Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ugly Body

I've been a pretty bad blogger of late.  I apologize for that.  Going to try to do better.  We moved a few weeks ago and that has taken all of my energy.  I'm back to Zumba twice a week, but my bike schedule has not seemed to have recovered yet.  The weather is warm enough, but we're going through some very wet weekends.  Two weeks ago it snowed.  Last weekend I spend my time in the mountains instead.  This weekend - we are getting torrential rain and hail.  Not exactly good biking weather.  I have, however, been spending plenty of time outdoors, digging in the garden, trying to fix up the yard at our new house, that sort of thing.  So I am getting my exercise!

I ran across this article last week, and thought I would share it.  Go ahead, go on over and read it, then come back.  I'll wait.

Isn't she flat-out amazing?  I am not a fan of cross-fit, partially because I could never do it, but also because I've heard some crazy stories out there about how overboard people go with it.  People have been seriously hurt doing this particular type of exercise, and while I want to be in shape, I don't particularly want to lose the use of my arms or legs after a workout session.

And yes, I know, she had gastric bypass surgery and lost a ton of weight.  I'm not a fan of that either.  My husband had gastric bypass about 16 years ago, and while he lost weight, it hasn't been the most pleasant of trips for him.  He still has continued health problems, not to mention a ton of complications that most people don't think about when they get the surgery.

That being said, the part of this article that spoke to me was her attitude about her "ugly body."  Plenty of times I catch sight of my naked body in the mirror and roll my eyes.  Not only am I fat, but I'm at an age (over 50) where things that used to be firm are no longer firm. "Firm" being a relative term, of course, as I've always been large.  It's sag city and wiggly skin time for me these days.  Realistically, even without a ton of weight loss, my body looks an awful lot like hers.  I have a belly, but I have loose skin, and floppy flab, and almost all the things she shows in her pictures.

And like her, I have to be thankful.  My saggy body, my ugly body, WORKS.  It lets me do Zumba.  It lets me ride my bike all over creation if I want.  It lets me move furniture and carry boxes and chase kids and work in the garden.  It lets me walk across my work campus at a decent clip, it lets me climb stairs without getting out of breath, allows me to do a LOT of physical work without having to take too many breaks.  I don't know too many 300-pound women that can do a straight hour of Zumba, or a 12 mile bike ride with only a five-minute break to drink.  The fact is, my body WORKS.

My husband is thinner and younger than me but can't do what I do.  He moans and groans and limps around the house like an old man.  He had gastric bypass surgery, but doesn't work out.  His non-work hours are spent in a recliner in front of the television set. 

Why do I work out at all?  Because it makes me feel better.  Because it makes my body work.  Because it makes me healthy.  Losing weight would be awesome, but after 18 months of serious working out, I've only lost a handful of pounds.  What I've gained from working out isn't obvious by looking at me.  It becomes obvious when you see me digging up a new garden space, hauling 40 pound bags of potting soil around, riding my bike at 15 mph down the bike path, or sweating it out at Zumba, making my legs bend in ways they don't want to.  It shows when I get my yearly labs done at the doctor and my cholesterol and blood sugars are quite normal.  It shows when my blood pressure is no longer something to be treated with medications whose side effects are scary. 

I love my ugly body.  It is serving me quite well these days. :)

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