FITNESS FOR OLD PEOPLE (Part 1)
Jeremy and I are bringing you a series where we talk about trying to get fit in our—ahem—late thirties and early forties. This is the real shit. Don’t expect bikini selfies. We’re not doing P90X. No protein shakes. We’re just a couple adult people trying to create something workable in our lives so we don’t croak too early. Here’s Part 1.
Adrienne: Ok, Jeremy, we're old, and we're both trying to get fitter. But like, it doesn't really look like P90X for us, because like I said, we're sorta old and I wouldn't characterize us as athletes. But we're trying. How'd you get started / why'd you get started?
Jeremy: I started running because I hate classes. like if one single person looks at me or tells me to try harder, I'm suddenly in 3rd grade and crying because I'll never be a cheerleader.
I really started though because i had a meeting with a doctor and he scared the shit out of me. Like I don't wanna be an old lady who can't walk and is bent over at the hips lookin' at the floor.
AG: OMG Jeremy, humps run in my family. For real.
JO: HUMPS. GIRL. You better get to stretching. Lol.
I was having headaches and the doctor was like it's probably because your blood pressure is a little high and you're overweight. ME. It was so shocking to have my doctor say that...that I got to work that afternoon.
AG. But how’d you get started? Like if you're old and not an athlete, how the hell do you start?
JO: I really just started with a tiny goal. Like do this for 10 minutes. I had to coach myself through and remind myself that I am not in a race. It's not a competition with anyone other than me. Also. I had some skinny jeans I wanted to fit into, so I just thought about those with every step and breath.
AG: Hahahahaha that's so like Cosmo magazine of you
JO: It's because jeans is a thing I can see. I don't know what dropping 20 lbs is, ya know? Or even 5lbs. I just wanted to get those jeans over my ass. 10 minutes became 15 and then 20 and 30.
AG: This sounds like it was all pretty easy. And I don't think it was, right? At least at the beginning.
JO: I really was scared. It wasn't easy. but I noticed a change in my mood? that was the first thing before any body change. I felt better and brighter and just like a bad ass for being able to make it through the run. I mean I was not fast. And it was hard and hurt. But the change in mood or attitude inspired me to keep trying and setting longer goals.
What about you? What made you GET THE BIKE.
AG: My memory is shit. Basically, I've been trying to "get healthy" for years. Like for the last five years it's been on my self improvement list. And I had a bunch of false starts. Gym memberships. I had a personal trainer for a bit. But like nothing would ever stick.
I'm a single mom and like, it chains me to my house. Like I can't go to the gym in the morning because my kid is here. And I can't go after work because I have to pick my kid up and he wants to hang out with me, not go to a gym daycare.
JO: It totally helps to have it in the house.
AG: I don't know how I found out about the bike. Maybe a TV commercial?
JO: We have a treadmill and that makes it easier that it's staring at you when you get up. Lol.
AG: And then I told you and my besties Heather and Taylor about it and was like, I think I should get this, it's $3000 am I insane?
JO: THREE THOUSAND. Lord Jesus. Treadmill $800.
AG: I might not have told you the full cost. Hahahhahahaahaha. I told Heather though. And she was like, get it.
JO: You didn't, you were just like, should I do this expensive thing to make myself do this hard terrible thing and I was like DO WHATEVER IT TAKES.
AG: And it worked! I will write a separate post about why the bike is awesome and how it worked for me, but the other thing I wanted to talk to you about is—food choices. Once I had the bike for a couple months, I felt more ready to tackle that.
JO: Yeah. It's like all of that at once could be overwhelming. I actually started off last year being a vegetarian. which isn't for everyone and I also know that's not necessarily a DIET DIET, ya know? Like you don't really do that to lose weight. It's just a choice I made. And I feel like it made me make better choices overall? Not that meat is a bad choice or even unhealthy necessarily? It jump started me though, made me conscious. It works for me. I don't like care about the feelings of chickens and stuff.
Also? I was kind to myself about that too. it's not about catching yourself in a bad situation or whatever...it's about trying a choice that works for you and being nice about it and not judging yourself. I don't really care about meat, so why eat it. BUT. I love fried chicken and sometimes IMMA EAT A MF FRIED CHICKEN and I ain't got to hate myself for that.
