This week, I want to talk a little more about fitness. Because my approach to the topic is changing, evolving I guess. Maybe because I’m not 29 anymore. (I’m 30 now. Interestingly, so is one of my daughters. Another is little older. Don’t ask me how that’s possible. I never was any good at math.)
Anyway, as spring rolled around (finally!) I noticed as I emerged from my den of hibernation (have I mentioned that I dislike winter?) and noticed that I was wearing an extra layer of insulation. The first thing I did was turn to Weight Watchers, which has long been my old standby and has always worked for me. But it wasn’t working this time. I had to eat so few “points” to drop any weight. I also tried low-carb and got a terrible kidney infection–worst of my life–which my two RN daughters blamed on the diet. Correct or not, I gave it up. Both methods helped me drop a few pounds fast, then I stalled. With a good 15 to go.
I thought and thought. It seemed that it was true, what people say, that as you age your metabolism goes down. I pondered and pondered. I thought I was going to have to workout a lot more often to make the diets work. But I just didn’t have the energy. I mulled. I made observations. I studied the issue through the lens of the Law of Attraction, which says we only age the way we age because we believe it when people tell us “that’s what happens when you get older.”
Hey, wait a minute? You mean my metabolism hadn’t gone down because me age had (allegedly) gone up? But rather, it went down because I expected it to, because I’ve heard all my life that it would when I got older?
Well of course. That’s why everything that happens to us, happens to us. Because we sort of expect it on some level. So if I could just change that belief, maybe I could work around this whole aging/metabolism thing.
I started thinking about how when you’re young, you can eat all you want. And when you’re older, everything you eat goes straight to your backside. And I wondered, besides the dreaded metabolism, what’s different about you when you’re young?
My conclusion: you barely ever sit still when you’re a kid. Watch a kid for a couple of hours. They can’t even sit still for a meal–they wiggle, they jiggle, they fidget. When they walk, they don’t just plod along. They bounce along! Like human Tiggers. They hop, they skip, they spin, they dance. They bend and jump and stretch and reach. What do we do when we’re grown-up? We just walk. What’s up with that?
I decided that the best way to have the metabolism of a kid was to start acting like a kid again.
I also thought about dieting from a Law of Attraction standpoint. When we’re counting and measuring food all the time, eliminating this and that from our diets, denying ourselves goodies, and looking at our weight on the scales every week, we’re focused on the wrong end of things. The scales puts the focus on weight. The tape measure puts the focus on fat. The dieting puts the focus on what we cannot have.
So I stopped getting on the scales at all. And I started thinking about what I could add to my diet, and to my day, that would be good for me and fun as well. I got out my bike, I started jogging again, slowly, gently, but I started. I started playing with my light weights again.
Within a week, I caught a snippet of a TV show I never watch–The Doctors–just because the TV had been left on that channel as I passed through the living room on a break. And they were talking about the best ways to raise your metabolism as you age. Aerobic exercise early in the day, boosts your metabolism for the entire day, they said. Hey, I thought, I’m already doing that. But the best thing, they added, was to start working out with light weights. Adding pound of muscle burns 100-200 more calories per day. That’s a pound of fat every two weeks, give or take. And it only takes three workouts a week of around 15 minutes each. I was already doing that, too! What I love about my weight/upper body routine is that it only takes about 15-20 minutes. It’s quick, so I do it nearly every day.
Interestingly, I was beginning to see supporting evidence that my new approach would work. Being more active, (like a kid) will boost your metabolism (like a kid’s.) I suspected it, it made logical sense, and soon enough I saw an authority figure telling me it was true. Law of Attraction.
I saw something else, too. I saw my waist shrinking, my legs getting leaner, my arms getting firmer, harder, smaller. I still didn’t get on the scales. Maybe around the end of June, just out of curiosity.
Being more active, to me, means never saying no to anything to that involved physical activity. My daughter Stacie, a nurse, takes a half hour walk every day on her lunch hour. For some reason (law of attraction) she started using that time to call me to have a daily chat. So I decided as long as she’s walking, I’d walk too, and I jump on my elliptical. That’s another 30 minutes nearly every weekday that I’m active, and it’s easy.
Some of you may know I’ve had trouble with my knees in the past. But I tried the new barefoot style running shoes, that have the natural effect of changing your stride, so that you land more on the whole foot with the ball of the foot taking the main impact, rather than the old heel-toe stride where the heel takes the impact. When the heels takes the impact, that impact shoots straight up to the knee. When the ball of your foot hits first, the impact is disseminated throughout your calf, and on up the thigh, with a lot less of it pounding the knee.
I’ve also been doing a knee strengthening exercise DVD called STRONG KNEES by Gaiam, which is brilliant. And so far, (knocking on my desk here) not one knee issue. I’ve got a little soreness going on in my heel today, which I’m about to go research. But all told, I’m feeling great. And looking better every day.
Oh, right, I nearly forgot my original intent with this blog. I was going to share my favorite workout music with you. I have to have music, especially when jogging. My playlist is painfully small (I’m always looking to add, but only certain songs work for me–I feed on them like a car on gasoline!)
But here are some of my favorites:
Will Smith: Getting Jiggy With It, Wild Wild West, Men in Black (check out the video for WWW! It’s awesome)
Billy Joel: Only the Good Die Young, You May Be Right
Kicking Harold: Gasoline (this is the theme song from the TV show, Overhaulin’ and it’s fabulous!)
The Beatles: Paperback Writer (of course)
Katrina and the Waves: Walkin’ On Sunshine
The Police: Canary in a Coal Mine
The Bangles: Walk Like an Egyptian
Blues Traveler: Run Around
Blondie: One Way or Another
Metallica: Here We Go
Whitney Houston: Queen of the Night
Pink: You and Your Hand
Tom Petty: Runnin’ Down the Dream
The Escape Club: Wild Wild West (the other one, from the 80′s)
Okay, those are my faves and I have to run now–not run now, already did that. But I’m due at the salon so I’m outta here.
Have a GREAT DAY!