Despite all ancestral evidence to the contrary, I always pictured myself in middle age as one of those women from the vitamin commercials: lean, with beautiful salt-and-pepper hair, digging in the garden and running a nice 5K from time to time.
I have the digging in the garden and 5K running walking part going on, but I've turned out to be too chicken to let my hair go grey and over the past few years my weight has gone from "it would be nice to lose 10 or 15 pounds" to "holy crap, when did I get so fat?!?"
Add to that the list of physical maladies that seems to increase with every passing year and it's become clear that I need to make some pretty substantial lifestyle changes if I hope to still be 5King and gardening by the time I'm old and stubborn enough to own the grey hair.
On the recommendation of my doctor, I'm cleaning up my diet A LOT. This past weekend I allowed myself two final days of at least partial indulgence, but starting today I'm getting serious. I'm not going to go into the boring details of what I'll be eating, but I am certain it is going to seem NO FUN AT ALL, especially to my husband. However, I need to do this for myself.
I've noticed that even a little bit of exercise feeds into more exercise (kind of the same way that laziness seems to breed more laziness). Yesterday I took the dog on a 3.4 mile walk in the morning and not only did it energize him all day, I noticed that even this morning I was still feeling motivated. I got up much earlier than I have been lately, got a good amount of housework done, showered, and still made it into work at a decent hour.
Once the weather settles down, I'm going to start doing the walks every other day at first and then work up to daily again. Last year I ended up having some foot problems and I'm hoping that a slower build might head them off this year.
That said, I'm signed up for a 4-mile walk this Sunday followed almost immediately by a 1-mile walk. Those are fundraising links, by the way. The first walk supports the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) and the second is for March of Dimes. I welcome donations to either!
My husband and I talk a lot about getting older, particularly because he is ten years older than I am. Our main conclusion has been that it's important to take advantage of each day. That's why I'm starting this now and I hope it makes a noticeable difference to the way I feel and the amount of energy I have. If it makes me look better, that'll be nice as well.
Photo credit: K. Kendall