My weight has inched up by almost 20 pounds since I first became pregnant with C. in 2006. Having a baby by c-section at age 39 really did a number on my body. Plus, there is no denying that I am getting to the age where I have to make some decisions about what’s going to happen to my health and my body over the next few decades. I can no longer skate by on generally good genes and the random, blessed luck of good health. Changes are coming to my body as I hit middle age. I can feel them, and at this stage of my life, I’ve watched enough friends and family members precede me into the second half of life that I know I what choices I face. My intent is to choose a healthy heart and strong bones. And frankly, I want to be free of these 20 extra pounds around my middle. I like cute clothes, and very few of mine fit at the moment.
I have been using the excuse that we might have another baby to put off deciding how I will proceed with getting into shape. But now I know that we may not, and even if I do go through another pregnancy, I have to start making a commitment to regular exercise. I can’t keep delaying. It’s just plain stupid and irresponsible of me. Plus, have I mentioned that my husband is 12 years younger than I am? Yeah. There’s that.
I could join a gym or yoga studio, but I hate to spend the money when I am not sure I would ever go. We already bought an elliptical machine that I hate using – I hardly ever set foot on the thing. My favorite thing to do – riding horses – simply isn’t a practical regular activity for me at this juncture. The result of all this excuse-making? I continue to do nothing.
So I am thinking about trying running. It’s simple. It’s free (except for shoes), and it obviously offers great, rapid results. I even have a greenway that snakes through my neighborhood. Perfect for running. I have tried running a few times in the past – mostly when I was in my twenties – and I almost immediately suffered from terrible shin splints every time I gave it a go. I am nervous about that.
My grandmother took up running at about age 60 after a lifetime of being completely non-athletic. She quickly dropped at least 35 pounds she had been carrying around for decades, and re-revealed the tiny, lithe body she had had as a very young woman, before becoming a mother. Surprising everyone who knew her, she became a real runner – entering and winning races, and continuing to jog around town into her late 70s. After that, she kept walking until her body gave completely out.
So yeah, I am thinking about giving running another go. Because really, I do have to start doing something.