I want it back. I want to feel like I felt when I was teaching 6 fitness classes a week: flat stomach, smooth taut skin over muscular legs and arms, high impact aerobics for an hour with ease and my reverse twisting triangle pose was the envy of the studio.
Well, suck it up buttercup, that was 27 years ago (I was 40 at that time) and even the most conscientious health nut has to accept that ones’ collagen supply loses its grip on the upper legs, underarms and facial jowls at some point.
I have sucked it up but I haven't given up! And neither should you! I'm coming to terms with the outer skin sack thing because it really has nothing to do with my functional health at this age. Functional health: getting around easily in a pain-free body while doing daily tasks, has come to mean 2 important things that I/We have complete control over: muscle strength and flexibility. That drooping muffin top doesn't stop my obliques underneath from doing a side plank by golly!
Just the other day, when I caught myself in the usual self-hate battle convo in my head, you know the one; when we're getting dressed, when we're getting undressed, when we catch a glimpse of that adorable dimpled, sagging ass in the mirror - first of all I stopped myself quickly by saying out loud, "Stop! Be your best friend Polly! I love you!" (works every time), second of all I did a quick internal body scan and assessed that I am, in fact, pain free and I'm strong enough to take the stairs 2 at a time and I can lay my palms flat on the floor with legs straight. Hells girl, you are strong and you are flexible! I'll take it! Strength to stay independent and take care of my own sh**and flexible so that I won't pull a hammy and can zip up my own Lily Pulitzer sheath thank you very much (I don't really have a Lilly Pulitzer sheath but it's a visual, isn't it?).
So let’s practice some important Self Love here, ladies, and 1) accept our amazing and wonderful bodies as they are at this age and 2) put a consistent, do-able routine in place to keep us strong enough and flexible enough. Here’s my plan:
Monday/Wednesday/Friday - Lower body strength, core work and stretch
Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday - Upper body strength, core work and stretch
Sunday - Stretch, pedicure, wine
Did you catch that we stretch every day? You're going to love it. Stretching is the one discipline that shows results faster in the body than any other exercise does, in my opinion. I swear, after 3 days of stretching you’re going to see (close up that the carpet really needs vacuuming ) a bigger range of motion happen!
* The strength workout 12 - 48 reps of each muscle group OR the length of one really good Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars song, 3-4 minutes of core, so in total, the workouts lasts 10 - 20 minutes max.
Here’s a video of me doing all the basic strength moves for ya (or you could YouTube a young, pretty, ultra-athlete showing you instead).