I had a weight problem in my late teens and throughout most of my 20s. There was no mystery to it. I ate too much, drank too much and didn’t expend enough energy to burn up all those calories that eventually found homes under my chin, in the saddlebag area of my legs and around my midsection. I used to joke that working on my inner child was pointless. It was my inner thigh that was getting me down.
Since my early thirties, I’ve been in shape more than I haven’t. Sometimes, I even did sit-ups regularly to prevent belly rollover upon sitting down. I can recall a time or two (but not three) when I didn’t mind putting on a bathing suit. Whenever I found my clothes not fitting well, I simply upped my running mileage and reduced the Krispy Kreme intake. Over the last two years or so, I’ve become complacent and, after the age of forty, that translates into squishiness and sagging flesh, love handles and triceps that flap long after I’ve stopped waving. My wrists and head are still small but they only serve as a reminder for what I think the rest of my body should look like. Instead of the Nancy Reagan and Larry King syndrome, where the head continues to grow as the body shrinks, I’ve got the opposite problem. I’m becoming a pinhead.
Didn’t she just run a marathon? You ask. Well, yes I did, and there’s a good chance I’m in better shape than you are when it comes to stamina. I’m not really worried about my heart. But after the age of forty, having more than a Diet Coke, half an apple and a cigarette a day without running six miles seven times a week ain’t gonna cut it. I’m even starting to use bad grammar. Something has to change.
I don’t want to talk about dieting. I have nothing new to add and diets don’t work. If you regularly eat four whole pizzas a week and you cut down to three and then two and then one, you’re headed in the right direction. So I want to reduce the carbs, but not cut them out entirely. That would be worse than having to sit through an Olsen twins’ movie again with Miss T. Eating ice cream at ten at night probably isn’t a good idea, either, so I’m going to try and get that in before eight. And WATER. My entire life, I’ve told people, after they’ve complained about what ails them, “Drink more water.” During each of my pregnancies, my skin looked better than it’s ever looked before and it wasn’t the glow of being “with child”. It was because I was taking monster-sized prenatal vitamins and drinking no less than six large glasses of water a day. These days, it’s as if I’m a camel. I get back from a run and have, not a glass of water, but a cup of coffee as if I wasn’t dehydrated enough. There are no good reasons why I’m depriving myself. It’s not as if we don’t have a bathroom in the house.
The end of school and the beginning of summer vacation is a mere eight weeks away and if I don’t do something, I’m going to finally be one of those mothers who never gets in the pool with their kids because the thought of exposing certain areas of flesh to the world is too difficult to contemplate. And if not now, when? A lot of unpleasant stuff happens when you’re past forty, like eight weeks goes by in about five minutes. It’s time to get serious. It’s time for a plan.
WATER. Drinking it before a meal really does help you eat less because it makes you feel full. It helps flush out toxins and aids every organ of your body. It hydrates the skin which, when you’re older is vital, since everything starts to dry up. It has no calories and no taste, so drinking it is painless. In this country, it’s available everywhere and, at home, costs pennies. We can survive without food far longer than we can survive without water. Life doesn’t exist without it. So why the hell haven’t I been drowning in the stuff? I have no good answer.
I’m going to drink more water because I think it will make me feel better than I do now. My Tuesday tidbit is this: join me. Summer is around that corner up there and I don’t want to go through another one looking for a swimsuit like my grandmother would’ve worn in 1930.
Again, eight weeks.
Tuesday tidbits for better living