Tuesday, August 23, 2011
aging gracefully. at least trying too.
I write a lot about food on this blog. A lot. However, for me to bake and cook like I do there are a couple of components that I need to balance the whole enjoyment of food with. Exercise and moderation. Yesterday, I had to to to the optometrist, and besides being very near sided (which I have always been), I found out that I am beginning to lose my ability to read small print due to aging. Hee, hee... While the thought of reading glasses isn't something I had actually thought about - and do not need yet. My immediate thought was one of relief that it isn't my knees going bad and that I would have to stop running!
So in real life I teach Stott Pilates. I don't say that much because at this phase of life it is very part time. I take the summer's off and only teach a couple of classes during the school year. Before having multiple children my source of income was in health and fitness and so exercise has been a part of my life for a long time, just not always one of the most prominent parts. A couple of years ago, I hit my highest weight ever (not including pregnancies), and my left hip ached all the time. Part of me was fine because I had some great clothes that fit me and I had a skirt on my swim suit. Yes, I missed having as much variety in clothing, but minus the hip hurting, I wasn't really too interested in fitting in more exercise or watching my food intake. That was until I went to my continuing education for the year. I could barely keep up and the topic of estrogen and menopause was brought up.
In short, once estrogen leaves are body, whether after we survive menopause, or stop taking hormone replacements, our bodies will change, and can not get any better then they were before we started menopause. So, no matter what activity we are doing we will struggle more with those problem areas. The good news is that the better we have taken care of ourselves up to that point, the better we can "manage" those areas. Ladies, we need to take care of ourselves!
So needless to say I returned home from training with some goals in mind. Now, life at many seasons does not leave a lot of time for ourselves, so I started as manageable as possible. 20 minutes of walking a day, as many days of the week I could. Before my hip starting hurting and the big weight gain I was a runner. Not a fast one, but I still ran. I could not run due to my hip, so walking it was. And I did it. I stuck with it. After a while I added a few extra minutes here and there, along with a few more minutes of pilates and/or yoga to my daily routine. I throw in some portions of P90X routines in there - still having time constraints, but I went from 20 minutes a day, to 45-60 minutes a day. I also put the app "lose it" on my phone. I didn't change the foods I was eating, since I already make most things from scratch and try to avoid high fructose corn syrup, but I cut my portions. And all the cream and sugar from my coffee. ;) I slowly lost weight and my hip quit hurting.
By the end of 2010 I felt better then I had in years, and weighed less then I had in even more years. This year has, so far, been a year of maintenance. I have had less time to exercise, but have ran instead of walked, and still do pilates/yoga when I can or have had class. The eating part? Well that is still day to day as well.
Where am I going with all this? I guess I've been in this spot long enough that I felt it was a good time to write about another aspect of daily life - and well, after visiting the optometrist and being reminded that I am aging, this came to mind. Hence the photo of my running shoes with my socks, ready to go for another early morning!