after burner

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grown-and-flown/why-i-regret-being-a-stay-at-home-mom_b_3402691.html

The above was an interesting take on the work vs. home debate.  Food for thought… (cut and paste in browser)

And speaking of food…

I guess there is some validity to being grumpy and eating less.  Aging.  Metabolism.  This I did know, I just try to look the other way and think that I can defy the odds because, really, I’m not aging.  But pictures don’t lie.  Maybe I should re-think my stop-and-smell-the-roses mentality and pick up the pace and, flat-out, burn some serious calories…cuz that’s just how life rolls, baby.

When people say that life gets in the way, what exactly is it supposed to be doing?

And so it goes.  I was reading an interesting article about how those in my same decade of  life have varied, complicated lives (as opposed to the younger years when it wasn’t so complicated?) and this de-rails us from taking care of ourselves; specifically our physical health.   We are in the sandwich years when you are close to taking care of an aging parent, as well as your own kids.  Who takes care of the caretakers?  When all of our energy is spent taking care of others, it’s no wonder that we don’t nod off, fork-in-hand, at bedtime.  Some of us rely, heavily,  on caffeine or other medicated items to get through a day (albeit painkillers to dull the pain, alcohol to relax the mind or miscellaneous for both reasons).   We definitely don’t think of eating less; food is comforting.  I wish I was one of those people where exercise eases the stress but, like most, exercise creates more work and who needs more of that?

Apparently, I need more exercise- work.  It used to be that I could only get through a day with 2-3 hours of exercise; but I had no life.  My boyfriend (now my husband) lived 2000 miles away and after my 9-5 job (if I wasn’t working over-time) I would sit at home doing nothing.  My bodily-kinesthetic personality relied on movement to keep my brain occupied and thus, I loved being in a gym to people-watch and sweat.  That was my social life.

The Huffington Post article eludes to how we, women, get lost in the bustle of raising kids.   I used my driver’s license more than I utilized my degrees (by choice, mind you).   Volunteering made my days have purpose but now, at the boys’ ages, it is called helicoptering.   My social network narrowed to those similar to myself: suburbia moms shuttling kids to and fro, bunco, book club.  I am lucky that my community is diverse but my access to new people outside of my circle are few-and-far between.  I miss that. 

But what struck me the most was that I lowered my sights; my expectations of myself.  The most visual way I am reminded of this  is when I look in the mirror; which I try to avoid at all costs.   I refuse to go clothes shopping.  Half of my closet is filled with business attire which is now relegated to church clothes; the other half are sweats.  I have decided to keep the hoochie dresses and shoes off limits for occasions that warrant them whch are very few.  I am no longer twenty and can’t get away with wearing that stuff without: 1) looking like a wanna be teenager or 2) having a poor sense of body perception.

Admittedly, I do have a poor sense of body perception, but doesn’t everyone?    I know I will never be happy with some parts of my body and I remind myself to be grateful that it is alive and healthy.  I take it for granted.  It allows me to do so many great things outdoors (hike, swim, walk) and I should give it some love.  But in giving it some love, it should get some maintenance.  My SUV gets more maintenance than the hubs or I’s bodies do.

I wish, like an automobile, that there was a gauge or noise  that could forewarn me when: the oil is low (metabolism), the spark plugs need a tune-up (brain boosters) or the body needs detailing (that’s obvious).  I want to buff and tone my physique and make it shiny and new.  But that’s too easy.   I should not capitulate to life getting in the way and be more proactive and do something about it.

Part of lowering my sights entails getting too comfortable and not wanting change.  When you plateau at a certain weight, the only way to push through it is to change your routine and push in a different direction.  Not only do you avoid burn-out, but you expand your horizons and realize your body is capable of doing so much more that you ever would have thought.  But most people don’t think that way, and hire expensive professional trainers, to do that pushing for them.

But I don’t want to go that route.  I wanna learn how to push myself.  On my own terms.  I am transitioning.  Feel the burn.

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