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Grow Or Die Trying

Grow Old or Die Trying |

Staying in motion, going forward, even teeny tiny steps will yield big results.

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a book, raising kids, remodeling the kitchen, starting a small business…your project or goal needs constant attention and action to yield measurable results.

Fair warning: Attempting any goal might kill you, but press on.

Last fall I bought an(other) exercise book. I read it cover to cover. There sure were some pretty pictures of young women in toned bodies, more than half my age, all smiling (at me?).

I got familiar with the exercises, doing them in my head while sitting on the couch. The ones that promised tighter abs got highlighted with a bright yellow marker. Kind of a joke to consider this a possibility since the last time I saw mine Jimmy Carter was still in office.

Part B of the exercise program emphasizes nutrition.

I could practically taste the monotony of the rotating 120 day meal plan. The meals had been aesthetically plated for photographing, but even in full-color one could taste the beige and tan of boiled chicken and brown rice. For variety, the author suggests substituting “green meals”. Basically,  KALE, thrown in an expensive blender along with powders and oils and seeds, whirled into a sludge. Think St. Patty’s Day Slurpee with chunks and you get the idea.

I put the book on the coffee table in plain view, but a safe distance from my bowl of Cherry Garcia.

Oh, the guilt.

My motto has always been: Eat Well. Exercise. Die Anyway. But this time, once and for all, I wanted to find out if my arms were indeed long enough to touch my toes. Enjoy a plumbing system with the regularity of spring rain. And zip up my jeans without having to fold fat like an accordion.

Six months after starting the exercise and meal program — SIX months — I felt a strange bump on the back of my upper arm. At first I thought it was a tumor. Turns out it was a muscle. Hello, old friend.

Exercise and eating regiments are nothing new for me. They cycle around every few years like Pyramid schemes, promising big pay-outs for a short upfront investment.

For the most part I’ve stuck with it. There have been days when I sat on the exercise bike and read the newsfeed on my phone. Not pedaling, just reading. Other times I’ve twisted in some weird Yoga position only to Zen out to a Tahitian beach.

But let the record show, I showed up in my Spandex and sneakers every day. And surprisingly, I’ve grown to appreciate the health benefits of green shakes.

A few months into it and honestly I feel yucky when I skip a day. Again, for the record, I haven’t lost a single pound and my clothes are either loose or tight in different places. The good news: I’ve proved that my arms are long enough to touch my toes. And with a dedicated 45 minutes a day on the bike I’m learning conversational Italian. Molto bene!

Who knows, I might pedal enough miles to make it all the way to Tahiti. I’ve heard it’s very green. Perfect for making healthy Slurpees.


Original graphic: Stephanie DelTorchio

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