"We're all just fragile threads, but what a tapestry we make." – Jerry Ellis

Archive for February, 2015

Forget the Skinny Jeans

I don’t think I’ll ever be a size 2. Let me re-phrase that…if I am a size 2, somebody should be shopping for my coffin, because I don’t have long for this world. This is due to several reasons—genetics (body type), age, eating habits and a lack of willpower.

That being said, I, like most people, want to stay in shape. I like when I put on my jeans and I don’t have to suck in my stomach to the point of not breathing to zip and button them. The practical part of me appreciates not having to buy new clothes because I’ve gone up a size (though I don’t mind if it’s DOWN a size!) And I’m not going to lie—I like when I look in the mirror and I’m not sporting a muffin top.

A few weeks ago I joined a gym near my house that my running partner belongs to. Since we’ve moved into the winter months, getting in our morning run has been more of a challenge. It’s not so bad as long as it’s over 25 degrees, but when it’s colder than that and the mileage is over five miles, it becomes more of a torture session. I’m not a huge fan of the treadmill, but they’ll do in a pinch, and the gym I joined has a big theater room that plays a movie. Last week we watched “Dodgeball” during our long run on the treadmill, which made the miles go by a little faster than when I only have music in my headphones to listen to.

I’ve also started going to their Body Pump class. The first day just about killed me, but I was able to scale back the weight enough to keep up through the class. Ibuprofen took care of the next few days. Word to the wise: do not try an ambition exercise routine and follow it with eight hours in the car. It’s a recipe for disaster. The next time I took the class, it was a teensy bit easier, in part because I knew what to expect. The next day I didn’t even need the ibuprofen.

When I signed up at the new gym, there was a special for personal training sessions, and since a friend I used to coach Girls on the Run with is a Personal Trainer there, I took them up on the offer. I have met with her to put together an action plan for my fitness goals. Even though I run quite a bit, my upper body and overall strength is pretty pathetic these days. But not for long.

This is where my perspective has changed over the last fifteen years. When I first started regularly working out post-third-child to get back into my regular, non-maternity clothes, my goal was to look good. Now, though I still want to look good, I am really after the boost in mood and energy to keep up with my life! Especially in the winter. And I’m really more excited about becoming strong more than skinny.

But you know what my favorite thing about the gym is? The social part. I never went to the gym I used to go to because I didn’t know anybody that went there at the times I could go. When I walk into this gym, I see other parents from my kids’ school and meet others in the classes that I didn’t know before. There’s a special bond created when you’ve seen each other with no make-up and hair styled in bedhead form. And having someone to chat (or groan) with makes it fun to show up at the gym for me.

So later today I’ll be meeting up with Missy again to see what’s next in my training and I know I’ll have to exercise more than just my jaws. (Too bad talking alone doesn’t strengthen the rest of me.) While I’ll still never be a size 2, I know at least I’ll be reaching for some pretty lofty goals. Bring on those tight-lidded pickle jars!

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