Start it NOW!

Do it NOW!

If you don’t do it now, this time next week you will be sad that you didn’t START doing it NOW because by next week you would have had an entire week of doing IT and you would be a CHAMPION instead of being a Not Doing It Now Regrettor of Many Things.

Are there things you already regret not starting? Things you could be finished by now, or things that might have reinvented your body, your life, your happiness?

I realized today, splitting wood, that if you don’t start it now, it just isn’t going to get done! Wood splitting is hard (except that I use an electric splitter, but the stacking is hard, and like, splinters) and tedious and takes forever, but you just put one log before the other and before you know it… done. If I start NOW, it will be done by winter. What a great idea!

I started my fitness journey in January. It’s been four months, and today I worked out OUTSIDE. It was glorious! In January, not only was it impossible to workout outside, I also wasn’t able to make it all the way through some of my workout videos. Today? I made a video. Of me. Working out.

That would have been an impossibility four months ago. NO ONE was allowed to see me working out four months ago! (Really, no one should STILL see me, but I’m throwing caution the wind, with jazzy music, and moving with incredibly superhuman speed so there is no stopping me!) I’m so glad I started, instead of waiting to be brave enough, or free enough, or ready enough… I have four months under my belt instead of wishing I had started four months ago!

What is your “it” that you want to start?

Whatever it is… start now! Fitness, a new hobby, a new skill… whatever your THING is that you are pondering… what are you waiting for?

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The price of a six pack

“Do Beachbody programs cost money? Yes. In four months I have lost 20lbs and 14 inches, without missing meals, or starving or eating weird supplements. Portion control, 30-minute workout videos, a protein shake… priceless!”

Having raised four children since I was nineteen… I grew up Frugal. Thrifty. An Economizer. All euphemisms for CHEAP. I am also, being a child of the era when all our needs weren’t met with a click or a swipe, very self-reliant. If I can’t do it by myself, well then, something’s wrong, right?

I can lose weight all by myself, thank you very much.

Paying for a fitness program? I don’t think so.

That is something I do not do. I do not pay for things that I can do myself… I don’t have a housekeeper, I don’t take my car to be detailed, I don’t buy frozen entrees.

But…

Crossing the threshold of fifty has turned my body into a bizarre foreign entity over which I seem to have no control. The skin on my neck is doing this weird crepe-paper thing that makes me look like I have turkey wattles. My uterus, who has never really been my friend, regularly puts on spikey crampons (is it a coincidence that it rhymes with tampons? I think not.) like mountain climbers wear to climb Everest, as she tap dances on my pelvis.  My intestines rebel against the most benign intrusions… acid reflux, from water? Seriously?

The wattles… the traitor uterus… the burning guts after one bite of toast… the weight gain that I just can’t seem to control…desperate times call for desperate measures!  And again, I refuse to become a slave to menopause! I refuse to become a stranger in my own body! But I discovered I needed help to reinvent my body and myself.

Do you know what my first Beachbody program cost me (21 Day Fix)? Less than $10 a day. After the initial enrollment (where you get the videos and the portion containers and the Shakeo cup), the second and third months cost me about $4 a day.

Do Beachbody programs cost money? Yes. In four months I have lost 20lbs and 14 inches, without missing meals, or starving or eating weird supplements. Portion control, 30 minute workout videos, a protein shake… priceless!

My Money Stats

  • Before I started the 21 Fix program, I wasn’t meal planning and I was spending about $5 a day at the cafeteria to buy my lunch, which usually ended up being something made with mayonnaise or chocolate chips. Muffins. Pizza. High carb ugliness that hurt my belly (I’m a teacher, and believe me, you do NOT poop at school!) and didn’t give me the stamina I was craving.
  • Before I started the 21 Fix program, I was buying a bottle of wine pretty much every day. Between myself and my Love, that’s two glasses with supper, which isn’t terrible, especially when you read those devious health reports telling you a glass of red wine every day is good for you. But, a bottle of wine a day is about $12, (unless you get excited about the new Apothic brand and then it creeps up to $20 a day), but being Frugal, I tend to buy my wine by the box which brings the price down to about $4 a glass… so I was spending roughly $8 a day on wine. Wine, which makes me sleepy, and can give me a headache, and does nothing to improve my energy levels although I am quite cheerful under the influence…
  • Before I started the 21 Day Fix program I was buying a coffee on my way to work every morning. $2 a day, $10 a week. Wait…I still buy a coffee. It’s coffee, people! I’m just a woman, I’m not a Superhero! So… lets just ignore the coffee bit, ok?

