I was skinny once.
Actually, three times. The first time was puberty. Ages 7 to about 13, I was awkwardly lanky, with long legs and a physique more in line what you would consider a boy rather than a girl. In fact, with my curly hair cropped shorter than short by my mother's hand, I was often mistaken for one. I waited with bated breath for my womanhood to appear - it's only a matter of time, I told myself, before I'll be wearing those thin, silky bras like my sister and have a tiny, circular waist that guys will just love to put their arms around.
I'm still waiting.
The only other two times I've ever been "skinny" were event-induced. The second time was post-divorce. You know, that time in your life when you finally look the way you've wanted to look for years but are in absolutely no mood to do anything with it. The third time was also relationship-based. Couldn't eat, looked fabulous, didn't care. Not the best combination.
|My BMI is somewhere between Maria Sharapova and Sylvester Stallone.|
Really? And what happens when they go OUT of style? Am I screwed? Apparently.
Turning 40 was a wonderful thing in many ways. I looked forward to it; I was ready for it. What I wasn't prepared for was that my metabolism would come to a screeching halt, and what I considered before to be a meager diet of basic sustenance would now be considered gluttony. What before was an exercise regimen fit for an Olympian would now be categorized as "sedentary." The ratio of physical exercise to basic nutrition necessary to maintain my optimum weight is so skewed that I have come to hate even looking in the mirror.
Snacks for me are usually an apple with peanut butter or carrots and hummus. I rarely go out to lunch during the week and bring in my Lean Cuisine/SmartOnes/Healthy Choice cardboard of the day or a can of soup. And breakfast? Coffee and oatmeal. Or a bagel thin with peanut butter. I pass on the Trefzger's danishes at work, I haven't eaten one Girl Scout cookie, and the snacks at my desk include dry pretzels and maybe some low-fat Cheez-its. On the weekends, I may imbibe in more than my share of beers, which I'm sure doesn't help. But it's not like it's a nightly thing.
I've tried keeping a food diary. I've tried counting calories. Watching my carbs. I'll admit I have a weakness for some of the junk food I allow in my house on occasion for my kids, like potato chips. I've also been known to eat an entire sleeve of saltines in one sitting. I'm definitely not one who can keep a full jar of chocolates at my desk. Occasionally I do. But not for long.
I'll continue running, but not as regularly. It's just not giving me the results I want. Honestly, walking fast feels a lot more productive, at least in my lower body, and my knees don't scream at me when I'm done. I'm getting back into strength training, which I enjoy, and I may even try to supplement that with a little Pilates. My issue is motivation at home, since I don't belong to a gym, and time. The odds of me consistently getting up early to exercise are slim (I wish) to none, but I do have about a 45 minute window when I get home from work when the kids are off doing their things before dinner that I try to dedicate to getting my sweat on.
It's just frustrating that now, at age 46, I seem to have to work so hard for so little result. It doesn't help that many of my friends have awesome bods. True, some haven't birthed two ginormous babies. Some are fitness instructors and freakin' work out more in a day than I do all week. So not only do I have to try to keep up with the Joneses, I'm single and not getting any younger. The middle age spread isn't going to help my chances out there any, that's for sure. There's only so many guys who will love me for my brain and awesome personality.
Can I get my 13 year old body back? Definitely not. Would I like my post-divorce/relationship body back? It'd be nice, now that I'd be in a place to enjoy it. But to do that would require me to eat NOTHING and also sleep very little and generally be miserable all the time. I'm over doing that. For now, I'll just keep trying to change things up until I find that magic nutrition and exercise regimen that works for me for the long haul.
Wish me luck, and feel free to share any tips of your own. Remember, we're all in this together (except for you skinny bitches - get out of here and go eat a sandwich.)