Calling All Apples

The dreaded triathlon swim was last weekend.

Triathlon_Missindeedy

I survived. No, no, no – better than that! I did pretty darn well, considering I’ve a) Never competed in anything ending in -athlon before, b) become firmly entrenched in the 40+ age range, and c) been sporting a muffin-top to beat all muffin-tops for the better part of a decade.

And, it’s that last one that I feel the need to address.

Online.

For all the world to see.

But first… You know how you sometimes think you don’t look half bad? And perhaps you’ve even been working toward some fitness goal and are therefore convinced that you might even be looking pretty good?  And you live in your perfectly crafted delusional world for as long as it takes for someone to snap photographic evidence declaring quite the opposite?

Yeah.

Sigh…

An unfortunate side effect of All The Devil Dogs is, apparently, a spare tire.

Around one’s middle.

This picture below?  I’m putting it out there.  My friend Janet is grinning on my right.  She’s the toad friend who made me swim laps with her every day to prepare.

I’ll “spare” you the bottom half of the picture. Just know that I am now well aware of the effects of all of my Devil Doggery.

triathlon_muffintop_missindeedy

Here’s the thing – I’m a textbook apple shape.  I’m talking, circle resting on toothpicks, People! I’ve always been that way. Even when I was at my leanest, I was a more slender kind of apple. Is there such a thing?

Well, I’m calling all my apple friends! If you don’t already know, we have the most dangerous body type, as it relates to obesity and heart disease.  Decreasing our weight as little as 5 pounds can provide amazing health benefits. Working off even 5% of our body fat can extend our life span significantly!

I know this.

And yet, I’ve still managed to run around town ignoring the ever-expanding inner tube around my waist.

No more!

Seeing that picture of my waist, even if it was while marching down to a quarter mile swim, scared me straight.

As in, rectangular.

Yup. I’m aiming to change my shape.

I’m setting some goals and giving myself plenty of time to slowly meet them. I’m going to make some dietary changes (no Devil Dogs will be harmed in this process). I’m going to add in some (some – let’s not get too crazy, now) consistent exercise each week.

And, God-willing, change will take place.

Yes indeedy. I’m going to work on becoming less circle-y and more oval-y. Any other shapes want to join me?

First order of business is to get a food plan going.  What works (or has worked) for you in the past?  Share in the comments.

How To Have a Marital Conversation

That watching other people exercise and wishing the benefits could magically transfer to you? It’s a real thing! Who knew?

Sweetman knew – that’s who.

Last week, I shared a funny e-card image on The Facebook.  Sweetman, who detests The Facebook, but seems to love looking over my shoulder to see what’s going on, took particular interest in this one.

Health_Benefit_ecard

“Did you know there is truth to that?”, he asked.

“To what?  The fact that “ok is not an acceptable scrabble word?”, I replied (referring to the one I was thinking way too hard about.)

“No. I knew that. (But, of course he did. He’s wicked smaht.) There are studies that have been released that show that people who watch others exercise gain the benefits in the form of…”. He launched into the findings of these studies.

I, however, shut my brain off after those who watch…gain the benefits…, because AMEN! And, also, I didn’t want whatever came after “gain the benefits” to dull the euphoria that this new information was providing me.

But, in true Sweetman fashion, he wouldn’t let me tune out.

“Isn’t that great? Makes you want to exercise, doesn’t it?”, he concluded.

“Oh YES it does!”, I absent-mindedly replied.

Clearly.

“Good. Then that study was worth sharing.”, he said (a little too enthusiastically, if you ask me.).

Wait. WHAT?!? What just happened?

As usual, when I put my brain in park while it’s still on its way to a destination, all kinds of trouble ensues.

The last time I flippantly said “YES!” to something he was proposing, I found myself strapped to a pedometer, walking “at least” 7,000 steps a day with promises of an extra couple of hundred dollars in my anemic wallet if I saw it through for a month. Only to find out, a few days in, that those 7,000 steps would really need to be more like ten to twelve thousand, and for 6 months, in addition to a full health check (which included a BLOOD DRAW and a weigh-in). When I became wise to the extent of this scheme, I informed Sweetman that he could take that pedometer and kindly dispose of it in the nearest trash can. Please and thank you.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was still trying to process all of this wonderful news and manipulate sort it to my advantage.

And, in addition, now, try to figure out what I had just agreed to.

“Could you remind me what I just agreed to?” (Sometimes it’s just best to ask point-blank.)

“Regular weekly exercise.”, he said.

