Middle-Age Fitness

It was easy being fit and slim in my youth. Seemingly effortless. But, as I aged and let life take me down, the only thing I took comfort in was food. It's easy to sit and talk about being a strong person but, living with negativity and verbally/emotionally abusive people will take it's toll on you whether you realize it or not.

And so, I ate. And ate. And ate. And gained. And gained. And gained. Before I knew it, I could easily have been one of the largest women on The Biggest Loser television show. And I'm only exaggerating a tiny little bit.

No, I'm not blaming those people. Because I certainly could have chosen to deal with everything in a much more positive, pro-active manner. But I didn't. Until I hit my 50s. And, even now, it's still a journey of discovery and effort and retakes all coupled with frustrations and self-doubt. Though I have to say that the frustrations have become less frequent and the self-doubt has all but disappeared completely. This is a good thing. The discovery, effort and retakes are all a part of something good. Something that is not attainable until the frustrations and self-doubt come under control. Things that lead to lessons learned and changed paths.

A lot of you already know about when the whole fitness journey began for me. It was five years ago. FIVE. And it resulted in an epic FAIL. But it didn't stop me. I tried again. And again. And again. I tried dieting (low to no carbs, high protein; counting calories; equal portions of all food groups but in moderation; cutting sugars, etc) and exercise videos; Wii Fit; walking (serious walking of 5 miles every day to not so serious)...

Nothing really stuck until I finally figured out that it needed to be more about FITNESS and not about weight loss. I had to start there and work my way to weight loss from there.

The thing that worked best for me, so far, was the Synergy workout. It was fantastic and it was the first thing I did that actually made a difference in my fitness level. You can read about it by clicking the Synergy tab. I only wrote through seven weeks but I did finish all eight weeks. And differences were definitely felt. It was the best thing I had tried and it remains that way.

Suddenly, I had stamina. I could walk stairs without thinking I was going to pass out or die. My mood was better. Weight loss? Honestly, I can't recall. But I remember my fitness level increasing. Once I completed the 8 weeks, I decided that I was going to change it up. I'm not a fan of strength training so I decided just going with the Sprint 8s would be best for me. That way, I was doing something I liked which would insure my continuing with it instead of dropping it completely. I still did some sit-ups and push-ups but I didn't make it a part of the regular routine.

This was working out just fine until I tripped over Tucker one morning in May (this year) and landed on my knee. I was out for a couple of weeks. But, until that happened, my intervals consisted of running and walking instead of walking in place. It was fabulous.

There for a while, and by 'a while' I mean at least one year, it seemed that as soon as I found my rhythm, something would happen to thwart my efforts. I would pull something or get sick or hurt my foot/knee/hip or fall down. It was so annoying. But, finally, I always got back into it as soon as I could.

Now, I have started Couch 2 5K. Again. I've just completed Week 5 and am ready to hit Week 6. Today, I ran my first mile (1.3 miles actually) since college. It wasn't fast and I doubt it was pretty. But I did it. Five years ago, I couldn't run at all. 3 years ago, I couldn't run 30 feet without having to stop. Last year, I couldn't run a quarter of a mile. Now, I'm thinking I might make it to that 3 miles after all. Then again, when considering my track record, I still might quit.

The process is long. And hard. But my best advice to anyone who needs to begin the journey or who is frustrated with the journey is: Don't stop. Keep moving. Do NOT give up no matter what. There will be frustrations. There will be times when people get in your way. There will be times when injuries get in your way. There will be times when YOU get in your way. REGARDLESS of who or what, you MUST KEEP GOING. Keep moving. If you fail, start over again. No matter how many times it takes.

It's all part of the process. And it will all come together for you one day and then everything will make sense and you'll be so glad you kept going. And going. And going.

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