About six years ago I learned the most dreaded word ever uttered to skinny girls past their thirties – METABOLISM. Obviously I knew what the word meant but when you only weigh 110 pounds for the first half of your adult life, it’s just a word. A vague notion that some poor unfortunate people watch helplessly as their metabolism slows down. It happens to THEM and makes it impossible for THEM to burn calories like THEY once did. Back then, I thought rather callously, that was THEIR problem. After all I was knocking on my mid-thirties, had already had a baby and was still blessed with the same svelte figure, flat belly, and guilt free addiction to McDonald’s filet-o-fish sandwiches (with large fries and orange drink on the side…mmmm). I thought I had crossed over; I would never be one of THOSE poor unfortunate people.
Round about the age of 36, it occurred to me that some sort of change was taking place when it came to my weight. I had never gotten on a scale at home and I had never taken note of the weight/height stats from my yearly exams. After all why would I, I wasn’t one of THOSE people that had to be concerned about weight. I began noticing that my clothes weren’t quite fitting the way they should, so, I did what any normal woman would do…bought new clothes. About 6 – 7 months later, a crazy thing happened, those clothes started to have the same problem. That led me to take more drastic measures. I invested in a new washer and dryer as they were obviously the culprit and were shrinking my second set of new clothes. Sometime after the delivery of my spanking new, front loading, matching silver washer/dryer set, I began to do my laundry and the darndest thing happened to my clothes. They did the same thing as the first set despite the new washing machine. As novel as a concept as this was, I had to consider that perhaps the problem lay elsewhere. Maybe the issue was not “shrinkage” with my machines, but “biggage” with my body! Apparently, my body, without my approval had decided I was one of THEM. I was on a crash course with Metabolism and no amount of Maytag repair men visits would stop it from happening.
I was forced to go to a terrible place where others in similar situations went – –
I won’t bore you with my experiences at Planet Fitness on the dastardly devil called the elliptical machine or the absolutely hysterical characters I have seen at the gym doing things that no sane person should ever do in public. Instead, I will skip to what I have learned in my time spent thus far exercising…
I learned that I hate the gym. Seriously I hate it.
I learned that I hate working out 6 days a week for 30 – 45 minutes a day and only maintaining my current weight, not dropping it by any recognizable number.
And, I hate the fact that I am already struggling with my next M word, MOTIVATION.
Some people may be motivated by getting into a new pants size, attracting the attention of a new amour, or changing the frowning facial expression of their doctor at their next physical. For me, all those things have at one point or another motivated me to go to the gym, but none of them have been able to keep me coming back or to consistently give my full effort.
Yes, I feel as awful as I look here – did I mention I HATE THE GYM!
Around 7am each morning, I head out to my neighborhood fitness center. I angrily pull into the semi deserted parking lot, slam the car door in disgust and with feet dragging, I skulk to the entrance. All the while I am devising dozens of reasons to turn around. What if this blister starting to form on my in sole bursts and gets infected, I could die for heaven’s sake. What if those annoyingly perky and non-stop conversation carrying middle age housewives get on the treadmill right beside me, again? Or my favorite, what if instead of this torture, I should just give up drinking wine to lose weight. (hahahhaha). I was starting to get the itch to quit when I realized I needed to find something to motivate me to keep going. I also realized that there was a correlation between managing my lack of motivation to deal with my metabolic crisis and my new-found desire to go back to college and (wait for it…) get to my next M word – MATRICULATE. I have been an undergrad for less than a month and I am already starting to think about how long it’s going to take to finish and how expensive it’s going to be. It seemed that my motivation was already waning for school much like my work-out routine.
35 minutes into level one of the elliptical’s cardio program, sweat was pouring down my face and a killer side cramp started to kick in, when it came to me that my last M word, had to be MUSIC. The best workouts I have ever had have been when all the songs have been just the right mix of ones I love and beats that kept me moving. Conversely, my most disappointing work outs have been when the battery ran out, or I forgot my headphones, or bored with my music. Ultimately the good songs were keeping my mind engaged with what my body needed to do. Yes, music would be my key to staying on track at the gym. I would make sure I kept new and current tunes on rotation by finally giving into this whole i-tunes thing (PS, I miss a good ole fashion walkman and a homemade cassette tape).
Taking this music thing, a step further, I began envisioning a school soundtrack. Something I would listen to on the drive to class that would get me hyped up even in the bitter cold winter days and during final exam season and when my bank account is suffering from the long-term effects of ever rising tuition costs. A mix tape (yes, I’m dating myself) is good, but is it good enough? What I really need to channel my inner superhero is to come up with my own theme song. One I will play as I stride across campus, head bobbing and smiling knowing it’s my personal beacon keeping me from getting lost in thoughts of what I can’t do. Perhaps the Wonder Woman song from the 1970’s television show would work? I don’t know if it has the right “umpf” to keep me properly motivated, so I’m turning to whoever is out there reading this. Please help me in my search for a proper theme song. It needs to be high energy and something you would hear if you were chasingwonderwoman.