At 42, nearing 43, I have not been active in more than 2 years and it shows. Like most of us in my 30’s I put a few pounds on. I managed to bring exercise back to my life and got back into shape. Of course, my version of being in shape may not be everyone’s. At the time I could knock out a 10k without much pain and effort, my weight was steady, and it managed to stay that way for 5 years. What happened??? I got busy, comfortable and if I’m being honest, LAZY!
My late 30’s was definitely a challenge; divorce, two kids, a career, several rounds with skin cancer and a soft tissue sarcoma. This was enough to give myself a little too much wiggle room in the lazy department. I mean I had built in excuses, who would want to exercise when you’re going through radiation treatments or recovering from yet another surgery. BUT in reality, I wish I would have had the capacity to be that coach that looks at the athlete and says, “oh you’re tired, life is hard, do you want this??? If you do, stop with the excuses!”
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need a break and sometimes you need to take a nap instead of a run. If I’m being honest, that’s not how I lost my physical way in life. I’d fought to get back into shape, you’d think I’d remember all those wins and challenges, how good they had felt and how long it took to change. Instead I started losing my physical way with a big plate of nachos while watching my favorite show, or an ice cream treat after already having had garlic cheese bread and pizza. Oh, it tasted so good; can you say HAPPY BELLY?!? Overtime I kept indulging and kept allowing myself to relax and take it easy. I mean I’d earned some lazy, am I right??? At least that’s what I’d say to myself each time I decided to snuggle into my oh so comfy couch. The results, slowly all those fabulous habits eroded.
What I didn’t realize is how much it was weighing on me. I mean it showed up on the scale, that was the weight on my frame, but the real weight came mentally. Slowly I realized I was constantly comparing myself to other people. Sometimes trying to justify my choices and sometime beating myself up. Every time I went to put on a pair of pants that didn’t fit, I would curse myself. Weird thing, I realized this was affecting me not just physically but mentally as well about a year ago. So why has it taken me so long to decide to figure this out???
I’ve finally realized, I’m scared. What if in my forties I can’t physically pull myself back together? What if it’s harder than it was in my 30’s, what if I can’t get the weight off? What if I never run another 5k? Today I remembered something I learned when I was in my 30’s, fear is false evidence appearing real. Think about it, most things we fear are never as bad as they seem. Often, we have fears because we make assumptions or don’t have all the information to approach life’s new challenges.
I realize I was talking myself into failure before I’d even started. This usually led to more garlic cheese bread and ice cream. I have a boyfriend, which is a new chapter in my life. He’s a partner who wants to grow and face challenges with me. He recently signed us up for the Biggest Loser contest with his company. I have decided I will take this opportunity and his support and start working on my fear of not being up to the challenge, my fear of failing.
August is the month I start looking at making positive changes, taking control and still letting myself have fun. First steps, start walking and start logging. I am tracking my activity and using myfitnesspal to track anything that goes in my mouth, that includes alcohol. Not gonna lie, I like to have a few drinks (depending on your definition of a few😉) a couple times a week, CHEERS! I’ve dusted off my running shoes, which are now walking shoes, and I have broken out the sports bras. GAME ON!
So, let’s see what reality looks like. How many good choices can I make in a week? See what I did there? I’m focusing on my good choices, not the times I will inevitably choose poorly. I mean, I want this to be a lifestyle change and I am human, there will definitely be some bumps along the way.
I will be celebrating my improvements and pausing when my will power is lacking, trying to learn along the way. There isn’t a lot of information online geared towards busy women in their 40’s. I mean there’s the basics, eat clean, exercise regularly, count calories, don’t eat fast food, stay away from soda, watch the alcohol, we all know those things. The problem is my life doesn’t always stay orderly enough to follow those “healthy guideline” This is the reason I want to share my journey. Let’s see how I problem solve on the fly when I have no choice but McDonalds, and what secrets will truly be physical life hacks for busy ladies in their 40’s and beyond.
Can you have fun, maintain your life and be fit and in your 40’s??? I have a feeling the answer is you absolutely can! I’m about to embark on an adventure to find out exactly how it’s done in my busy world. If you would like to join me on my journey and learn a little something, or just have some laughs with me, I’m here for ya!