Every once in awhile it dawns on me that life has spun out of control. It happens slowly, bite by bite, day by day, a missed workout here, a french fry there. Suddenly, I realize I am avoiding my daily weigh-in knowing, deep down, the scale has to be tipping in the wrong direction. The bad habits creep into my day: a piece of cheese in the afternoon with some crackers, or not 1 but 2 Weight Watcher English Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Bars. Then comes the moment of truth. The bermuda shorts fit snuggly, my tops are bulging. When I twirl around in the mirror, there it is….the dreaded “back-fat”. The slippery slide has taken me down it’s path and I am no longer in control of my weight, one of the important areas I actually can control..
For most of my life I was blessed by being a “thin” person. I never craved sweets, in fact I actually loved salty and sour tastes. But, that all changed when I met the love of my life who just happens to be Italian. I found myself enjoying long meals and preparing meals myself – meals with several courses,the last course, dessert. Meals became a source of entertainment. Cities were not noted for their magnificent sights, in my world they became known for a famous steakhouse or deli. Slowly my slim waist transformed to a muffin top! My size 4 body became 6, then 8 and even 10! What was happening to me?
Let’s be honest here. I am not young. I am even a bit past middle aged. I would not even qualify for “Cougar”. But, the aging process is not going to stop. It seems like yesterday (age, maybe 26) when I glimpsed the rearview mirror to check myself out and noticed two lines along my neck, under my chin. It looked like two scars from plastic surgery. I had not even ever had plastic surgery. What was this? Then, a few years later I was climbing into the v-birth of my sailboat when I noticed the ever so slight pooch of skin sort of wrinkled and hanging (evidence of child-bearing) where my flat abdomen used to be. These subtle signals were roadsigns that lead in only one direction… toward menopause, the next big milestone, the one that gave me hot flashes and a “men-o-pot”. The mirror was being avoided much like the scale. But, then God, in His wisdom, took away my clear vision and left me in a blur. The lines that formed along my mouth became more faint. However, the digital numbers on my scale popped up clearly. It seemed as if I had gained ten pounds for every decade since I was 20! The scale did not lie.
Recently they announced a study that said a woman over forty must do an hour of cardio daily to maintain her weight. That is just great. That means my vigorous daily walk was allowing me to only maintain? But, I want to lose. I have a wedding in October. Those matronly Mother of the Bride dresses are not for me. I wanted a sleek tight fitting dress. And, I didn’t want to wear a jacket to cover my arms. I had t o step it up… literally.
The ocean is just 5 miles from my home. I love the ocean, I love to bike and I love to walk. It seemed simple enough. Just incorporate those loves into a new workout plan. So, at least three days per week I try to bike to the ocean 5 miles, walk the ocean for 1 hour around 4 miles, then bike home another 5 miles. This takes me 2 hours. And, it is rejuvenating to chase the sandpipers walking in the hard sand just beyond the breaking surf with the sun hitting my face and the waves crashing to my side, every passerby smiling and nodding hello. A beautiful workout.
Slowly the pounds are melting away. The scale is sliding in the right direction. I monitor my input (eating) and my output (exercise). The years are slipping by. The wrinkles continue to appear. That is something beyond my control. But, the feeling I have of being back in the drivers seat is wonderful. I have more energy and am starting to peek in the mirror a bit more often these days. That long indigo gown should look great by October. And, I don’t think I will wear a jacket or even a throw. Back in control and I feel amazing. Mother of the Bride….Judi Z style………