The middle-aged spread to be specific. I just keep spreading. And spreading.
I used to be extremely fit. Seriously. I was one of those weirdo gym rats. I had rocking legs and Michelle Obama arms. I was actually comfortable in a bikini. I know that there's nothing more boring and pathetic than someone telling you how they used to look. But I used to look good.
Now? Ugh. My ass is sagging. My fleshy belly has overflowed. My arm wattle flaps in the breeze. It's sad.
And it can't be a healthy thing. I have an eleven-year old. I need to stay healthy, damn it.
I am a failure at dieting. I just can't stick with it. Before I hit the whole menopause thing, I used to be able to diet hard for about two months and drop a bunch of weight. Now? It's slooooooow going, so I get bored and lose interest. And spread.
So I've decided I have to get back to the gym. The new YMCA up the street from me is finally open and I have joined up. Over the last few of weeks I've managed to get there five times a week. Which I think is pretty gym-rattish. The people who work there actually know me now. I try to mix things up. I run on the treadmill. I do the elliptical machine. I take a Pilates class. I take spin classes. I do the weight machines. I do the free weights.
I drag my saggy butt to those classes and sit there with a room full of other middle-aged ladies all trying to conquer the spread, trying not to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror in my tight yoga pants. I've become quite devoted to Loren, my tall, elegant Pilates instructor, who makes me sore in places I haven't felt in years. And it's not as dirty as that just sounded.
I've also been street running. Which is harder on the old knees and hips than the treadmill, but it feels really good. Looky, I got me some new wheels...
Yesterday morning I did 2.60 miles, which I think is damned good for an old lady. I've discovered that I can use my dorky music to motivate myself. I have created an extremely eclectic "Running" playlist, which I listen to on my earpods while hitting the streets. I've discovered that when I listen on Shuffle and then just run to the tempo of whatever inspirational song pops up I get a pretty good workout. I'm afraid I also tend to sing along. Really loud.
"Cause tramps like us. Baby we were born to run...."
"Hey Sister, go Sister, Soul Sister, go Sister."
"Why don't we d-do it in the road?"
"Big wheels keep on turning, proud Mary keep on burning. Rolling. Rolling. Rolling on the river."
"Shake your groove thing, shake your groove thing, yeah, yeah." ('cause everybody needs a little Peaches and Herb)
Sometimes, people driving past me will smile and give a "You go girl!" kind of look. I used to think it was because I looked so strong and runnerish. But I've come to realize that they're thinking "Oh isn't that sweet, poor old saggy thing running like that. Good for her!" But I don't really care.
Have I lost weight? No. I have not. However...I'm feeling good. Oo! That's on my Running playlist too...
I've been getting that endorphin rush thing. Nice. And I think my extremities are starting to firm up - arms, legs, neck. Unfortunately, the mid-section is still a disaster, but I'm hoping that if I keep it up, they will eventually melt away a bit. I'm not expecting to refind my hard body of 15 years ago, but just being able to put on a pair of jeans with no muffintop spilling over the waistband would be very nice.
Anybody have ideas of inspirational songs to add to my Running playlist?
And go see Ginny Marie and the other Conquer spinners!