Friday, February 18, 2011

Getting back in shape at 58 ... It's my job

I taught aerobics for over 30 years. Even when I was young and really fit I always had a last minute feeling that I really didn’t want to do it. Leading others in a grueling workout was so strenuous! I did it many times a day, year after year. I was truly one of the fittest people in town. Although I enjoyed the feeling of being the envy of everyone else, I’ll have to admit something.

If I hadn’t been the teacher, I wouldn’t have done it at all! At the age of 35, after winning top honors in racquetball on a state, regional, and national level, I decided to retire. Why not? I had been dragging my bootie out of bed for years to teach classes and play sports that really required endurance.

I made up my mind that I would walk to work, ride my bike, ski, hike, and find other ways to stay in shape. I lived in Aspen. Of course there were other ways to stay as fit as I was. At least until a few years went by and I started to gain weight and lose my condition.

At the age of 40, I decided to make my debut back to teaching. I taught a bodyworks class with weights, a prime time abdominal class, and even did a step class or two. It was fun being back, and again, I found the top of my game again. That is, until I got burned out and my body didn’t like the hard pushing again. Again, I retired from teaching at the age of 45.

At that time I was fortunate to be able to retire from Management in the health club business altogether. No more folding towels, no more rush hour at the front desk, no more tourist season in Aspen. What a break.

I went on to spend time with my horses. I rode in the hills, exercised them, massaged them, and generally made my life at the barn what my life in the club had been. I wrote a program on Equine Massage, and taught thousands of people the ins and outs of proper sports taping, stretching, and exercise programs. I even wrote a book about it. This was a really wonderful time in my life. My horse was aging, and he was fit and properly cared for. His performance at the age of 20 was better than most horses half his age. Then came 2007 ... and the recession. Most people could hardly afford to own horses any more, let alone give me money to get them fit.

Now I’m 58. Selling a few books ... sitting at the computer writing about fitness, both human and equine. Doing a little massage. Doing a little fitness coaching ... lecturing ... walking on the treadmill, but not pushing hard as though I’m in front of a class. Even though I try, I know that I’m only there to motivate my lazy self, and that I’m not in front of others.

So, help me out here. It’s killing me. Is it time to go back to teaching? Is it actually time to create a class for people my age? If I were coaching me, I’d ask; “What is it going to take for you to become fit again?” or “What are you willing to do to get back in top shape?” Mmmm. This is that same Socratic HOUNDING that I use on my clients that are overweight.

The answer? I guess I’ll bring that to my next self-coaching session.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Defending Your Weight

I watched a TV program last night that was a scream fest of a bunch of men and their overweight wives. I felt such compassion for the wives who were desperately trying to defend themselves, calling themselves “human.”

The problem that I’m having is that nobody, including a plus sized model, ever mentioned “health.”

The number on the scale is one thing. The issue is, how is your health? If you’re 20-30 pounds overweight, and you do not struggle trying to exercise, your blood pressure is low, glucose is normal, and cholesterol is normal, then you can defend your weight while monitoring your numbers. This doesn’t mean that you should be eating as much pizza and ice cream as you want, this just means that your weight is not currently proving to be a health risk. Currently, I said.

HOWEVER ... The years go by and your body doesn’t process the extra fats as well. Eventually, the extra weight may or may not drastically change your health numbers. This is what matters the most.

Self esteem is a funny thing. Even if your health numbers are normal, you may have self esteem problems because of what other people think of your weight.

My advice is to keep exercising. Maintain a healthy diet. Watch your numbers. Then, if somebody is harshing on your weight because they have a problem with the way that you LOOK, kick their ass! Just kick their ass.