Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back home...Sort of.

I completed day 2/week 3 on my Cto5k regime. The flatter ground made things easier and after the first round (which is always the toughest as it seems I'm still warming up when the running starts) I did fine. I had to lengthen the route a bit which I anticipate happening as the next few weeks pass. I'm still looking at a week from Friday and wondering how I'll ever do 20 minutes straight running. We shall see....

Backing up a bit - my heart is still at the lake. It's always hard to leave. There's such a peacefulness there that envelops you as soon you drive up the dirt road that leads to the cottage. Our arrival routine never varies. We lug the coolers and other essentials down the stairs. Hubby flips on the pump switch and the hot water tank while I open up all the windows and slip in a Benny Goodman CD. Big band music is called "Cottage Music" in our family.

The three journals that sit on a table in the living room area are filled with memories of years gone by and in the earlier years there are numerous entries by my kids - bemoaning the Benny Goodman CD. Now they look for it when they arrive!

We have another tradition at the lake (funny how something done a certain number of times finds itself becoming a constant.) At a certain time of the day, just as the sun is lowering itself into the sky to make way for evening, it hits the water just right and casts ripples of light across the ceiling. We call it sparkle time and its arrival is announced by the ringing of a boat bell that hangs outside the kitchen.

My grandson who is 3 now, has accustomed himself to the ways of lake life and I am so happy that he will be an official "Lake Kid"! The girls weren't adopted into the clan until they were young teens - when we first bought the place.

Mr. Imanass, next door was a Lake Kid as were his parents. His grandparents were one of the first families on the lake so he somehow feels that gives him the right to tell everyone else what to do. He behaved this weekend. We ignored him-he ignored us. It worked out well. We used to be friendly with him and his wife. Until they took a chainsaw to our stairs. Long story. Suffice to say the guy is nuts.

So here I am at home. Still sorting through the laundry and finding pine needles stuck to socks and towels. And wishing I was there....with the sun casting sparkles across the ceiling as Benny croons in the background. Ah.... fourth of July. Can't get here soon enough!

Oh - and you're all invited anytime you want! Just south of the Finger Lakes in Upstate NY. But I must warn you - if you show up at my door - be prepared to jog around the lake with me!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back to Reality....

Just looking at that picture of the cottage on my last post makes me want to go back! We had a wonderful, relaxing time and the weather was perfect (a little chilly Friday...but warmed up nicely after that and NO RAIN! YAY!) We decided to stay an extra day after all the kids left and have a little alone time. We got some hostas planted and finished one of the rock walls around the upper terrace. Also took a slow, long boat ride and soaked up some sunshine.

I finished up week 3 of Cto5K with my daughter on Saturday and on Monday - I did week four/day one. I was nervous as heck thinking about those 5 minute runs (especially since our cottage is situated in the hills and I knew there wouldn't be flat terrain) But I did it! And I didn't have to stop once (but I will admit that first 5 minute run was partially uphill and I was struggling.) I gave not gotten any side stitches yet - and my feet & legs are holding up well. It's just trying to catch my breath. My daughter says that the real training going on here is my body learning how to breathe properly. I think she's right.

My seasoned runners out this so? And will I get to a point where the breathing isn't such a struggle? I'm confident about the rest of this week but next week looks intimidating, (Didn't I say that last week?)

There's so much more to write about and many blogs to catch up on - but there is also a mountain of laundry here and suitcases to be emptied.

Reality beckons.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hers Comes Summer!

It's Memorial Day Weekend = the official start of summer here in the U.S. (Will someone please tell the weatherman that?)

In a few hours my oldest daughter & I will be heading to the lake to stock up the cupboards and finish what didn't get done when hubby & I were there last month. Can't wait! As always...I love that first weekend down there! The whole summer stretches before us and I feel like a kid again! The rest of the crew will trickle in the next few days.

I'm bringing the good running shoes as I anticipate doing two Cto5k sessions there. (not to mention tons of lake walks.) So as I grabbed the running schedule from the side of the fridge to stuff in my suitcase I took a peek at Mondays' session. WTF?? (as in what the fudge *sorry*) I'm supposed to go from :

90 seconds jog/90 seconds walk/3 min. jog/3 min. walk & repeat to

3 min. jog/90 sec. walk/5 min. jog/2.5 min. walk/3 min. jog/90 sec. walk/5min. jog???

