Sweating with the Oldies

jeans_don't_fitMy birthday was last week. I’m forty-five years old, which doesn’t seem at all possible, but alas, the numbers don’t lie. Nor do I, actually. I’d so much rather someone know how old I am and say, “Wow, you look great for such an old broad” than lie about my age and have people think, “Damn…she looks rough for twenty-eight!” As much as I’d like to deny that I’m officially middle-aged, anyone who can multiply by two is aware of the undeniable truth. It’s unlikely, but if I do live past ninety, I probably won’t even realize that I’ve scored some bonus time.

This birthday also makes me just one year away from forty-six, the age my mom was when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. Again, I’m not going to lie…that scares the shit out of me. Not to worry, I’m extremely conscientious about keeping up with my yearly doctors’ exams. I’ve been getting mammograms since I was twenty-six which means I’ve had my tit in a wringer nineteen times already. Squish! The good news is that, after having two kids and breastfeeding for a total of two years, my breasts are no longer very dense and hard to read on mammograms. See? Even droopy boobs can be a blessing in disguise. (I’ve been uncharacteristically optimistic lately. It’s kind of freaking me out.)

Instead of sitting around living in fear, though, I am dedicating the next year to eating right and getting back into tip-top shape. So, to kick off the year, Ad Man and I are just starting a cleanse. We actually had great results with the same cleanse about two years ago. It’s pretty hardcore. By the end of the six week program, we will have eliminated sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, gluten and most dairy from our diet. At the same time, we will add green smoothies for breakfast (a habit we had for about a year and a half before slacking off), meditation, nightly stretches, more sleep and, for me, more weight training and yoga. I tried to get Ad Man to do yoga with me once, but it wasn’t pretty. He prefers to run, go cycling or do kettlebell and I prefer him to do anything it takes to keep him sane.

I don’t want you to think that I’m going all preachy-preachy Gwyneth Paltrow on you. That’s not at all my intention. I’m just going to need all the support I can get, especially as I wean myself off my beloved sugar and caffeine and I know you, my dear readers, will keep me honest. In exchange, I’ll keep you posted on my progress. (I promise, there will be no horrifying “before” pictures of me in a workout bra and bike shorts.) If you want to join me, however, I’d greatly welcome the company! The cleanse we’re following is from the book Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again by Frank Lipman, M.D., which is a really informative read even if you’re not doing the cleanse.

So, let me know if you want to jump on the Operation Hot Bod bandwagon with me. I assure you, there will be no weigh-ins or public shaming. I actually haven’t stepped on a scale in years. I’d rather judge my progress by how my clothes feel and how my arms are looking in a sleeveless top. My goal is to deflate the old muffin top a bit and I swear, I will do my damnedest to hold off floppy “bingo arms” for as long as humanly possible. Living in Atlanta is actually good motivation for getting fit since, when it’s 90 degrees out with 90% humidity, I prefer to wear as little clothing as I can without scaring the neighbors. So, really, I’m doing this for them. You’re welcome, neighbors.

8 thoughts on “Sweating with the Oldies

  1. Gosh that sounds hardcore – I’ve piled the pounds on recently and have just started my bikini body plan – hence the belly button piercing – my goal is to be able to see it by summer:) Can’t quit the alcohol but may try vodka and lemon juice instead of wine – that stuff is just deadly with calories!

    • Alcohol and sugar are definitely the hardest things to quit! Also, I can’t completely quit caffeine, but I will wean down to just green tea. Let’s keep each other posted. We’re in this together, sister. Although, I think my bikini days are long past! I’ll check out Gwynnie’s book. I just love to hate her.

  2. I have close to zero use for Gwyneth Paltrow (the lifestyle brand — have no opinion on Gwyneth Paltrow, the human being, about whom I know nothing) but I am super down to get more fit. I seem to be developing high blood pressure. 42, overweight post-pregnancy, totally sedentary work — can’t imagine why I might have old people problems. But there are weddings coming up this year, I have a super cute dress, and I would like to be able to wear it without worrying a seam will split.

    Oh, and if it makes you feel any better, unless you count middle age as a single year in the center of your life, middle age is actually the whole middle third. Assuming you live to be 90, that means 30 year olds are middle aged too.

    • I love your math, Sarvi! Sucks for the poor 30 year olds, but anything that lumps me in with them is fine by me. 😉 Let’s check in every so often and keep each other on the ball with exercise and healthy eating. Sound good?

      • Sounds excellent, I really need some core work to keep my spine from collapsing while editing. So many hours slumping in a chair.

  3. As a neighbor I assure I’m not scared! We love you J, no matter the size (and I’ll bet there are maybe 5% of people our age who can still fit into the jeans we wore in our 20s – not a fair metric!).

  4. Aww, you’re too sweet, Bryce! Don’t worry…I’m not going for skinny, just healthy and fit. I want to look good for a 45 year old, not kill myself trying to look like a 25 year old.

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