Psssst… have you heard? I have a significant birthday this year.
I turn 50. FIFTY.
Whooo boy, that’s a lot of candles on a cake. I decided that rather than fret about this over vodka martinis and more vodka martinis with the girls, I would hit the milestone head on. Be the best me I could be when the calendar turns. Go into the throes of middle age like a warrior.
I am Woman. Of a Certain Age. Hear me roar. And please turn on that fan because I am hot and need some moving air.
These are my personal Medieval Times. I am Training for Fifty. *cue inspirational John Williams soundtrack music*
I’m working on tuning up a couple of areas in my life, but a big part of this whole Training for Fifty thingy focuses on fitness. Shocking.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about heath and fitness for middle-aged women. And the phrase “food journal” keeps popping up. I turned to Google to get a definitive definition of what a food journal really is. This is what the first entry I looked at said…
A detailed record of what you have eaten and drunk over a period of time. You also record any diet-related symptoms or wind when they occur.
Gee. Thanks, Google.
Doesn’t that sound just delightful?
Well, it’s not. What it is is enlightening and disciplined and necessary.
And PS: That last sentence. No. Just no. God bless America.
After some research and query, I have gone into an arranged marriage with an online fitness “pal.” An app for my phone, this little thing-a-ma-bob had me record my vital statistics (that only God and I know and the only reason He knows is because He’s omnipotent because this sort of thing is pretty much akin to a State Department secret and for once, my lips are sealed) after which it determined my calorie allotment for the day.
My job, once all that analysis was complete, is to simply record every thing I put in my mouth for the day, along with water intake and exercise. Simple, right. HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
After years of free-range eating, stopping to take the time to virtually write down every little thing one consumes... well, it's a little annoying, more-than-slightly sobering and extremely thought-provoking.
But it's been good. Really good. Making me think. And holding me accountable. Dammit.
Last weekend I went out with a couple of my best galpals for an evening of Mexican food and karaoke (more about THAT later.) After I got home, I recorded the night's gastronomical delights. Right down to the chips and salsa and the Grey Goose/tonics I drank as liquid courage to take the karaoke stage.
Whoa. It wasn't pretty. But it was a good -- and necessary -- exercise. Those sorts of evenings must now be the exception, not the rule. For a cook and gastronome like myself, that's not easy.
Training for Fifty, y'all.
And by the way, after getting into the right mindset, I think this food journaling thing is working.
While watching the telly, I've been seeing a huge number of ads for that Joaquin Phoenix/Spike Jonze movie – the one in which Scarlett Johansson is basically Siri and Joaquin falls in love with her. At least that’s what I’m gleaming from the trailer commercials.
Wouldn't be a nightmare if your food tracker acted like that?
“Did you really need to eat those cheesy poofs, fat ass?”
“IT’S JUST FOOD! IT’S NOT LOVE!”
“Kale may be good for you, but wow. That taste. Am I right? Huh?”
“Well, SOMEONE apparently had a good time last night.”
Can't decide if the Siri-esque voice for this should be Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz or Gilbert Godfried. All annoying. Am I right? Huh?
There should also be a feature to make allowances for emotional eating moments. Because, you know, it happens. No matter what that Jillian Michaels says. NOW WHERE'S MY CHOCOLATE?!? CHOCOLATE IS SO TOO LOVE!
And activity/exercise stuff should be expanded to include more everyday, realistic things.
... going to the grocery store without a list. Aisle wandering. Repeatedly. That’s got to count for something.
... cleaning your kid’s room. Hunting down the loose Lego pieces that have fallen behind various pieces of furniture. You know that’s a serious calorie burn. As is doing the dance of pain after stepping on a Lego piece. Barefoot. In the middle of the night.
... putting on Spanx. C’mon. You’ve been there. It should be a sport in the Olympics. Or trying to get a bra on and settled when you’re still damp from the shower. Holy crap. It's like wrestling with yourself. I had a conversation the other day with a woman in the locker room at the gym about this very issue. While she was trying to master said very issue. She was behind a curtain in a dressing room stall, mind you and I was outside sitting on a bench. We agreed that sometimes dressing post-workout while still damp is a workout all on its own. Bonus activity points!
Because while adapting a food/fitness tracker into my lifestyle is the main point, there's no reason why it can't adapt a little to my lifestyle in the process. All part of a good partnership.
Training for Fifty. Boom.