Nothing like kicking it up several notches all of a sudden! I'm scared! Can I do this? 5 minutes is a long time! Okay - I AM GOING TO DO IT! So many others before me have so why not. I may surprise myself too. And I'll have my daughter (the runner) at my side to motivate me (or call 911 if I drop over from exhaustion...) I'm still nervous though.

So friends....I will be absent from blogland until Monday. No computer at the lake - not even any television! (We have a TV there but it only shows DVD's - we have no reception down there.) Though I will miss catching up on all of you, I'm eager to spend some lazy days on the boat (pretending to fish), cozy circles around the campfire, and sprawling out on the dock with a good book. And of course putting up with our dear neighbor Mr. ImAnAss. Perhaps he'll fall off his dock this year never to be seen again. Okay, sorry. I truly am working on forgiveness here. It's just hard......

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Where I am - in Six Words....

Andrew (from Andrew is getting fit) has tagged me to do my life's memoir in 6 words. Even though I've done this before (not too long ago actually). But instead of my memoir - I'm going to give you my present life mantra:

You're never too old to start!

That's how I feel these days! Hiding behind my age is no longer an option. As long as this body works and the good Lord sees fit to keep me here, I am going to make the most of what I have and enjoy life!

For a while there I was settling into the mindset of "Well, there's not much more exciting ahead of me....I spent it all on my youth. Guess I'll get comfortable and settle into my middle aged years and relax and watch life go by." How sad is that?

Sure I'm at the age where I have more years behind me than there are ahead of me. But NOT being the pathetic creature I appeared to be when I was on Oprah - I refuse to view life that way. I can still try new things - set new goals - accomplish great feats! Right now it's C25k. - which I know, in my heart of hearts has opened a door that has been closed far too long and will take me to new places and experiences that I thought has been lost to my youth.

Surprisingly - the weight loss has become secondary to me. Don't get me wrong - I WANT to get down to a healthy size. But right now - taking care of my body - pressing it to get stronger and do things that I thought I'd never do again - THAT has become my main focus. And I know that as I prime this great machine God has given me - it won't let me down. The weight will come off and underneath will be a whole new me!

So instead of tagging 6 people - I'm inviting anyone who'd like - to leave your 6 word mantra here in a comment. Think of 6 words that describe where you are at NOW in your life. I know...only six? But I'll grant you some poetic license here - they don't even have to make a sentence!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cto5K Continues.....

Yesterday I started week three of C25k. I was nervous about the 3 minute runs. But I did them and even ran an extra bit at the end just because I felt I could - and I did!

I still can't fathom running 30 minutes straight without stopping. But after cruising around other blogs I see that pretty much everyone feels that way - and yet they do it!

It was tough at the beginning yesterday....the wind was blowing at my face and it was darn chilly. I also started getting pelted with random raindrops that thankfully never progressed into anything more substantial. I also knew when I turned around at the end of the street the wind would be in my favor which helped adjust the attitude.

I'm getting hooked on this running thing. I've dropped 1.5 pounds. Not much... but I feel tighter - if that makes sense. Not so blobby. Like underneath things are starting to firm up from the weights and the C25K stints. I'm hoping (praying) that when the weight finally does start coming off that I'll have some nice lean muscle to reveal underneath. It'll be awhile - but I can wait. I finally feel like I'm doing something worthwhile that I haven't even thought once about abandoning. It's a good feeling.

I'm curious....those of you who have"graduated" from C25K....what are some of the positive things you noticed as the weeks progressed? Go ahead- do your own little infomercial here because I know there are lurkers out there wanting to know as much as I do!

Right now I'm off to get my nails done (the one little bit of pampering I allot for myself every 3 weeks.) And the running shoes too. They were a splurge bit one I'll never regret!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why I Always Hated Running...Part Two....

It's Monday ~the beginning of a new week (well, technically Sunday starts the week - but it's part of the weekend so....whatever!) and I'm ready to start my next set of longer runs today!

