“The body you have in your 20s is the body you were born with. The body you have in your 40s is the body you deserve.”
I read this somewhere a while back, and thought that, hey, that’s an interesting thought. But it wasn’t until a few months ago, while trying to lose weight for our wedding, that it really struck such deep fear into my heart. It was then that i realized that the old tricks didn’t work. Slimming down used to be INSTANT for me! But the old ways didn’t make me feel lighter or my jeans any looser. In fact, i gained even more weight!
I was turning 28, just 28, and already my body was changing into something i couldn’t understand. I would work out steadily and eat well for a couple of months, and i’d see a teeeeeeeny tiiiiiiny little bit of improvement. But then i fail for a weekend, and BOOM DAT ASS. Seriously. My body was just not cooperating. It was frustrating, and since i wanted only positive vibes for the wedding, i decided to stop trying.
But ever since i got back to my regular pole dancing life, i knew deep down in my heart that i had to do something. I had to recalibrate my expectations and get to know my body all over again.
I’m sure somewhere in there are my muscles. They are just really good at hiding.
Now, I am not the kind of person who can stick to a certain diet super strictly. I love food too much. I enjoy flavors and textures and scents much too much to just give up things. So i decided to adapt a little bit of my husband’s diet, wherein he replaces certain foods instead of giving them up.
Say, if i want peanut butter, i’ll have one that’s all-natural and has no sugar. It tastes like crap, so i drizzle a tiny bit of raw honey to taste, and i’m happy. We try our best not to have rice, but if we really have to, we stick to brown rice and limit the serving. But when possible, i have vegetables with my meats instead.
I’ve also learned to love milk chocolate. Sometimes, i have to teach class during dinner time, so instead of stuffing my face with sugary sweets for energy, i gulp down a little bottle of chocolate milk. It has just the right amount of protein and carbs to keep me going until after our company class. I burn everything since the Polecats can get pretty intense anyway.
When i get late night munchies, i’ll grab a small handful of almonds or some fruit instead of my usual microwaved corned beef. Sigh. I love you microwaved corned beef over white rice. But alas, you must go.
Cardio has also been a big struggle for me. I tried running, i hated it. I tried doing laps in our pool, i hated it. But then i found Les Mills Body Jam and Zumba (thank you, 360 Fitness Club!) and it was awkward fumbling at first sight. BUT! I enjoy it highly and i get a little better at it with each class, so i believe i’ve found my match.
Basically what i’m trying to say is this — don’t wait until it’s too late in the ball game for you to change your strategy. Or whatever sports metaphor fits here. I’ve decided that i’m going to make it easier for 40 year old me, and start my journey to fitness and health much earlier. It’s not going to be easy, and God knows how many times i’ve found myself starting over. But hey, maybe the 50th time’s a charm!
Here’s a tip, something i have to remind myself of — don’t be afraid to fail. It’s okay. Don’t let it be a reason for you to stop trying, or to keep you from finding ways to really ENJOY fitness. Find something that suits your lifestyle, your body, your priorities. And don’t ever, ever compare yourself to someone else! Bodies are different, and yours is unique. Embrace it 🙂
However, you CAN have inspirations. And that’s what i’m going to leave you with:
Margaret is 37 years old and has an 18 year old son. She is one of the best examples of having a body that is well deserved. And one day, even if i don’t end up with abs to envy like hers, i want to at least be able to proudly say, “hey, i worked for this. I totally deserve it.”