AG: YASSSSS. I had a lot of crazy feelings about food that I actually think were fueled by 1) boredom, like being in a stagnant place at work and 2) massive amounts of Diet Coke. Like I felt crazy and just like shoving stuff in my mouth and thinking about it all the time.
JO: The same goes for exercise. I like to run. But I don't have to go every gd day. And skipping an extra day or whatever because I'm tired or maybe I got up late or whatever. I don't have to hate myself for that. I am a real live human person and I have a life. I'm not a Gwyneth Paltrow robot.
AG: Hahahahhahaa, totally, but like you still struggle with giving yourself those passes. I know you do. Like you run a million miles a week.
JO: Omg. I'm the meanest person to myself. That's a struggle for sure. But then I ran too much and hurt myself and I’m in the middle of taking 2 weeks off (because my doctor made me). And I feel ready to go back. And try to be a little kinder to myself. I was running 30 miles a week. Which is kinda a lot for a 41-year-old dude who until now hasn't run more than to the girl scout cookie station at Whole Foods.
AG: It's like every step forward helps you learn more about your process and how to make it work for you. I'm impatient, like I just want to KNOW WHAT WILL WORK. Like I wish I would've bought the bike and quite diet coke 5 years ago and never got in this sitch.
JO: Same. I wish I would have tried to run long ago. and stayed with it.
AG: But like, I guess we wouldn't have been ready then. So I guess that's what I'm most interested in—how we finally made the turn. And like, full disclosure, I'm not a paragon of health and fitness, I'm a WORK IN PROGRESS AF. But I've made way bigger strides in the past 6 months than in the past 5 years.
JO: SAME. I just lost some weight or whatever and feel healthier. Who even knows if I can keep this up forever. BUT LIKE I WANNA TRY? I think what sorta clicked for me honestly is that people started telling me that I look different? That's dangerous. Because I don't want people to say shit to me about how I look. But. I was like. OH. I look better HEALTHIER. HAPPY.
AG: UM YOU WERE IN THE NEWSPAPER DESCRIBED AS "LANKY." Did that change your life?
JO: LOL. Yeah. I mean it did feel good.
I feel happier just all around. And clear minded and grounded AND STRONG...all of those things are addictive.
AG: Totally. I’ve found that working out has become way less of a mental struggle. I actually like feeling strong and accomplished. I've backslid some with my food choices, so I need to work on that. I've also spent all of March sick, so it sometimes feels like your life is out to get ya. Impeding your goals. But that goes back to the kindness thing you’re talking about. Balancing having goals and being kind to yourself when they don’t work out.
JO: Being sick and working out is the worst.
And I mean. I'm being all positive but I also kinda HATE it. It's hard. I don't always want to run. I'd rather watch the housewives or read US Weekly in the tub. But. I know it's good for me. I know I'll feel better once it's done. It's like what Dorothy Parker says about writing. I HATE TO WRITE but I love TO HAVE WRITTEN.
AG: Sometimes we talk about your wonderful hubby, Andy, who is just like naturally restrained. I love him so much, but I don't get that at all. I am not naturally conservative. I'm like a WE ONLY LIVE ONCE SPEND ALL THE MONEY EAT ALL THE FOOD
JO: lol. yeah. he's first...super encouraging. but then also one of those super annoying people who's like just do a little, try, you don't have to conquer the world...like he does that himself and practices it everywhere? It's inspiring. Gross.
AG: Totally. I mean, I was like, Andy, what's having a coke "once in a while"? And he was like, once every six months. WHAT. Like my once in a while is once a week, bro. Once a day.
JO: We can learn from him.
JO: hahahahaha. He has control. It's like a lot for me to manage myself like that. Why have one piece of candy WHEN I CAN EAT THIS WHOLE BAG.
AG: We’re sisters. I just almost ate a whole bag of goldfish.
JO: omg. I wanna eat everything all the time.
AG: ok, let's go eat. And work out. whatever.