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.