Thursday, January 08, 2015

I'm melting ...

If only her melting were true, that wicked witch may have had a happier life. Think about it. An aging woman gone green, seeking shoes that don't fit, riding on a broom and managing a flock of flying monkeys. That gal needed to work on a few things, right?

I know the typical January resolution intention sends folks to the gyms in droves. Sweating, building muscle, losing lbs, and so on - and that's just dandy. Set your goals, get on the program, and inch your way to success.

But this year my goals are more about looking into the crystal ball of late middle- and old-age and really envisioning a graceful and happy way to embrace all that lies ahead. Is there a marathon, weight-lifting, - triathlon sort of adventure in my future? Nope. A commitment to the "no-pain-no-gain" philosophy? Uh-uh. Shall I try Zumba and bounce around on a gymnasium floor? Been there - did not like it. No buns or abs of steel classes either. Maybe - if they develop a class called buns/abs of hardcore Styrofoam, but not steel.

Here's what my meditated-upon laundry list of Boomerish physical/movement goals looks like:
  • I would like to walk or hike for an hour without my hips hurting
  • I want to feel less bloated and less puffy and less inflamed
  • I would like a better relationship with my body overall (I know that's vague, but you know what I mean, right?)
  • I want my head/shoulders/neck to like me again instead of constantly giving me the finger
  • A bit more muscle definition in the arms and legs would be okay, but it's actually not at the top of the list.
Also, and this is important, I would like a sense of calm to be my pervading emotion. For instance, next time someone jumps the queue at a 4-way, I would like to let it go rather than psychically picture myself T-boning the ass... wait, I'm getting worked up. See?

In prelude to all this, a few months ago I investigated TRE - which is an acronym for Trauma Releasing Exercises. The idea is you do a series of movements that lightly tax key muscle groups, and then you end the session by shaking somewhat involuntarily. At the end of the deal you feel buzzed in a calm way. Excellent practice to release stress and soothe the nervous system, but you do need to make a quiet space for it.

Today I attended a session in another type of all-the-rage-with-the-middle-age boomer wellness camp. Its acronym is MELT - which stands for - well, I have no idea. Maybe it's not an acronym at all, just a good visual. The main focus of the Melt Method is rehydrating connective tissue, and its claim is that the exercises work on "stuck stress" easing it out of joints, fascia, connective tissue and so on.

I had an introductory private lesson today, and (as I am wont to do, always) purchased some of the "stuff." There are balls and rollers involved, and a lot of rolling on pressure points, and I will say this, the sort of self-massage component felt great, targeted and smart, and I came away feeling energized and straighter. Also, less locked up. Placebo? Well, I'll let you know. I'm holding off on more rigorous exercising (ellipticals, weight-training, even Pilates) for a good month or so. When and if I adopt a more strenuous regime, I want to feel calm, centered, flexible, and smartly nourished as a baseline. More like ruby-red-slippered Dorothy. (Who, if I'm remembering correctly, had a bit of a methamphetamine issue. Or maybe I'm thinking about the opiates in the poppies?). Yep, I'd like to skip off to see the Wizard myself. Why not?

So. Food. I'm working on a bunch of recipes today - I had an amazing lunch that figuratively exploded in my mouth! I'll post a food update later - maybe tomorrow. But first, I must ask you: what gets your nervous system fired up the most?


  1. Anonymous6:11 AM

    Here's to MELTing, to trying something new that supports your body and spirit instead trying to beat yourself into submission. The description of your private session sounds so interesting, and different!!, so I'm excited to hear how it goes. Though I'm sitting here thinking, "what could be bad about this?"

    I'm also in a different January feel/look/eat better mode and taking a different route. I just cancelled my gym membership, which is also where I play tennis --- it was the right thing to do but hard to pull the trigger, as I've belonged to (if not always used) a gym with tennis courts for the last 20 years. I'll turn 50 this year, and my knees, hips, back, etc. just can't take the hard-court beating anymore. I have fun while I'm playing and then can't sleep for all the aching. And re: the gym in general, I mentally hate going there: hate the crowded parking lot, the smell, the clubby women. And the cost is ridiculous. When they said they were raising month dues yet again (just raised them in May) that was the final push, I knew I was done. I feel so relieved!!!

    For the last few months, I've settled into a pattern that makes me feel good in body and spirit, so that's what I'm moving forward with. Pilates 3x a week (love my teacher, love my 2 workout partners, look forward to being there) at 3:00 pm, as that's the time of day my eyes and brain are done with writing and screen time. I walk the dogs every morning, and 3x a week I take JoJo on a short 4 mile, flat, slow jog on the creek trail (where water and trees abound). If it's nice out we might hike the big hill.

    Now I need to address the eating part. And the drinking part. I love a glass of wine (or 3) while I'm making a comforting fattening dinner. So I'll be watching your food videos as you post them!

    P.S. I can't take credit for simplifying the workout. I've not told her this yet, but our dear Indiana friend made me think about this. Do you know she started the year walking, just walking, and is still only walking and jogging some, and she's lost about 50 pounds and feels mentally great? She's onto something!

    1. Oh, Teri! I'm beyond impressed with your lines in the sand. I think we all could take stock in reviewing (and pruning) the components of the "good life" every so often. I suppose that's the idea behind "resolutions."

      Meanwhile, the sugar/fat comfort food thing remains a huge battle. I felt like Mrs. Brady last night with the cooking oil (look! It all comes back except for one Tablespoon! - remember Florence and her singsong voice?) I think I just have to laugh my way through the absurdities of meal experimentation. Melting gently into change.

      50 pounds! Wow!

  2. Anonymous8:10 PM

    "What gets your nervous system fired up the most?"
    Punching something or nothing. Punching the punching bag is great, but I'm finding shadow-boxing is even better. I dance more while I'm doing it, ducking and weaving as I avoid an imaginary Markus Zusak or Ernest Hemingway trying to hit me, and throwing the best punches I can get in.
    They always beat me, of course. But I'm getting better — Zusak, I'm coming after you!
    I do this violent-but-no-impact exercise for two minutes during my five-minute breaks between 25-minute bouts of writing.

    As for TRE and MELT, they both sound wonderful. Please report ongoing results. And ALL your food looks unbelievably amazing!

    1. Punching! I think there's definitely a pugilist-writer connection. I did try one of those boxing classes once. It met at 6:00 a.m. I can honestly say, I hated every minute. Okay, I sort of liked the last three minutes when we cooled down and stretched.


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