“That’s exactly what I was afraid of.”

Yes indeedy.

Lesson learned? Pay attention during conversations that you have with Sweetman. He is wicked smaht!

Exercising Together

big_little_sneakers_blog

The yoga pants and I are gettin’ tight again.  Sorry, what I really mean, is that they are getting tight again.  When you find yourself spending five minutes workin’ up a sweat just trying to wrangle on last years jeans, you know something’s gotta give.  And, unfortunately, the spandex in my jeans has about given me all it’s got.

Y’all! This winter is about to do me in!

So, I’ve begun the exersizzle regime. Again.

Only, this time?  My Sweetgirl has taken up exercising with me.

And I have proof.

Enter, exhibit A:

Exersizzle_ing_blog

May I explain?

1) I am quite pink and apparently wear a red cheer-leading bow on top of my hair to exercise.  (I do get very red, but I draw the line at wearing a bow over 40.)

2) My not-quite-five year old likes to dance on table tops behind my back. (She does not. Unless, of course, the coffee table counts. She likes to be “as tall as mama.”)

3) We let butterflies roam free in our house. (We do not. Sorry.  I know. That would be pretty exciting, but I think dancing on coffee tables is enough excitement, no?)

4) A purple person in a box watches us exercise. (Nope. But, I do exercise to DVDs. Which, obviously, I follow along with on the TV. But our TV is not purple. Nor is the Instructor.  Although, that would be interesting, wouldn’t it?)

My little shadow likes to proclaim how “tired from all the ‘sizing”she is about four minutes in.  I do too. But, alas, I must be the adult and keep going.  I’m trying to show her how important exercise is.  And, I can’t do that if I punk out and grab a can of salt-n-vinegar Pringles snack with her.

Wait! Can I?

No. I know. Sigh…

So, she usually grabs a snack and watches me finish out the last 40 minutes.  I suppose it’s kind of like watching the Biggest Loser. But, in real life.  And up close and personal.

But, I will prevail.  I refuse to buy the next size up jeans.

And, it would be nice to be able to wriggle in to my current ones without so much effort.

So, if you need me, I’ll be workin’ up a sweat while my back-up dancer Sweetgirl does, too, on the coffee table behind me.  Because, everyone knows exercising together is way more fun.

Yes indeedy!

Just. Like. That.

I don’t have a skinny gene in me.  Thus, I don’t have a skinny jean on me.  Or in my closet. Or on my clothing “wish list”. Or… you get the idea.  And you know what? I’m okay with that. Some fashions are meant for some bodies and others are meant for other bodies.  Deep, huh?  My calves dictate the inability to wear anything less than a bell bottom pant.  True story.

I’ve been reading a bunch, around the blogosphere, about the power of investing in yourself – how you look and feel.  It’s gotten me thinking.  Dangerous, I know.  One of the best pieces of advice I ever received as a brand spankin’ new mama was to get up each day and shower.  Earth shattering news, for those of you who’ve been there done that, I’m well aware.  However, to those sweet women who are new to this Motherhood Road, I wanted to share it.  Feeling clean and “put-together” single-handedly held me together, emotionally, in those first few months of new motherhood.  Don’t misunderstand me, though, I was no fashion plate.  Oh no!  My mom jeans and I?  We were tight. Skin tight.  My yoga pants, however?  We were no longer friends. Those forgiving, flattering, wear-with-anything dear friends?  They were discarded like yesterday’s news.

And then blessing number two came along and I. Were. Tired.  My yoga pants and I?  We became inseparable again.  And some days, we were so inseparable that Sweetman begged me to go take a shower, for-the-love-of-all-that-needs-to-be-laundered, just so he could snag my yoga pants and throw them into the washing machine.  Yep – it got thatbad.

yoga

yoga (Photo credit: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS)

But, alas, every yoga pant has the harrowing moment where it’s owner wakes up and thinks, “HEY! These pants are for… YOGA!  And I don’t even do yoga!”. And the relationship is severed. Just. Like. That.

But all is not lost. Because, there also comes a day, not so long after, and sometimes altogether too long after, where the mama wakes up and declares, “I think I might just give that Yoga Thingy a try!”. Or that Zumba thingy. Or that, you know… Exercise thingy, a try.  And because I feel so good about what I’m doing in those yoga pants, I find that I don’t care that I’m running in for a quick errand in my old friends.  Or showing up at the bus stop in them, either. Like any good friend, they make me feel good about myself.

And lo and behold, we are Besties again.  Just. Like. That.