I find it so very strange that I am excited about this exercise now! Before I would cringe knowing it was the day to do my DVD or whatever it was I was subjecting myself to during my brief but well intended exercise regimes. But this time it's different. I look forward to challenging myself and am always amazed that I did it!

I will admit- the thought of actually running a whole 5k seems daunting to me. When I returned to college 8 years ago to finish my teaching degree - I found myself in a phys ed class that was required. There was no way I could wiggle out of it and believe me I tried! Reason being - you had to run in this class. It was ALL about running. You sat for a half hour lecture 3 times a week and then they sent you to the track in the gym and you had to run a mile. No kidding. A WHOLE mile! And you were timed. And your grade was based on your time! How stupid is THAT! SO her I was...43 years old at the time - running around a track with kids who had just graduated high school and I was freaking being TIMED! Can I just suffice to say it was horrible? I would pant and gasp and have to stop and walk a lot. I'm not sure what my times ever were because frankly I tried to block that part of my college career out of my mind.

Here's the thing. Being the perfectionist I am, I wanted an A in that class. I'd gotten A's in every class I'd taken so far. I wasn't going to let this stupid class ruin my GPA even though it was totally unfair and unrealistic. But I did my best . (Did I mention a the time I weighed 30 pounds less than I do now?) Towards the end of the semester - my joints were killing me. I think I'd pulled every muscle I had, I could barely walk sometimes! So at a routine OBGYN exam, I begged the Dr. to give me a written excuse. As to why I needed stop the running. An she did. (God bless her.) I told my teacher that I would spend the time in the fitness room doing anything but running. She relented but she didn't seem happy. But.....I got my A!

A footnote to this story - my other older friends at school (we'd all found each other...that happens when you're the odd men out) who were also taking this same course with a different teacher - were EXEMPT from running because of their age! I had to be the one who got Hitler as a teacher.... ARGHH!

Anyway - my point to this is that now I'm doing the exact thing I'd grown to hate - and enjoying it! Why? Because I'm easing into it. I'm letting my body take it slowly. The time increases are just enough to challenge - yet not intimidate too much. My teacher at college should've known that. You don't dump someone who hasn't run in 20 years onto a track with no warm up, stretching or anything and then say run a mile as fast s you can and if you run fast enough you get a good grade!

That's' why Cto5K is so great. But enough of that. I'm starting to sound like a commercial. But I do want to say thanks to my fellow bloggers who gently encouraged me to give this a try. I listened. I watched your progress. And then I tried it. were all right!

On a side note...youngest daughter (we affectionately call her Yellie) went home yesterday *sigh* I miss her already. It was just like old times for a while there with her stuff strewn all over the house, the bathroom a mess, dishes in the sink..... Am I complaining? No way! (She's actually a very neat little housekeeper at her own place). It was just good to be in "Mom Mode" again. She's such sweetie. I lover her to pieces. I love all my daughters to pieces (and my son-in-laws too!)

I'm off for another cup of coffee now. Make this a great week!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's been a busy few days. Youngest daughter came in from Massachusetts and we went on a wild frenzy getting ready for the bridal shower which was last night. It was so nice!

We held it in a very nice lodge at a local park and the theme was lilacs (which our city is famous for this time of year ~ we hold a Lilac Festival that people come from everywhere to attend.) So....we had lilac table cloths, lilac balloons, lilac favors, lilac streamers and of course - LILACS everywhere! It smelled so wonderful in there!

So daughter just stepped out for a while to visit her in-laws (her hubby stayed in Massachusetts) and I have a few free minutes to catch up on mail and blogs.

I didn't have time to do my scheduled Cto5K yesterday (worked all day & then straight to the shower) but I'm making it up today (as soon as I finish this post actually) so I'll still have my 3 runs in this week.

So here's the motivational thing that happened to me yesterday that knocked my socks off and convinced me more than ever that I was meant to do this Cto5K! I subbed for a teacher in the school I taught in 2 years ago. As I walked to her room I mused how it was still in the same place it was then - far away from the art room where I taught. I recalled how she was always on my case about wanting me to walk her kids half way back to her classroom (and meeting her) because it was sooo far. And I would bristle at that because number one - I had no passing time between classes - as hers were leaving my next crew was arriving - and because well....she was pretty overweight and the walk frankly, would have done her some good. (I know..not nice but that's what I was thinking at the time...)

