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That’s right, I’m Fifty! Well….52 now.

I love this!  It is funny every time I watch it. My son sent this video to me on my fiftieth birthday. Having been a dancer just made it all that much more hilarious.  That’s me, at 52 my attitude thinks I can keep up with the younger crowd I work out with, but my body has been in rebellion.  If this post comes off a little pissy, well I am in a frustrated and pissy season.  I have injured my rotator cuff. Grrrrrr! I finally got RX handstand pushups, was progressively adding more weights and setting PRs. I was also feeling ready to try some local CrossFit competitions.  Then about two months ago I woke up with a shoulder ache.  Which is sometimes normal, you push your body it will let you know if you pushed too hard. Nothing hurt during a workout. There was no snap, pop or pull.  So I did what I what I always do, rest, ice, nsaid and avoided any movements, especially overhead that caused pain.  Couple of weeks of resting it, it still hurt.   I was really discouraged and started skipping workouts. It was hard seeing everyone posting PRs, conquering new skills and I couldn’t even work with an empty bar. Poor me.  After my short lived pity party, I had a cortisone injection (wasn’t much help) and worked in some physical therapy.  Ever so slowly I have moved from pain to discomfort. At this point I am hoping that it is because my body is older, it is taking longer to recover.  I am so thankful for great coaches who have been helping me modify the workouts so I can stay in the game.  Just this week I have been able to add very light weight back in. I am taking this time to focus and fine tune my technique. I am trying to keep my attitude positive.  Maybe by the time I can start loading weight again the technique improvement will help me pass my previous accomplishments. That’s my plan anyway.

Men beware; this next topic will be girl talk and more whining. So, if you are squeamish about female issues, run away now before I say MENOPAUSE.  Stay if you dare, but be warned my actions are highly unpredictable and scary without warning. My husband has changed the combination on the gun safe and will not reveal it for fear of his own safety.  Just kidding… I think? I may have to check on that.  Since December I have been on the post side of menopause. My nights go something like this, hot flash, night sweat, strip completely, kick off covers, then fifteen minutes later get chilled by the ceiling fan, cover up, hot flash, night sweat, kick off covers, chilled…repeat several more times till 5:30am alarm. I also get “Man, you’re hot!”  At 3am it is not exactly a “you’re hot!” compliment when followed by “Move over”.  It hasn’t helped that my summer hours are four ten hour days and off on Fridays.  Up at 5:30, work 7am till 6pm, can only make the 7pm crossfit class, then I am not home til 8:30pm. Not worth the Friday off. I can be a real grouchy pants by Friday.   All this has been somewhat manageable and not what bothers me most.  What has had me in panic mode is the gradual increase of stored body fat and weight gain since December. Not muscle weight either, the belly fat and muffin top kind. I wouldn’t care what I weighed if it was muscle weight and positive progress. (See Divorcing the Scale)  From what I have read, estrogen is stored in body fat. It is actually healthy for me at this stage in my life to have a little extra body fat percentage.  Nonetheless, it has gone way past my comfort zone and even hindering my workouts.  For those of you who know me and have followed along, know that fit and healthy is my ambition not a destined number or size.  Anyway, I had not changed my nutrition plan or my workouts. I have stayed very consistent with primal/paleo and gradually gaining body fat anyway. Even though this is the plan I had so much success with, success is not what’s going on. Come on! I’m being disciplined and consistent. I had everything dialed in and working right, so what’s going wrong?  This is what I did when I hit panic mode.  I returned to old destructive eating behavior.  This was my logic. What if I continue strict disciplined primal/paleo and also start restricting calorie intake?  Brilliant right? What happened was, not only was I not losing the body fat I was weakening my workouts by being underfed.  In turn, this could have played a part with my shoulder injury.

Ok, so let’s take a look at the recipe all these circumstances and poor decisions created.  We’ll start with some stressing out along with the long work days.  Now we can add some sleepless nights and working out later evening, oh and let’s not forget I was skipping dinner after killer workouts. I was too tired and just not hungry. Dinner at 8:30pm? Not happening.  I thought this worked out great that I wasn’t hungry. No dinner, but maybe a glass of wine or two or three for the sleep I craved. I know, I know, I am smarter than that. Didn’t I already learn this? It was so easy to fall back into familiar bad eating behavior, especially since I depended on it working for so many years. Then it caught up on me.  (See my original Success Story for my background) In fact, it was so easy to return to this behavior that I really wasn’t conscious of how little I was eating.  That familiar behavior just took over so easy and natural. It is amazing how the familiarity of bad habits can sneak in like an old friend, snake around , then settle in with a false comfort.

Where to go from here?  Time to reevaluate and determine what I am doing right, and what I am doing wrong. Being healthy includes learning to grow, adapt to changes and keep moving forward during and after failures.  From here, first, I am off long summer work days, and that means getting an extra hour sleep and working out earlier evening.  Since I am still nursing the shoulder, some workouts feel like I am not reaching pre injury intensities.  So, I have added some light cardio pre work out to help.  I alternate jumping rope with an easy mile run pre-workout.  After having some conversations with Coach Tom and some needed reprimand in regards to cutting back my calorie intake, I am implementing some changes in my nutritional approach.  I am staying mostly with primal/paleo plan but I have started bumping up the carb intake, more so around workouts. I am also taking in more calories not less, a lot more.  I won’t lie, it is a frightening move. I ballooned the first week and was tempted to immediately hit the road and run excessively.  Coach has assured me it takes time for my body to adjust to the changes, and recover back to healthy metabolizing. I cannot express how difficult it is for me to eat more. I feel awful, bloated and disgustingly plump. However I am determined to stay on course, fuel my body, and work toward resetting my once again broken metabolism. The hard part being, I most likely will feel like a pufferfish till my body catches on and adjust to the changes.  Since talking to coach Tom, I have been researching the concept and benefits of eating more. Resources that I have found helpful online are the forums in Myfitnesspal – Eat More to Weight Less and articles at Eat to Perform.

On another note, I have not considered Hormone Replacement Therapy. Though I have whined and complained about hot flashes and mood swings, the menopausal symptoms have been bearable so far without hormone intervention.

Now you know. This is where I am at in my journey to continued health and fitness. Journey, not easy street.   I emphasize “journey” because there is never a place where we stop wanting to improve. Through all I am still having fun and hitting the gym with some Sally O’Malley  attitude. ” I like to clean! and jerk! and snatch!” I will let you know how it all turns out.