Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: Aqua Zumba!!

First off, Aqua Zumba is 55 minutes of being ten years old and bouncing around the pool with happy music playing. What's not to like? All my natural buoy function makes it easy, but I'm cool with that. I don't think it did much aerobically-- my heart rate got to maybe 110.  And I'm not sure I burned that many calories because, you know, natural flotation gear. But it felt lovely on the joints and lower back and it was just plain entertaining. I felt very sorry for the instructor up top demonstrating everything without the benefit of water, but she seemed to be perfectly cheerful about it. I was called "miss" (I'm 51 next month) so that gives you an idea of the median age for water exercise. But it's all good.

In weight news, I am 5 pounds down because of two weeks sightseeing in Scotland plus stomach flu. I can warmly recommend the former. DH and I got talked into walking a half marathon in the fall with friends. I was freaking out about the race cut off time (4 hours) when my friend reminded me:  "You don't even have to show up on race day. You're doing this for the training, not the race, remember?" So I'll try not to panic about some kindly Amish person worrying about me as they reopen the road and I start getting passed by buggies. We are hoping to get in a training walk every weekend with shorter walks during the week. We did four miles last weekend at an 18 minutish pace.  Will report in how it goes this weekend. Not working (summer!) has certainly been amazingly helpful in getting exercise in. I'm sure my husband could peel out without me, as he is much taller and a practiced walker, but he is too good-natured to leave me in the dust.

And now I'm going to take a minute to argue with my last post.  Not that I am taking back my harsh opinion of the marriage manual which dismayed me so much-- uh, uh, no way, you pretty much suck, dude-- but I am going to argue with my premise that weight loss is sort of impossible. That's been the dialectic of this blog-- can it be done or not? (me as Exhibit A)--  but I think there's enough evidence to say it's sort of changeable, if you accept that you're dealing with some pretty powerful forces, biological and cultural, and that compassion is always indicated.

The reason I'm taking the time to argue with myself is that a dear friend who has gained quite a bit of weight recently was asking if I have heard of the Health at Any Size movement. Which I have, and I agree with much of it (fitness first, avoiding weight as a moral issue, being wary of restrictive diets). But I admit to feeling worried that my friend has decided that weight loss is not worth pursuing, perhaps even that as a goal, it is tainted with sexism. I don't know that that's true, but weight is such a minefield subject (my friend is young and pretty, so it's all the more loaded), I didn't feel I could talk about it except in very general terms.

I worry about the next generation, about their being burdened with flesh that is heavy to carry physically and otherwise.  A proponent of Health at Any Size might argue that the flesh is not really the burden, it's the cultural disapproval that hurts.  To that I'd answer, no, seriously, forty extra pounds is a drag.  You can cut that problem in half if you take out the moral judgment-- I'm all for it-- but it's still a drag. I worry that we'll get to a place culturally where even moderate measures like avoiding junk food or snacks and seconds will be seen as oppressive and moralistic. And yet I think people get so allergic because they are harder on themselves than any but the most hate-filled critics.

Curious what other people are finding as they try to mentor the next generation. What messages about weight or health do you feel comfortable sending out?




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