So as I enter her room (I was covering for her a half day and she was still there) I couldn't believe this was the same woman! She was thin! And in shape! I thought perhaps I was in the wrong room. But nope. This was her! Anyway - she left and as I was looking around the classroom I noticed some posters on the wall. Of her. Doing triathlons! My gosh -this woman had become an athlete! And in the several posters (they were a collage type poster with the triathlon name at the top and a picture of her during each event - swimming, biking and running.) She was still somewhat overweight in the oldest one - and a bit lighter in the subsequent one which was last year. And now! She's even thinner! All I could think of was how she did this great thing and did it while she was still overweight - busting the myth that we have to be in perfect shape to be athletes. She did it and kept at it and now she looks amazing!!

I want to be like her! The fat lady who complained about walking her kids down the hall - to the in shape woman who now does triathlons!! Okay - honestly I doubt I'll ever do a triathlon (hey ya' never know) but I WILL run a 5K and eventually a 10K. I'm going to do it! I've got about 12 years on her - but that's okay. She became my hero yesterday and I won't soon forget the way she took charge of her life and changed it for the better!

So -I'm off to do my final Cto5K for this week! Thanks for all the encouragement from you guys! It makes me want to do it all the more!

I'll catch up on blogs when I get back and see how you're all doing!

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Running, Eating and Chocolate....

It's week 2 of my Couch to 5 k program and I'm loving this so much! I actually look forward to the time and it goes by so quickly! I'm doing a little under 2 miles right now (happens to be the distance from my house to the corner) but I can see as I increase the running times that I'll be doing the route quicker and will need to lengthen it. Next week I'll be delving into the 3 minute runs (which I know seems like cake to you guys out there that run all those miles!) but I'm a little nervous. Which I shouldn't be. Because so far I've not had to stop once (or even thought about it). But I've always hated running! Ever since we had to do all those stupid Physical Fitness tests in grade school and I would run like heck in order to finish in the first few because being the perfectionist I was (am) I couldn't bear to be one of the stragglers.

I never came in first. I didn't even try. (okay...I tried) but I knew I'd never be first because Bobby Latuske was the absolute best athlete there was and she always came in first. Always! So I'd run as fast as my legs would carry me - forget to breathe - get awful side stitches and feel like puking when I was done and settle for 3rd or 4th place. It was NOT fun. And that's why I've always hated running.

But this time is different. I'm not competing with anyone. There is no race to be won - no time to beat. I can stop anytime I want (but so far I haven't wanted to) It feels good when I'm doing the running part and I can not wait until I can get out there someday and just run the whole 5k without stopping! Suddenly that jog around the lake with my daughter doesn't seem so impossible now...

The hike with my sisters didn't happen yesterday. Things came up for several people that made the time frame not workable. We could've met at the trail later - but didn't want to be roaming around at dusk. We've rescheduled for this weekend. I'm excited for that too. I miss hiking in the woods.

So the weight must be just melting off me, right? Wrong. Even tough I've been completely dedicated to the exercise part of this journey (weights included) I've not been so good about the eating part. I start out good. Breakfast and lunch are healthy - within my calorie limits and satisfying. Dinner (albeit eaten late most night due to hubby's schedule) is also not so bad. When I use the small plate and eat slow I do okay. It's that stretch in between - when I walk in the door after school. I beeline for the fridge and want to devour everything in sight! Hmm....that sounds reminiscent of my childhood days. Pattern here?

And I know...I know what you're going to say. Keep healthy foods on hand, fruits... veggies... nuts.... Distract myself. Drink more water. And sometime (not always) I do all that. But lately I've just had the worst chocolate cravings! And it's not that time of the month. (It hasn't been that time of the month or a long, long time....) so what's the deal? Like right now - I'd probably sell my first born for a Hershey bar! How bad is that?

So I'm going t fill up my water bottle and watch Dr. Phil. Then I'm going to paint the hallway upstairs and hope the craving goes away. Not that I have any chocolate in the house....and I can't find hubby's stash anyway. (yes..I looked.)


