Aging ain't for sissies. Neither is chronic pain.

Posts tagged ‘exercise’

Weight a Minute

As a woman of a certain age I struggle with my weight. In the interest of full disclosure I don’t go overboard trying to control it but I’m not a total slacker either. In my attempt to juggle middle age and fibromyalgia I now juggle a third ball and that is weight management or better yet, mismanagement.

In my quest to control my weight without actually having to make an effort I stumbled upon the perfect routine. It’s called “I Forgot What I came In Here for” and it’s the best exercise you will ever get.  All you need to get started are middle age brain cells.  (In my case I have the proper aging cells in addition to fibro fog, a byproduct of fibromyalgia.  It offers a wide array of cognitive difficulties such as short term memory loss, difficulty carrying on conversations, attention problems, misplacing objects (and people and dogs if one is not careful), mental confusion and more.)

The exercise routine works like this: let’s say you’re in the kitchen and realize you need a paper clip from the office which is at the other end of the house. (Why you need a paper clip in the kitchen is beyond me but who am I to judge?)  So off you go and as you enter the office you suddenly realize you can’t remember why you are there in the first place and that your need for something from that room has been replaced with a sizable but empty thought bubble.  Sighing loudly, you go back to the kitchen but upon your return you remember what it was you forgot (aha!) so you head back to the office only to arrive utterly clueless as to why you are there instead of in the kitchen where the spaghetti sauce is boiling over.

Lather, rinse, repeat.  Several times every_single_day.

If you really want to get your heart rate up and burn some carbs try this same exercise when you are upstairs but what you need is actually in the basement.  Thirteen steps and a landing later you cannot remember why you are in the basement.  Try as you might, the something you needed from this little corner of your world is not coming to mind.  Back up you go!  And then back down again because finally you remember what you went down there for in the first place.

In my attempt to not be an over achiever I’ve learned to use the reminder method to prevent too many extra trips in one day.  I repeat out loud exactly what I’m going into the other room for until I get there.  “Paper clip, paper clip, paper clip.”  As long as I go straight to the paper clips I’m fine.  If I deviate one iota of a second from my goal to retrieve what I came in there for I have to turn around, go back where I started and do another set of reps.  It’s all in the planning people.

So if you’re like me and need to let go of a few pounds this summer don’t use your body, use your middle age brain.  It will let you down every time.



Spring has exploded onto the scene and so have my thighs.  What the hell?  When did this happen and where was I during the process?  I could blame the long, cold, depressing winter for my idleness.  I could say I didn’t realize that Little Debbie snack cakes contain 1,376,975,243 calories (but I couldn’t say it with a straight face.)  I could hold the pan of fried eggs responsible for my newly acquired bubble butt.  I could but I won’t.

Winter was harsh in more ways than one.  I got lazy and my body has paid the price.  I used the excuse that due to the snow I couldn’t get out as much as I usually do, therefore I couldn’t get as much exercise.  I didn’t say it was a good excuse but it was the best I could come up with.

I got on the scale the other day and after I recovered from my coronary I insisted that Fred bring out my stationary bike.  The poor thing (the bike, not Fred) has been so neglected.  It was almost unrecognizable what with the quarter-inch blanket of dust covering it.  A little TLC and it was good as new.

After breakfast, a snack and brunch I decided it was time to get to work.  Recognizing that I get bored easily, I had to find a way to utilize the bike without losing interest so I employed my iPod Touch that holds so many of my favorite songs.  I quickly learned there are some songs that are not conducive to a good workout.  Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel does not have the same affect on me when on my bike as does The Eagles, Bon Jovi or Guns ‘n Roses (the weirdness that is Axl Rose notwithstanding.)

So I start out on my bike and think, “This isn’t so bad.”  Listening to my tunes I imagine biking my way to a firmer, slimmer me.  Then the inevitable happens…I feel a burn.  In my thighs.  The same thighs that suffer the repercussions of all the ice cream I ate over the winter.  The burn grew in intensity.  Son of a bi…!  I barely made it through the incredible guitar riffs in Hotel California when my thighs tapped into their inner Jestons cartoon and screamed, “Jane, get me off this crazy thing!”  I was determined not to quit but I pushed too hard, too fast, too stupid.  Not even Hootie & the Blowfish could kill the pain.

It didn’t take me long to learn my lesson about starting out slow.  I’ve stuck to my guns so far and am improving every day.  I may never again be as slim and trim as I was in my 20s but I’ve got a goal and that keeps me going.  In the meantime burn baby burn (Disco Inferno!), burn baby burn.

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