Getting fit on the farm

Since late last year, I had a serious case of the ‘blahs’.  Didn’t want to cook, didn’t want to clean, didn’t want to even go outside. (Quelle horreur!)  Unfortunately, it didn’t just stop at the blahs; I could no longer fit into about 90 percent of my clothes.  I had put away my summer clothes thinking that by the following spring, I’d have lost a bit of weight.


It was a miracle I managed to wrestle my shorts on at all (without Vaseline), and buttoning them was out of the question unless a bungee cord and a ratchet strap was involved.  I was really starting to sympathize with Dolly Parton when all of my shirts starting looking like crop tops.  (FYI, why men love those things I’ll never know, and DO NOT want to know, but I firmly believe that men should have breast implants…performed on themselves.  Moving on…)

My dress that was so cute last year made me look like I was smuggling a 12 pack of hot dogs over my ribs, and possibly 2 small hams beside my thighs.  I refused to leave the house in jeans unless I had a rubber band through the buttonhole, and I became a serious fan of knits.  Sadly, I outgrew the knits, and I knew it was time to do something.

Let me say that I have never been an athletic person. Ever.  I was in seventh grade Athletics for some odd reason, and didn’t choose it again willingly until about eleventh grade when I got booted off of drill team (uh, as the manager; no workouts involved) for being a ‘bad influence’.  So at that point in my life, I DID start running a bit if only to be able to get back to the locker room as quickly as possible. Then there was the tiny stint I attempted in college when I signed up for a 7:15am jogging class.  Surely had to be under the influence of something.  That was short-lived as I flipped my car about 2 months into it and finished the class by writing research papers on various sports.  Annnnd, that is the full extent of my athletic life or lack thereof.

But Mother Nature can be a cruel thing, and I’m not in my twenties anymore.  I can’t survive on the weird, random, and completely over-processed diet that I was used to.  Plus, my metabolism seemed to be coming to a screeching halt.  The formula that I had lived with for so long wasn’t adding up for me.  So one night I was in the shower, of all odd places, and decided right then and there that I would sign up the following Monday for the gym (Beyond Fitness in Rusk) that my friend, Monica AKA She-Who-Walks-With-Many-Goats had been telling me about.  And then I did something that no sane woman would ever do.

I got a mirror, stood in front of my full-length mirror, and looked at my unclothed backside.

My hand flew to my mouth and I damn near broke my mirror.

I came running out of the bedroom and found Jason.

“I have GILLS!” I wailed.


“Gills!  Oh my GOD, why didn’t you tell me?”

“What in the hell are you talking about?” he said.

“Oh, those God-awful rolls on the backside of my ribs…I can probably frickin’ breathe underwater!” I said breathlessly. “That’s it, I’m joining the gym Monday.”

“Are you serious?” He gave it a bit more contemplation. “Well, why don’t you run up and down those hills beside the house?”

I narrowed my eyes.

“Because those damn hills have been there for the entire four years we’ve lived here, and I haven’t run up and down them yet, now have I?”

Being an intelligent man, and seeing as I was probably looking like a snake about to strike, he relented.

“Okay, okay.  Well, when do you start?”

“I’m going Monday at 5:30am.”

He laughs out loud.  Then he notices the Stare of Death and Destruction that I’m giving him.

“Okay, well we’ll see.”

Well, I am happy to tell you that I DID manage to get up at 4:45am, drive 15 minutes to the gym (albeit in a dream-like trance), and I did do an hour-long spin class.  Spin isn’t for sissies.  No sir, it is most decidedly NOT.  My only goal was to keep pedaling, and I did do that, but not much else.  When class was over, I nearly fell into the bike beside me and had to quite literally waddle out to my car like a drunk penguin.  Luckily, when I did fall, it was into my car seat.

I did not work out again for 8 days, and when I did, I went to a Zumba class.  Funny, and I thought I might be getting off a little easy since I do like to dance.  After an hour of pumping, wobbling, and hip-shaking I was coated in sweat and smelled like an old discarded sneaker.  But I had done it!

Then I joined the gym’s weight-loss competition.  By now, Jason thought I’d really lost it.  But my thought was, if you’re gonna do it, do it all the way.  Why not?  The only thing I had to lose was some weight, and hopefully my gills, too.

I am very proud and happy to say that with the instructors’ help, the infectious exuberance of the other members, the admiration of my husband (who also joined the gym), and my own stubborn self, I have lost about 6.5 pounds.  It doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but trust me, carry around a sack with 6.5 pounds in it all day and see if you don’t get a little tired yourself.  My #1 goal was to break 130#, my #2 goal is to get to 124.5 pounds (my constant ‘old’ adult weight), and my #3 goal is to go beyond that.  And #4 is to actually add some muscle back to my frame.

I haven’t even begin to mention my energy level.  After the very first workout, I was high for a week.  Really.  Just so happy I did it.  Each successive workout gives me a very needed boost to keep me ‘up’ for days.  I do that and try to get some sun everyday to alleviate the ‘blahs’, and it DOES work.  I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t have done it and felt the difference.  Sure, I still have my hormonally-challenged ‘yucky’ days; I can’t change everything.  However, the good days now outnumber the ‘blah’ days.  Now I feel like I am giving my family the best of ‘me’, or at least trying to.

Oh, and no more breathing underwater for me…the gills are gone!

One thought on “Getting fit on the farm

  1. My mom sympathizes with you. She didn’t notice the peri-menopause thing (SHE wasn’t going to do menopause, because she didn’t have time for it- her friends all laughed and said “Good luck”. But she was right, she didn’t have to do it- I guess she was serious about not having time for it!), until she gained a lot of pounds in a little bit of time. But, like you, her gills had to go. She dislikes water anyway.

    She started KettleWorks at home, rides her bicycle on a trainer and outside, and started eating better. I’m proud to announce for her that she is 28 pounds lighter, no gills, and feels pretty dog-gone good. I helped out too, because Atti, Pearle and I beg for walks several times a day. OK, Pearle has to be begged to GO, but she has lost 3.5lbs on her green bean diet and walk regimen. (For a Griff that weighed 17.2 pounds, even being a pug-like Griff is no excuse!)

    Hmmm… Spring, shorts, sleeveless shirts- apparently this adds up to motivation for all the ladies in our lives, huh? Whatever the motivation- being healthy again is good news!

    Congrats on the new you (or is it the old you…).

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