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Slices of Life - Stepping away from the treadmill

April 4, 2014
Jill Pertler - Columnist , Dysart Reporter

All right. Enough's enough already. I give up.

I'm throwing in the workout towel, hanging up my tennis shoes and reaching for a thick slice of pizza - with extra cheese, please.

It's become too much. Diet and exercise. Exercise and diet. I've been traveling the road to fitness for weeks now - my commitment is beyond monumental - and today I stepped on the scale see the same old familiar numbers staring back at me. Again.

My scale has become a permanent fixture fixated on my failure to lose and even though they say numbers don't lie, I'm crying foul. Something is amiss. I am doing all the right things for all the right reasons. My goal is health. I want to be strong, live long. Is it wrong to want to look good and have a svelte waistline while doing so? Apparently so, because while my efforts feel substantial, the results are anything but.

Diet and exercise. Who knew two unassuming words could be so difficult and overwhelming and all-encompassing? After a certain age (which shall remain nameless) if you don't want to sag in places that shouldn't sag, fitness and health become essential components to your life's focus. Ugh. I'd rather focus on cheese.

Unfortunately, cheese is not included in the dietary regime of this health-conscious amphibian. I'm practicing the Kermit plan, and it ain't easy being green. Green tea (antioxidants), green smoothies (super-nutrition) and a green salad (fiber) are part of my daily fodder. Green M&M's (yum) are not.

Life is far from fair.

One of the most unfair bodily functions known to humankind is a process called metabolism. Metabolism - not to be confused with cannibalism - is the rate at which we convert the food we eat into energy used by our bodies. People have different rates of metabolism. After the last few months, I believe mine is practically nonexistent. Experts say this is to be expected because after a certain point in life, is it natural for one's metabolism to decrease to rate of a slow-moving slug.

In other words, I'm running uphill, against the wind, while gravity (another best friend) pulls me downward. This helps explain why my waist and weight sit at bigger numbers than they ever were meant to be. The only remedy? Diet and exercise!

Where are my pom poms when I need them?

Experts recommend aerobic activity to benefit the heart. I walk - because it is the closest thing to non-exercise that gives one an aerobic workout. I figure it's sort of like getting the benefit of a workout without really working out. I don't want to take this exercise thing to the extreme. I'll earn my 26.2 in another lifetime, although I harbor sincere and wholehearted envy toward those of you with the flashy stickers in the back windows of your minivans.

Research shows that strength training can help ward off osteoporosis and increase one's ability to maintain independence with daily activities - like carrying in the groceries. I'm a supporter of strong bones and independence, but as far as the groceries go, I don't have three strapping sons for nothing. Mama needs a hand here!

We are told there are numerous benefits to maintaining a strong core. A core is key to being centered and balanced. It also trims the tummy. I'm trying to bolster my core, but I'm not convinced I have much of one. Maybe it's hanging out somewhere with my metabolism. I'd like to look like a core, but I'm afraid my body more closely resembles the shape of a fully-intact apple.

Stretching before and after your daily fitness routine helps maintain flexibility, which enhances overall health and well-being. Not to brag, but I mastered the art of flexibility years ago. Remember those three sons of mine? Their antics help me maintain the epitome of flexibility - without ever having to touch my toes.

The effort required to eat right and stay in shape can be exhausting. I'm currently suffering from a diet hangover - or too much of a good thing. That's why I'm taking a spring break. I'm not giving up completely. I'm going to stay calm, and step away from the treadmill, regroup, eat a piece of cheese (or three) and get back on the scale tomorrow.

Or maybe the day after that.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" You can read more and follow her column on the Slices of Life page on Facebook.



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