I know what you’re thinking: the title should read November 8th: The Day of Truth: US Election Day. But this isn’t really about November 8th or Election Day in the US (my brother’s birthday, by the way. Happy Birthday, Geoff). And I’m 100% certain November 8 won’t be a Day of Truth no matter what point on the political spectrum you are. It’s about my annual check-up. Yes, it’s “that time of the year.” I’ll keep the title, then as November 7th: The Day of Truth. (I also added that to keep Brother Google happy about my search engine optimisation).
November 7th: The Day of Truth
Those remembering my last year’s check-up (which should be no one), I complained to my doctor (ok, maybe you did hear about this) that I was not really losing anything
but collagen, despite being on Weight Watchers and “hitting the gym” and what could he check blood-wise to give me the downlow why I was suddenly a card-carrying member of the Junior Behemoth Society.
Dr Steve laid upon me “the look” which every menopausal woman dreads. If you’re menopausal, you know it. If not, you’ll find out. If you’re neither menopausal nor a woman, well, there is no helping you. I cannot explain “the look.” But if you’ve ever laid “the look” on your loving wife, girlfriend, spousal-equivalent, you are most likely dead or wish you were.
He nonetheless signed me up for a flurry of tests, all of which told me Rambo-Diddly-Squat. Let’s face it, I’m a 50 year-old menopausal woman.
Oh the humanity!
I had to accept the fact that I was fifty. (Actually, at the time I was forty-nine but I’ve moved on and frankly, I was in my fiftieth year). My body has changed. And I don’t belong to the school of Just Accept Your Body. Why? Because I’m a hateful misogynist self-loathing bitch? No. While I am a hateful bitch, it’s not for that reason.
Being a hateful misogynist self-loathing bitch is just something I picked up when I was in my teens and I only do it socially. I never inhale.
Well you may ask: Why not just accept the extra 30 pounds? Because heart attack and stroke will kill more women than most any other cause of death (and the bummer of it all is they don’t have any cute little pink sockies or ribbons for you to buy). Schlepping an extra 20, then 30, then 40 pounds (it grows and grows) PLUS not really working too hard at the gym is, frankly, going to take me down. Saying “but I walk a lot and walking is the best thing for you” is horse poo, unless you’re power-walking. Ambling along after the dog is pretty much a zero on the cardio chart. So while I THINK I upped my game, I realised I really had to UP it.
Freals, as the young say.
So for the last year, I’ve been eating hippie crap like this for breakfast:
Note my fetching Hello Kitty pencils and bucket, from my hubs. And yes, tucked within that mess o’ HOMEMADE Greek yogurt, Bran Buds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and walnuts, are chocolate chips. Mea culpa.
But hey, it’s better than what I used to do which is starve myself with 120 calories of oatbran (I love oatbran) and that’s it for breakfast, then I’d be ravenous for lunch or after a workout. Yeah, this is more calorie and fat-rich, but it gets me to 13:00 even if I hit the gym for two hours. I’ve been trying to stick to Weight Watchers Simply Filling for the rest.
It’s still hard
(because I cheat like a dog), though. The needle’s barely moved but I can now, one year later, honestly say the stagnancy is likely some muscle mass. I’m lifting three times what I lifted last year. I have well and truly upped my game.
- I’m FINALLY out of plus size for the first time in 6 years.
- I can run (ish) 5k without puking. The osteo in my feet doesn’t always enjoy it though. So despite the tut-tutting of that dude (Paul Plakas) from X-Weighted, I’m now one-ish with the elliptical.
- I can do real push-ups ….on toes….when the pain’s not too bad.
So there’s progress. But what will my doctor see? Will Dr Steve see all this or will he note the digits and wag a finger at me?
This is why I’m writing the blog today. If I get any grief, I’ll send him here.
Things I’ve Learned this Year
- I can always push a bit harder than I think I can. We’re not talking foolhardy here, just a wee bit more.
- I eat more than I think I eat. Thank you MyFitnessPal (aka MyFatArsePal) for helping me on this on.
- I needed to juggle my food groups around a bit, get the percentages better.
- Carbs are good. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. They are essential.
- Zumba is bonus-delightful if you find another uncoordinated person with whom to share the joy. Her name is Irene and you can’t have her, she’s mine.
- Zumba’s not a workout; it’s just a warm-up.
- Basing fitness on steps is bogus. Suck it, pedometer. Suck it long. Suck it hard.
- Go to a gym that really suits your needs and try everything at least twice. If you’re a person who gets a great workout at home, hat’s off to you. I’m never that person.
This is my list. Not yours. Your list will be different.
I’ve learned much about myself this year. Mostly: I’ve learned how I’ve given myself too many pats on the back. This is the adult version of what we do with kids today: a certificate for “graduating” from junior kindergarten or a parade for clearing the table and a special dance for using the toilet.
My real reward, I hope and pray, is not dropping dead at 55.