Saturday, January 28, 2023

Existential Examen - Day 8

 I've mentioned before in these pages that I've fought my weight all my life.  I was chubby as a kid, but by age 12 was tired of being bullied for it, and tired of not looking as cute in my clothes as my younger sister.  I lost 25 pounds -- sensibly -- and looked and felt much better, but I knew I could never ease my vigilance.  I come from a long line of short, square people, and I knew I'd never be tall or willowy.

In my twenties I took up running, and managed to complete several 10 Km races, a few 1/2 marathons, and 5 of the six marathons I started (quit one at 10 miles due to the heat).  There were two advantages to being a runner: keeping fit, and having a long time to myself in the midst of being a mom, a wife to an increasingly ailing hubby, active in my church, and holding down a full-time job.

But by my mid-forties Life got in the way.  I turned to walking and awful indoor fitness classes (to this day I dislike exercising with equipment, especially indoors).  That helped a bit, as did "WW", as Weight Watchers is called now. (I've not participated in that for years.)

Enter menopause, and things slowed even further -- but I managed to keep fit enough with walking, gardening, snow-clearing and remaining ever-vigilant about what I ate.

Now, at 70, I still do those things -- but numbing the pain of deep losses with empty calories has meant I'm still prone to weight gain, and now the shovelling and lawn mowing are particularly hard on my hips and shoulders.

Enter stretching for someone in his/her seventies.  I did stretching exercises begrudgingly as a runner.  Doing them -- and weight training -- was, for me, like watching paint dry.  But this program to which I've's different, somehow, and I always feel better for doing it.  I'm near the end of my third week with it, and have missed only 3 sessions (it's online, so I can go back and do them if I want to).  I'm sleeping better, and don't have sore hips when I've been stitching too long in my 'stitchy spot'.  

At the same time, somehow, it's helped to elevate my mood for the rest of the day.  I'm having fewer pity parties, and feel less inclined to numb my emotions with empty calories.  Who'dda thunk it?!

Today, I'm grateful for learning new ways to move and stretch -- and I'm grateful for my short, square body, that's still willing to come along for the ride.  😊

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