I have a new long term goal, one that is sure to please my soon-to-be husband. My goal is to remain active, toned, and physically fit my entire life. This goal was recently spurred by people I encounter every week who make comments to me like “look how little you are, must be nice to be 25” or “just you wait until you are my age, then you won’t be able to eat like you do now.”
I get it, the older you become the harder it is to stay in shape and the extra twinkie really does go straight to your thighs. I also know that I have literally worked my butt off to get to the place I am now. Sometimes I just smile and nod, and sometimes I respond to the debbie downer comments with “yeah maybe it is my age…or maybe it’s those 5am gym classes I attend, the fact that I haven’t eaten fast food in 5 years, haven’t had a soda in 12 months, or eaten a piece of bread in 5 months. ” They don’t care though. They want to feel better about themselves so they insist that my age is the only reason I can now fit into a size 2 pants.
I assure you, it’s not just my age. At the ripe age of 16 I was almost 25 pounds heavier than I am now. For a person who measures 5 feet 3 inches on a good day, that is a lot of weight. Up until a few years ago, I have always chosen a soda over water, pizza over salad, and candy over fruit. Do I occasionally binge and eat an entire cookie cake in a 12-hour period? 3 days ago I sure did! Do I still eat chocolate every single day? Yep! The difference now is that I don’t feel guilty about it and send myself into a downward shame & eating spiral. It just means that when I hit the gym the next day, I’ll run harder, lift more, and push myself to the edge. In fact yesterday I was pumping iron next to a woman who had to be in her 70’s. What an inspiration!
So when people in their late 30’s and 40’s tell me that my figure is the way it is only because of my age, I take it personal. Sure my body may transform a little easier than someone older than I am, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t worked for it. It’s like when someone says “you take great pictures, you must have a nice camera” or “this food is delicious, your stove must be top of the line!”
So here it is, the goal I have set for myself and for those people who contribute health and fitness to just being young. I will be the 50-year old wearing tank tops without the arm flab, shorts without the jiggle, and dresses without the spanx underneath. Then what will the debbie downers and discreditors of the world have to blame?
If you want it, work for it! No matter your age, race, genetics, income, or lifestyle, you have the ability to transform your body.
“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.” – Byron Katie