HagHealth: The D-word

Posted: September 1, 2011 in health

Yesterday, I went back to the gym after a loooong hiatus. (Plenty of excuses why, none of them very good…) The Man over here at Ye Olde Salt Mines decided we fat and lazy salt miners needed to get out of our ergonomic office chairs, and he offered free noon-time exercise classes, so I felt like I had to sign up.


Yesterday’s class was Zumba, which, as most people know, is a form of Latin dancing emphasizing fast footwork. Five minutes in, and I’m sweating like a horse and stumbling about like a chimp. (And I probably smell like both.) I give the instructor  high marks on enthusiasm and skill, but she flunks out on any actual INSTRUCTION, particularly considering how intricate some of the dance steps are. I bounce around for about 25 minutes before my sweat level and rumbling stomach (gotta remember to eat something before that class) takes me out.

Today’s class is basic aerobics, a little more familiar and easier to keep up with (“ARE WE HAVING FUN? FEEL THAT BURN! GOOD JOB!”) and I make it through the entire session, sort of. But I am still shockingly out of shape.

Yeesh. I used to run 10Ks and do step aerobics and lift weights, but I left it all behind after suffering an injury that has long since healed. And I clearly remember all the perks of being fit: more stamina, better weight control, fun friendships with exercise buddies, being part of the fitness crowd, and, in particular, what I call The Cosmic Hum (or runner’s high or whatever) that would sometimes wash over me after a good workout. I’d like to regain some of that.

But I have another, even more compelling reason to crawl out of my rut.

I was at a doctor’s appointment last spring, I forget what for. My doc is a rather thorough sort, and he ordered a little blood work before I saw him. He walked in, sat down, and immediately started muttering something about my blood sugar levels and started reaching for his prescription pad…

NO, I said. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.  We’re not going there. I’M not going there. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll lose weight. I’ll go back to the gym. I’ll change my diet. Just do not prescribe me any, um, gulp, DIABETIC medication. I DESPISE that word. I don’t want it anywhere on my medical record. With my medical history, I’ll have enough trouble qualifying for any other coverage without the D-word stigma.

I left his office in a funk, and over the next two months I lost 20 pounds, which put my blood sugar in a more acceptable range. But I’ve stalled out, and I need to get my motivation and enthusiasm back. Hence, the gym.

This was not supposed to happen. Unlike my friends with type II, adult-onset diabetes, I have no history of the disease in my family. None of my siblings have it. I can only blame my sedentary self and my two-Cokes-a-day habit.

The Baby Boomers are going to swell the numbers of type II diabetics out there. No big surprise. I just WILL NOT be one of them.

So help keep me honest. And motivated. How do you manage your weight/workouts/ health?

Update: Moments after I posted this I stumbled across this photo from Ari at Advanced Style. She’s on her way home from yoga. Kill. Me. Now.

  1. notquiteold says:

    I love yoga and it keeps my old joints limber, but I know I need something more, something I haven’t done since I wore leg-warmers and the gym played Olivia Newton John music. My hairdresser swears by Zumba, so I think I will give it a try. She says she laughs all the way through it, and that sounds right up my “alley”.

  2. Mizz D says:

    Hey there MsMeta!

    My experience with Zumba is that minimal or no instruction is given, on purpose (what that purpose is beats me). It’s the way they do it. After a few classes you will pick up the steps but it’s awkward as h*ll at first. Hang in there if you love to dance and enjoy the music.

    I like lifting weights, running, walking. I’d like classes too, but have trouble meeting that commitment right now. I do better with fitness I can spontaneously (?) cram into my time when the schedule allows.

    I put a calendar on my blog in which I can log my workouts. Then I can review to see what I’ve done (or NOT) and tweak things accordingly. Puts it out there and keeps me honest. I’ll blog about my monthly fitness goals as well.

    Congratulations on losing 20 lbs!!!! I am inching my way there….slowly AND surely! I also do not want to be hit with the D-word either (my sis already has it).

  3. I’m in relatively good shape for a mid-fifties gal, but due to my hip replacements, am not able to do yoga. (Several of the positions would dislocate my bionic joints — and while I can do some of the moves, the worry just spoils the experience for me.) Zumba might be the ticket — I can dance!

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