Monday, May 12, 2008

A New Week!

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Yesterday my middle daughter had us over for brunch. The oldest was able to make it but the youngest couldn't. She'll be arriving from Springfield, Mass. on Wednesday to attend a bridal shower this weekend so I get to see her then!

Daughter & her hubby put out a scrumptious spread and I ate everything! Pecan Baked French Toast, Quiche Lorraine, sausages, rosemary hashbrowns, chocolate dipped strawberries, banana walnut muffins.... (okay - I didn't eat everything - I skipped the muffins.) But it was mother's day and it sure beat the breakfasts in bed they used to make me when they were kids! (see Mother'sDay 2007 post).

I'm not upset with myself that I ate all that fattening food. What I am unhappy about is that I didn't eat it slower. Like I've been trying to do but have let go by the wayside some. You know...Paul McKenna's tried & true tip about putting your fork down between each bite? Because had I done that - I would never have gone back for seconds. Now I feel like that "Coulda' Had a V-8" commercial - smacking myself in the head!

This week I step up my Cto5k regime. I'm psyched! Nan was right - this can get addicting. And yesterday my mother-in-law gave me 5 tank top style t-shirts which will be perfect for running! And guess what? She bought me large - not Extra large! And they fit! (Now my bottom half is a another story....)

Tomorrow night the girls & I are going to do our walk in a very cool park in our area. It is situated along the Genesee River just before it empties into Lake Ontario. The trail is supposed to be beautiful - and there are even some hidden waterfalls! I haven't been to that park since I was in high school. (And I've never walked the trail.) Living in Upstate New York we have access to so many wonderful parks and waterfronts. I need to take advantage of that! I keep saying I want to travel and visit the world - when I have a wealth of opportunities right at my doorstep!

I hope you all had a wonderful mother's day...that you either got hugs or gave them! And if's one from me *hug*

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mooving' and Groovin'......

It's Saturday morning and chilly here in Upstate New York. The taste of summer we had the past few weeks has given way to clouds and a cold front. Our weather here always keeps us guessing, that's for sure.

I finished my first week of Cto5K (Actually repeated week one twice because of the groin pain the first week and the sore feet.) I wanted to start fresh with my new sneakers which was a smart thing to do.

The run/walk went well (I actually was looking forward to it!) But my MP3 player died and I had to walk without music which really made a difference. I need to have that music! I was also thrilled to learn from one of my readers that there are podcasts I can down load each week that tell me when to walk & run. How coolis that! So being the technologically challenged idiot that I am (I still have to read the directions on the darn thing just to turn it on) I'm bringing it to my daughter's house tomorrow - when we go there for our Mother' Day brunch - and having her show me how to do it.

I've had a few slip ups this week with my eating - but I'm on track with the exercise and I feel more confident each day that my days as a couch pototato are going to be a thing of the past. I just feel so much better now that I have this old body finally moving regularly and that I've been pushing it past the limits I'd normally set for it. You know, like don't sweat...don't let yourself get out of breath....stop as soon as you feel the slightest bit of fatigue... Great limits, huh? Where was I going with THAT?

Now I feel good that when I'm lifting those weights (and increasing the reps) that I have to push myself to do those last few lifts in each set. And that when I'm in the running phase of my Cto5K - I don't stop as soon as I feel winded - I push past it! And that when I come in from my run/walk my hair is soaking wet on my neck and I need a shower real quick!

There's something about challenging yourself to go farther than you think you can that feels good. Physically as well as mentally. It makes you more aware of your body the rest of the day. And it gives you a feeling of accomplishment that is pretty darn rewarding.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Here Comes Summer!

I think with the renewal of spring and the fast approaching summer (at least for those of us in the U.S.) we are all getting a shot of "go get 'em" in blog land. From what I've been reading anyway! For those of our friends that are facing winter soon - let's keep encouraging them not to give in to the "stay inside and eat comfort food" syndrome. (I know it well.....)

And now - speaking of summer. SUMMER! I love it! The fresh air...the sunshine....the flowers....the birds....! But with summer also comes the shorts....the sleeveless tops....the *gasp* bathing suits!

