By Debbie Koenig
I don’t know how it happened, but 13 years have passed since I got married. In May 2004 I was 38 years old, my husband 35. And in my head, that’s how old we are today. Our bodies tell a different story. During those 13 years:
- I stress-ate through infertility — and then gained another 30 pounds during the pregnancy that finally brought my son. After maintaining my Weight Watchers loss for almost a decade, I had to abandon my fantasy of being one of those sexy-fit pregnant women. I thought I’d be on the treadmill several times a week, and people would comment how from the back you couldn’t tell I was pregnant. Instead I felt soft and flabby. Thank heavens for breastfeeding, because that weight came off relatively easily before my son was a year old.
- I gained 25 pounds a few years later, while developing recipes for my cookbook. (Ironically enough, it’s a cookbook intended to help new parents take care of themselves!) And my husband packed on 40. We did something about it, though. We went on Weight Watchers together. It worked.
- For my husband, that proved transformative. He’s hit the gym like clockwork, three days a week, ever since. He signs up for 5K races several times a year, and has done a couple 10Ks as well. When I compare the way he looks now to our wedding pictures, I can honestly say he’s gotten hotter. (The salt-and-pepper George Clooney hair doesn’t hurt, either.)
- My body, on the other hand, definitely shows signs of wear and tear, all since I turned 50. Around the time I hit that milestone, I was diagnosed with Old Lady Feet (the technical term is bunions and corns, I believe). Most days, walking hurts. This past fall, out for a gentle jog with my son, I tore the meniscus in my right knee. Physical therapy has helped me avoid surgery, but between that and the bunions I’m not joining my husband for any 5Ks. I’ve had two heart scares in two years. It shocks me, how quickly it all falls apart.
BUT: Although my muscle tone ain’t what it used to be, my weight remains under control thanks to Weight Watchers. I know how to eat healthfully, and most of the time I do it. Instead of walking or jogging for exercise, I turn to the stationary bike. While I’ll never get my 38-year-old body back, I’m finding ways to keep from spiraling. It’s all up to me.
Keep up with me on Connect @debbieskoenig.
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