STRONG and BENDY
I lost 165 pounds over several years. And then, nothing. I varied diets, tried new versions of low carb and low calorie. I couldn’t move the scale (my toxic lover) without extreme dieting. As we know, you can’t maintain “extreme” anything. Extreme dieting usually has backwards results, in that most people gain back the weight lost and then some. Not an option for me.
I reassessed my situation: my success thus far, how to sustain my progress and not regain any weight, I reviewed the statistics of how others who’ve lost massive amount of weight have faired–percentage wise, not good because they mostly stopped evolving. I considered my business requirements and travel, my new goals, what I need to support my family, and even what kind of vacation adventures we want.
I determined that now, having just turned 50, and with the full life I have, I want to become “STRONG and BENDY.”
I know I’m still a work-in-progress, but I wanted something else now, not necessarily to be thin as defined by society. I want to be something that makes ME happy, that gives me something more than what I see in the mirror. I want to age gracefully, with strength and agility. I want to remain a force in my own life, mentally and physically.
Strong. Bendy. Fit. Flexible. Formidable. Badass. Sexy.
Fit and flexible enough to reach down and pick up big bags of mulch and work in my garden. Mentally and physically able to handle the demands of our software company and the travel that comes with it, including long arduous conventions. And one day, flexible and strong enough to throw some grand babies up in the air and hear them squeal with laughter. Fit enough to keep up with my 12 year old son – or to his dismay, surpass his energy. Badass enough to skateboard, or ride a dirt bike, and know that my physical equilibrium can support the dynamic forces that require balance and endurance. I love bounding energetically through my daily life and hope to continue to do so through my 50’s, into my 60’s and beyond.
Giving this new goal of mine a descriptive and well-stated name–STRONG and BENDY–has turned into the best next chapter.
Since putting together my new goals, I have found a trainer, Catherine (Cece) English and a studio, Red Dot Fitness. I interviewed many trainers and I knew Cece would be perfect for me. I was impressed with Cece’s althletic education and experience, and just as important, she totally got me. She understood what I wanted and why. We’ve become a wonderful team. I am well on my way to lifting heavy weights. Cece is training me in such a way that I am becoming “strong and bendy” in a rewarding time frame.
I’m madly, head-over-heals in love with big heavy weights. Each time Cece puts the bar out and we add the weights, I get so excited. I like when we do bench work with free weights. When she increases my load, I call it “graduating”. I think kettle bells are my new lovers. Love. Love. Love kettle bells and swinging them, and catching them mid air to switch hands. They make me feel so badass! I am all about the kettle bells. Where have all these big sexy weights been all my life?!
Cece and I have so much fun in my training sessions, though I’m dripping and projectile sweating , I require big breaths at times, and long swigs of water. The weights may be sexy to me, but THIS. IS. HARD. WORK. Cece often reminds me, as she’s pushing me to do (assisted) chin-ups (3 sets of 10 – yikes!), that I’m getting ‘strong’. She points out how my shoulders, back and my arms are building “strength.” When she has me do medicine ball (those balls are heavy) tosses from one side to another, or up and down, or below and then around, or works me with tubes/bands/cables, she reminds me how “bendy” I’m becoming. She educates me on how vital range of motion is to my being ‘bendy’. My range of motion and my overall strength are improving with each workout. I now appreciate how range of motion is improving my strength, it’s intrinsic in supporting it.
My trainer and I being on the same page makes for a symbiotic experience. I feel this is helping me remain focused, and have greater success with my training. I strongly recommend getting a professional trainer for this level of undertaking.
Dieting, though extremely necessary for someone who had the pounds to lose I had, at times left me feeling a bit weak. In contrast, training with big heavy weights, makes me feel empowered. I now eat to train, and that’s such a great mental shift for me. If by lifting weights and eating clean, I eventually lose more weight, or remain the same weight but get smaller in size, then that will be fabulous. If not, my life will be just as beautiful at this size with all my curves, and my new strong muscles–with The Hubs happy as can be about me (if you know what I mean 😜).
I don’t feel guilty when I eat clean and lift weights. I’m constantly figuring out my next clean, balanced meal. Fruit and great fats/oils are my welcomed friends. I eat mostly WHOLE 30 ish. Sugar and flour make rare appearances at my meals but when they do, I make sure they’re yummy and worth it. I must admit, I need to reduce my cheat/celebratory days, and focus more on my “eat to train”. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day happened, and camping with the familia and road trips…and friends over for dinner, and out with friends to dinner, and daughter time, and dates with Jon~Jon… Working on it.
Feeling strong and bendy aren’t the only benefits: the endorphins post-training are worth the price of admission for this 50 year old female who feels more like a 17 year old after training. I drive home with the windows rolled down and music blasting as though I were that age again. Gotta love classic rock! I feel happy almost all of the time since I began my training.
If there’s something you want to ‘get your game on’ for yourself, and you aren’t working on whatever your version of “Strong and Bendy” is for YOU, decide what you want and join me. Give it a good enough name, and go for it! Share with all of us: the good and the bad. Let us support you, too. We can do this together. Don’t you think that’s even more powerful than just me getting “strong and bendy” by myself?
One thought on “Name of the Game”
Mari you look so strong and healthy. I love your site. You inspire. Keep up the great work.