For the past 8 years or so - when the weight really starting creeping on - I always decided in January that I would go on a diet and look great by the time June rolled around. Then when June finally got here I would realize that I had given up my diet mid-January. I would also realize (when I got the bin of summer clothes out of storage) that I'd actually gained weight and have to go out and get new shorts. I ballooned from a size 12 to an 18 in less than a decade. Swimsuit shopping was the pits. It has been a very vicious cycle.

So what is going to make the summer of '08 any different? For one - the running program and the faithfulness I've had to my weight lifting. I can see and feel the difference in my arms. And I've amazed myself at the ease to which this running thing has been happening.

I think the Couch to 5K plan is the best thing happening! When I first heard about it I was skeptical. Because it was after all - running! And I can't think of anything I hate worse than running. Except maybe liver. Or shopping for a bathing suit.

So when a few of my blog friends mentioned it - I checked it out and then sat it on the back burner to think about for a while. Then my sister & started talking about merits of running (she lost a ton about 10 years ago running) and we decided we'd give it a try. knowing that she's doing it too has kept me motivated.

The best thing about this program is it eases you into running. Too often we jump into something - overdo it and then quit because it's too hard. But this time I didn't quit. Because it wasn't hard! I'll admit- after the first two runs my body rebelled like crazy and I was in PAIN! But what I realized quickly (thanks to Nan ) was that I need the proper footwear - which turned out to make ALL the difference in the world.

I've noticed that my body isn't aching as much as it always does. (I'm I was believing that I was supposed to ache all the time.) WRONG! My poor body was just so out of shape that it was always stiff. SO now - since I've been running (and lest you think I'm running marathons here - I'm still in the first weeks of this) I feel so much better! I ache LESS! And I feel better mentally too. And I'm more aware of what I put into my mouth because food is seeming more like fuel instead of entertainment.

I would encourage any of you that are looking for a way to jump start, enhance or speed up your weight loss efforts to at least look into it. But I must warn you - invest in a good pair of running shoes. They don't have to be top of the line. I got mine on sale (normally $69 - got 'em for $37.) But I did some research to see which kind I needed for the way I run. (Yes...we all run differently.)

So that's my speech for today.

I'm hoping when I get that summer bin out of storage - that I'll have to go shopping yet again for new shorts. Only this time - smaller ones!

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Mojo is Back!

This morning I subbed for a delightful kindergarten class (I forget how much I love the little ones!) Then I came home, put the finishing touches on several resumes I'm sending out for jobs this fall. After that I cut the grass. Fruitful day so far. But then....I put my new running shoes on (I know they're just sneakers...but running shoes sounds more...I don't know....serious) and I hit the road!

I had put the Couch to 5K on hold because of the knee and groin issues. But things feel better and I fared well on the 5+ miles I did with the girls yesterday so it was now or never. I did great! Did my alternate jogging and walking (didn't give a hoot what I looked like) and my new shoes were wonderful! My feet didn't hurt as they did when I ran last week. While I wasn't gliding on air - I was feeling a lot less impact and the difference was noticeable.

I was sweating when I got done. And that makes me feel like I've done something! I've been doing my weights regularly too and can see the definition now in my arms. Now's under a layer of fat, but it's there! And I can see it!

Can anyone sense some motivation here? Gheesh - I've been needing that for an awful long time. But I have to keep going. You runners out there - tell me how good it is! Tell me that it's worth it! Because I think this is going to be the ticket. My middle daughter runs. She has for years now. And she's thin and buff and strong and has "to die for" legs. Wouldn't it be great if this Memorial Day weekend, she & I could go for a run around the lake together? Yes....that would be cool! Wait. Memorial Day weekend is in just a few weeks. Hmmm. Well - I can try can't I? (She's a good daughter. She'll stop if he momma gets tired.)

So how about the rest of you guys? Are you getting the bug to recommit yourselves? I mean...we're in this Healthy Challenge together - so let's do it!

Oh - I almost forgot - Diana is giving away a bike on her blog! Go check it out!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Living in the Present....

The nostalgia has lifted and I'm back here in 2008. Diana's comment about us becoming better versions of ourselves was just the right medicine! In reality - none of us can stop the clock - or turn it back. But that doesn't mean what's here and now - or yet to be - isn't going to be just as grand!

