How to Get Into Your Skinny Jeans in the New Year, One Way or Another

The new year is a time to turn our thoughts to fitness and renewal. There’s fresh hope that this will be the year we look our best. Sadly, the older we get, the fewer calories it takes to run our bodies — making this goal all the less likely.

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But don’t get down. There’s a New Year choice: Give it up now and save on the gym membership. Or dig deep and challenge yourself to try something new.

I’ve heard that as a woman over 40, I need to cut my calories in half to maintain my weight. And that’s just to maintain. My friend Dawn took this to heart and asked her OB/GYN if it was true.

“No” her OB/GYN said. Dawn breathed a sigh of relief. “It’s 2/3 less calories. You have to eat 2/3 less to maintain.”

Dawn has lived in Paris and knows a thing or two about fine wine, delectable cheese and tasty bread. “2/3 less” isn’t on her menu. She decided to fight back and hired a personal trainer to help her prepare for a half marathon this spring. An admirable thing for anyone, but especially for Dawn as she’d never run before in her life. Not once.

For me, it’s been a Godsend. I’ve been lumbering along trying to become a gym person, someone who gets out at lunch, sweats it out, showers and goes about my day. But my workout partner moved back east. So, half of the time I’d end up at the gym, the other half at the Chic-fil-a right nearby. The Chic-fil-a was just so much easier. I didn’t even have to get out of my car.

So when Dawn asked if I’d run a 5K with her, I jumped at the chance. It was fall and the holiday pounds were on the horizon (make that on the lips, soon to be the hips). At our first 5K, I thought my lungs would explode. Seems lifting the Chic-fil-a isn’t such a good workout after all. But I finished. Mostly because I was too embarrassed not to.

The next month we signed up for a second race. This time I actually got out and ran a bit beforehand. (Not looking foolish can be a strong motivator.) We weren’t the fastest but not the slowest either. While we ran it occurred to me that she’s been looking good from all this training so I asked.

“Are you in your skinny jeans?”

She nodded. I was filled with happiness for my friend, but a touch of jealousy too. [Read more…]