pushing limits

I walked, just walked at the lake on Friday and began to feel tired before I was halfway through. I kept on, slowing my pace and though I could feel my calves starting to ache and my breathing a little deeper. I could say it was my lack of conditioning, which is possible but the fact it was 93 degrees had more to do with it. I was wearing my new shorts, pale legs in their glory and one thing that kept me going was the thought that I was not going to falter or perish in shorts. I probably should have walked less but stubborness encouraged me to do it, and not wanting to admit I was  a weakling, I did. I was fortunate I didn’t have heatstroke, a heart attack or even sunburn, just a little soreness that went away in a few hours. Pushing myself is good, in theory, but sometimes hindsight shows how dumb it can be. 

I pushed myself again today, in a less dangerous way. I went to an ashtanga class that lasted an hour and 15 minutes. Ironically I sweated less but it challenged me more than the vinyasa classes. Endurance is the keyword here and I found how wonky my balance is, I could barely hold poses for more than a second or two. Yet I felt better after and I plan to go back next Sunday. 

But what occupied my mind tonight while I went for a short (45 minute) walk tonight was this story one of my co-workers and four friends of mine. The first part, that Ms. Couric remarried at the age of 57 and one of my co-workers is getting married, also for the second time, next month and she’s 62. Personally, I say great for them, it’s what they want and maybe it gives other women hope that they might marry later in life. Which is what brought my four friends to mind. 

All four are smart, good hearted women who want a relationship, maybe marriage, maybe not, and are currently single. I’d like to see all four find their ideal partner. Marriage too, if it’s right but that’s not my call. Two of them say they don’t want to be married but all would like to find a good guy. So in this sense we’re pushing limits, of what is expected and when it’s expected. 

As for me I know I’m not cut out for this, I know my limits, my patience won’t allow it. I’m a demanding, cranky old broad who does not want to take care of another sick old man and at my age that’s all there is. I tested my limits emotionally and was surprised how quickly I resolved this. I am a lot like Roz.



I walked at the lake tonight, the wind was blowing hard, it was hot and I was lazy so running was not an option. I decided that I was going to do something radical, I was going to buy a pair of shorts. It was hot and black pants are not a good choice when the temps are in the 90s.

So before I could talk myself out of it I went to Goodwill and bought 2 pairs of shorts. I figured if they looked like crap or I felt really dumb at least I didn’t spend much on them.  Also I didn’t have to wear them in public,  I could sleep in them or send them back to Goodwill, so no pressure. 

Why is this a big deal? Because the last time I wore shorts was in 4th grade. True. I had chubby Hobbit legs and all these years later I still do. But I was not body conscious then; I knew I was a fat kid and had fat little legs but shorts were comfortable and I didn’t think about it, until 4th grade. One of my friends commented on my chubby legs and I felt embarrassed and that familiar feeling of shame. I told my mom I wasn’t wearing shorts anymore, just jeans like my friend did. I kept my word and didn’t wear shorts for more than thirty years.

So here are a couple of bad selfies of my Hobbit legs in my new Goodwill shorts. Ignore the clutter, I’m still not completely moved in and will be clearing out of Bear’s room at the end of the month and sharing Jerry’s space. I’m not going to impress anybody or stop traffic in these. Yet I’ve seen people who are bigger than me, people with pale legs and they don’t care what you think about how they look and I’m trying to capture a little of that attitude. Ironically I don’t care about how they look either but the little flicker of shame that I felt when I was 9 years old still burns in the back of my mind and the embers seemed to grow stronger when I looked at myself in the mirror. Which is why I took these, though my lack of previous selfie taking experience shows. I’m not sure when I’ll actually wear either of these in public, but I will, eventually.





protein bar taste test

Although there are lots of protein bars out there, with varying nutritional values and tastes, I’ve been loyal to one, Life Choice. They have 21 gm of protein and 190 calories per bar, are cheap (Wal-Mart has them) and most importantly, they taste good. Most high protein bars, with more than 10 gm of protein, tend to be higher in calories and some of the lower protein bars do too. Even the healthy bars life Clif and Luna do, which I was surprised to learn when I started to read their labels. Because of my special nutritional needs I want a bar that’s less than 200 calories per serving and has 20 gms of protein. I don’t eat meat except for fish, partly for ethical reasons but mostly because I’ve lost my taste for mammal flesh. I also don’t want to gain back the weight I lost after my gastric bypass so I try to watch my calories, I try but a few get by me. 

So when I was in Target today I saw a new protein bar, with 21 gms of protein and promising 180 calories.My eyes lit up when I saw they were on sale and though they cost considerably more than Life Choice I bought them. Pure Protein, a Target exclusive. I tried one about an hour ago and though I love Target and appreciate their foray into the high protein bar market I’m sorry to say they were disappointing. Not nasty but the taste was, well, meh.  A lot of meh, they reminded me of those diet meal bars I used to eat in high school, some brand that no longer exists (and for good reason). Like the cookie that stirred Proust’s memories these artificial flavors reminded me of a time when I was perpetually hungry and cranky.

I am picky but the truth is I have very little space in my stomach so what goes in has to be worthwhile and taste really, really good. I’m also trying to undo a lifetime of training to clean my plate, no matter what. I was told if I didn’t finish it would be considered an insult and a waste of food. Even when I’m at home and there’s no need to protect anyone else’s feelings I still struggle with this. I deliberately stopped eating the bar because I realized I didn’t like it and it was all right to leave it. I plan to take them to my sister’s house; she or our dad will eat the darned things but I’m figuring dad will, probably while he watches Gunsmoke.   

So Life Choice 1, Protein Power 0. 

Disclaimer: I’ve not received any money or goods from either Wal-Mart or Target, this was my own experiment using my own money and not influenced in any way from either Wal-Mart or Target. For the purposes of the taste test I compared the Life Choice double chocolate bar with the Pure Protein chocolate deluxe.