For a while there (before I started blogging) I'd settled myself nicely into this little rut who's mantra're're're out of shape physically....but that happens so deal with it. I was actually almost proud that I had "embraced" my fate. How stupid is that?

I don't know how many years I have left on this earth (only God knows that) but while I'm here I'm not going to settle into such self-defeating logic anymore!

I'm not old! I'm only 50 for crying out loud! I read some of my favorite bloggers who are in their twenties and remember those days vividly and how quickly they came and went. I sure packed a lot of living into those years! What will I say of this decade? That I spent it wishing I was twenty again? Heck no! Time passes way too quickly to waste it on wishful thinking.

I'm learning to be a runner. I'm focusing more on healthy eating. I'm becoming more of a participant in life instead of an observer. I may have a few wrinkles and a some gray hairs. I can get rid of them if I want (but I won't.) I've earned them! But what I can get rid of is the flabby muscles and the attitude that this is what happens to a woman's body when she hits middle age. Because it's NOT! It only is if you let it. Which I have - and which I intend to change!

A better version of myself? YES! Because Ive learned over the years that beauty is only skin deep. True beauty comes from within. At the core of who you are. How you treat others. How you treat yourself.

Mae West used to say (do my younger readers remember her?)

Your looks will hold 'em the first five minutes. After that you're on your own!

Almost forgot - I bought my new running shoes yesterday and I will try them out this afternoon with the girls. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Memory Lane....

You know...ever since I posted those pics the other day I've been in a sort of a funk. Hubby came across the photos lying next to the scanner last night and we had the following conversation:

Him: These are you?

Me: Yep.

Him: When?? (way too much question in his voice here...)

Me: Before we met. WAY before we met.

Him: So if you succeed at this diet thing you'll look like that?

Me: That's the plan. Give or take a few wrinkles.

Him: I'M IN!

Hubby met me several decades after some of those pics. After three kids. After 75 pounds! Part of me is happy that he fell in love with me in spite of my "less than svelte" figure. (What did he expect..I was 45 years old and a widow for crying out loud!)

So now I'm looking at the young woman (girl!) in those pics and wondering where she went! Where the heck did the years go? (ummm....that sounds vaguely familiar to a line on Oprah Winfrey referring to yours truly....)

I know. I'm always posting about the proverbial clock ticking and how we need to savor each moment. That time waits for none of us. So why do I feel so surprised that the young woman in those pics is someone I don't recognize anymore? And I'm not talking about the way I looked or how much I weighed. I'm talking about the young woman who had so many dreams in her heart...who had her whole life ahead of her and plenty of time to decide "what she wanted to be when she grew up." The young girl who hadn't tasted true heartache yet. The kind of heart ache that comes when you've stood at the bedside of each parent and a spouse and held their hand as they passed from this life into the next.

I always did believe that things always worked out. No matter what. I still do...but not in the same way. Because things do always work out (faith helps a lot there) but not always the way we'd often planned. A big part of me longs for the naivety of that young woman.

Big *sigh* here.

Now that I'm older I realize that life isn't always fair. And people aren't always kind. Or honest. or genuine.

On the same token (and here's where my Pollyanna optimism kicks in) I've realized what a strong woman I've become. I've survived a lot. And I'm better. Not bitter. I've realized looking back that God has always been at my side - leading, guiding, carrying.....even when I've pushed Him away. I've learned that being a mom is a really hard job that never stops (even when they're married.) I've learned that the real friends in life are the ones who show up at your door and just hug you and hug you without saying a word when they got news that your husband just died. I've learned that having the biggest house, or the nicest lawn, or the fanciest car only counts when you're competing with shallow people. And I've learned that shallow people aren't really worth my time. (Just my prayers.)

Still - I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say I'm a little sad when I look at those pictures. They're a reminder of the fleeting years. How quickly they passed. How much even more quickly they will pass now.

I guess a trip down memory lane would leave even the most stalwart among us - a little melancholy. And that's okay. As long as we don't get stuck there. So I'm movin' on. (With a big dose of incentive - if nothing else!)