So… before Beachbody, I was spending roughly $25 a week on lunches and $56 a week on wine for a total of $324 a month on things that made me lethargic, unhealthy and depressed because I was lethargic and unhealthy. During my four months using the Beachbody program I have spent approximately $166 a month on things that have energized me, transformed my outlook and motivated me physically and emotionally.

No brainer.

When I consider how much money I have spent over the years on my kids’ extras… hockey, tennis, swimming, horses, travel, summer camps… and I never blinked at those bills. The kids enjoyed those things, and it made them happy, productive, well-rounded people. Now, they are all grown (but still expensive! Don’t kid yourself, the money continues to flow in an unending stream toward the progeny) and here I am cringing at the thought of spending a few dollars on my own health and well-being? Seriously?

Psshhaw.

Beachbody programs cost me LESS than I was spending making myself miserable.

No. Brainer.

(Oh, and, little disclaimer here… I don’t have a six-pack, despite the title of this blog post. I just thought it was kinda catchy. I have a belly 🙂

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Fifty is the new forty… right?

“With a lifetime of experience at my feet, and a feeling that I have just barely begun at my fingertips, I’m looking around myself and wondering… what next?”

Why is it so hard? (…said no fifty-year-old woman, ever.)

(Bahahaha! Sorry. I can’t help it. I work with fifteen year olds, OK? I once said, to a grade 10 Art class of mostly boys: “It’s just paper maché paste… get in there and get your fingers wet. Don’t be afraid to get dirty!”. You can imagine the chaos. It’s a miracle I’ve haven’t been fired yet.)

Why is it so hard to know what it is that you want to do?

We urge our kids to make a decision and make a choice and move in the right direction of their chosen future… but how are they supposed to know what they want, when we barely know what we want, and we’ve been alive half a century?

Am I alone here?

Am I alone in constantly wondering what it is that I’m looking for, or is this normal? Am I the only fifty-year-old-empty-nesting-divorced-woman who looks around at her noisy-yet-purposeful-and-well-ordered life and wonders… what the fuck?

I am a teacher. That is the profession that I have committed decades and degrees and dedication to developing. And I love it. Mostly.

I fell into it.

I wanted to be an archaeologist. I wanted to travel the world and dig up lost civilizations, until I had one child and then another (and another and another!) and I realized that King Tut wouldn’t appreciate being cast as a pale second to hockey games and gymnastics practice… and I changed my major to English and I volunteered in my kids’ classes and I earned my BEd at the age of 35… and I love my job.

I do.

But is it what I was meant to do?

Sometimes I’m a good teacher, sometimes I suck.

Sometimes I feel I made the right choice, sometimes I wonder how I will ever survive the next ten years ‘til retirement.

When my children were young, they consumed my life. I miss that focused dedication, that sense that this is what I was meant to do. I loved raising my babies, all the mistakes and bad choices notwithstanding… I will never say I was a great parent, I erred continuously, but all I wanted was their health and well-being, and that unconditional love and focus and effort was my unquestioned purpose during those years.

Now I’m fifty.

Now my kids are grown.

Now what do I do?

Two of my children have found their passion, and are following their bliss with determination and focus… two of my children are still searching. I am with them. I am searching for my next focus, my next passion. It is so hard to watch your children search for their life’s work… they need education, they need experience, they need the dedication to see it through… and you want to just wrap it all up in a neat bundle for them and say: “Here. Here is what you need, my darling. I love you eternally, you amazing person, you!”

I wish someone would do that for me.

At fifty.

With a lifetime of experience at my feet, and a feeling that I have just barely begun at my fingertips, I’m looking around myself and wondering… what next?

I am a teacher, I am an author (ha!), I am an artist (ha, ha!) and now I am a Beachbody coach (har dee har har!)… I am still searching.

I want so much to do… something!

If you are also searching… follow me on my journey as I explore fitness and health and how to stop drinking red wine every day…

Fifty is the new Forty, right?

What does that even mean? I want more from every moment… I just have to decide what that is!

Right now… it’s my fitness, my health, reclaiming my old body and making it work. I’m excited about my fitness journey, but I’m still searching…

Are you….?

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Resolutions, yoga and cream cheese.

