I've had a love-hate thing going with my body for a lot of years. It's no secret that I hate exercise for the sake of exercise. I don't have any lofty goals as much as I desire to get back to the lifestyle I maintained circa late 2005, when I felt good, lighter and appeared somewhat thinner.
That was the year that I at least learned to eat better. Those habits have come and gone in the years since. During the last holiday season, things really came to a head when I realized that I was stress eating at every turn, and I put on at least five pounds. I had to make a change at that point, pissed I had gotten so ridiculous. It didn't take long to drop those extra pounds, and a few more, mostly by exercising the kind of portion control that I was already pretty good at.
For exercise, I took up tennis, because I'm not a gym kind of person. I was a sore mess after that first session, and I was annoyed with myself that I allowed my body to get so out of shape. I'm happy to say that now I can play and I'm not endlessly sore. I'm not at the level of fitness I had when I was coaching full-time, but I'm really pleased with my agility and "twitch" when I'm playing. I get the racket on a lot of stuff that other people wouldn't even go for (though this rarely has the rewards that volleyballs does).
I still need to drop another six or seven pounds to get back to my 2005 weight. The thing that's so strange about those few pounds is the dramatic difference in the way I look and the way I feel just walking the earth. If you think about it, that's like not carrying around a gallon jug of milk, so it makes sense. To get there, I need to clamp down on the portions even more, and get out of my office chair more often.
What I'm not interested in is making this effort the lone focus of my life. I've had some friends make incredible physical turn-arounds, but about half of them don't talk about anything else. Everything to them is about fitness. People get boring when that's all they are. I'm not interested in extremes... I'm quite happy with mediocre, normal fitness.
The really tough realization at this point is that I don't have much choice. Every year that passes, I can feel my body letting me down in small, subtle ways that are indicative of the inevitable ending we all eventually reach. This year is the first year that I've felt joint pain now and then, which scares the crap out of me when I look at how arthritis is affecting my mom, particularly in the hands.
But despite all of this, I feel much better than I did six months ago. The IBS has been generally absent the last few months, which has a lot to do with my quality of life. The lethargy and constant desire to sleep is gone. Tennis no longer requires an extended hot tub stay. It's funny how the little things you do can add up.