think, I wonder if she can hang? Are these women strong? I'm much more likely to admire someone like Jillian than some waif parading around in admittedly gorgeous shoes. You can wear Choos and work out. It's possible.

And men? Don't get me started. Same thing. I admire REAL strength. I see vanity muscle and think, what can he really DO with those? Can he do the human flagpole? (Look it up, it's wicked cool.) Is he competing in a marathon/triathalon/sports? Or is he just doing reps with no goals?

And the hardcore gym rat guys who use steroids? = F A I L.

Everything has a cost. What price do you want to pay for looking like you-won't-like- me-when I'm angry Hulk? How hot does "myocardial infarction" *REALLY* sound?

What I want and what I want to be? Someone who can do a preacher curl OR pick my kid up without pulling a hammy. Someone who can walk down the sidewalk in a big city because you parked your car too far away from your appointment and know that if the shit goes down you can outrun it or outfight it. Someone who values her body. Someone who doesn't just push the plate away, instead of stacking the plates ON.

It's been a long road. I haven't always been happy with the girl in the mirror. I still have a lot of fitness goals (Krav Maga anyone? It's Israeli streetfighting and seems INTENSELY Bad Ass) and those goals are always to challenge and to keep me working toward being as healthy as I can.

Life is hard. Life is harder if you're walking around with a leaky bladder and sciatica and dirty ASS-ma and feeling like you're 65 when you're 32. But to all that, I spit in its dirty eye and say: Welcome to the gun show.

Comments, questions, how are you getting your fitness on?