Gallery

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My thoughts for you, gentle reader, as you approach a New Year rife with resolutions based on the inherent belief that you are somehow failing, that you are insufficient, imperfect, faulted, deficient, pock-marked and jiggling your way to ruination…            what if you’re actually pretty ok? … Continue reading

Hairy nest

My leg hair grows inordinately quickly. I choose to see this as a sign of vigor, a sure indication that my youth has not entirely abandoned me and my body continues to thrust forth healthy growth with a fecundity that should inspire awe. I have wrinkles, my children are all grown and gone which makes me feel ancient, I have a hiccup in my giddyup, but man-o-man, can I grow leg hair.

I shave my legs regularly in the summer, because I can see them. With my poor eyesight, I can only see things clearly at a distance, and my legs are quite far away from my face. This explains the problem with with the tuft of hair I noticed growing out of the mole on my cheek . I noticed it in the rear-view mirror while I was driving, which I am still allowed to do although I’m sure my time is limited. The light was gently filtered through the windscreen, and the rear-view was tilted at just the right angle to reveal… not a single hair, not even a couple of hairs. A shrub. A shrubbery of grey hairs waved gently at me in the breeze from the open window. Judging by the almost tropical volume of said shrubbery, I would guess it had been there for quite some time.  I can’t see it when I look in the bathroom mirror so it’s still there, and I’ve grown quite fond of it. Men twirl their mustaches, I twirl my mole-hair. It’s a feminist thing.

I am hairy and half-blind, but I’m ok with that because I can shave my legs and I can remember all of my children’s names although I have to pause to accurately report their ages… 20, 22, 24 and 27.

I have a dear friend who has an infant… just turned one… all dimples and curly hair and cuteness personified. My friend sometimes asks me what I did with my children when they were babies, assuming, I suppose, that having raised four I would have some knowledge on the topic. “When did you start them on solids?”… “When did you let them cry at bedtime?”… I smile, and frown, and search my hippocampus, my medulla oblongata, my bank account and my fridge calendar but, nope. Nada. Zip a dee do da day. Those memories have rattled away in a blur of white noise like lego pieces being sucked up the vacuum.  I try not to destroy her beautiful new-parent hopes and dreams, but I am forced to respond:

“I don’t remember! That was almost thirty years ago, you! I remember when my child got her nipple pierced, I remember when I found an empty wine bottle in my child’s room, I remember when my child’s speeding ticket arrived in the mail…”

At this point my young-mother friend backs quietly away from me, clutching her infant son in her arms and covering his ears with her hands.

I have hazy sleep-deprived recollections of their infancy, but a vivid post-traumatic tic as evidence of their teen-hood. This explains the grey hairs. None of my spawn currently live with me, and it has taken me several months to come to terms… no… I actually haven’t come to terms with it yet, may never come to terms with it, but I am slowly learning to make it my own. The Empty Nest.

Have you ever seen an empty nest? Such a term engenders visions of crushed eggshells and scattered feathers, membranes from various body excretions dried and twisted into the very walls of the house. Mites. Poop encrusting the floor, which somehow renders the parent nostalgic.

“I remember when Junior used to shit himself. Boy, those were good times.”

It isn’t like that at all.

“I remember when Junior stole bowling balls from the bowling alley and rolled them down Main Street at 3am.”

Some things are better left in the past.

“I remember when Junior ran away in a torrential downpour on her bike, on the highway, and I thought she was probably dead in a ditch for about three frantic, life-altering hours, before she rolled in, soaked and contrite and I could start to breathe again although I had lost fifteen years off my life. Fun!”

Do these memories explain the abundance of grey foliage sprouting unheeded from random places on my face and soul? Probably.  But I miss them terribly, those crazy spawn. I’ve spent twenty-seven years with their umbilical cords wrapped tightly around my heart and I can feel myself gasping as those bonds loosen and they drift away to start their own lives. As parents we spend years preparing our children to leave the nest, it’s the ultimate goal, the “vacancy” sign of our success as parents is to have our kids flutter off independently and successfully.

And then we want them back.

There was a time when I didn’t have a free moment to shave or pluck or pee by myself. I remember wondering if I would ever not have someone’s sticky hands glued to mine. Now I have all the time in the world to exfoliate in peace and quiet… sigh. Had I known how much I would miss those sticky hands… but, I can only see things clearly at a distance, after all.

If Marilyn Monroe had lived longer, she would have had mole hair in that beauty mark. Then, mole hair would have become an iconic beauty trend. Just sayin’.

I think I’ll just twirl my mole-hair until my kids come home for a visit.

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