Exercise And Listening To The Needs Of Your Body In Middle Age

Imbruglia lying on a bed topless.
Imbruglia lying on a bed topless. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I chose to listen to the physical needs of my body yesterday, and remain in bed, even though my nagging brain was telling me to ‘run, fat girl, run.’

It took all my willpower not to throw on my runners and leggings and jump out of bed, straight into the gym.

Jokes aside, making exercise a part of my weekly routine is a constant battle between mind and body, and one that torments me daily. I’ve accepted that menopause and age are determined to make me fat, but it’s hardly fair that they should make me feel listless enough not to fight them as well.

I’ve just been through a really tough few weeks of work, mentally and physically, and at times it felt as though I was sinking into a quagmire of stress.

And the first thing to give is exercise.

I DO know that you have to MAKE TIME for exercise, even though that’s one of the items on my daily to-do list to be completely ignored when I’m bogged down and in the thick of it. Interestingly though, I did manage to make time to watch The Bachelor, bitch at the old man about the quality of his housework, and drink copious vats of wine.

Which is why I don’t think I had ever looked forward to Sunday more. I actually typed the words ‘day off’ in my calendar so that I wouldn’t be tempted to take on more work or check my work inbox for more shit to fuck with my brain.

And while my body might be as resistant to exercise as it is to kale chips, I know I need to do it, not just for the physical benefits, but for the mental positivity it brings, too.

So the plan yesterday was to start my day with long overdue lay-in, and follow it up with a run (*snort*) and soothing swim afterwards.

Obviously when I employ the verb ‘run’, my personal interpretation of the word is no doubt a little different to the general one, having not used my legs for anything more tiring than getting in and out of my car for the past month. The aim is to walk 100m, then increase the speed to a ‘run’ for 100m, or at least until the fear of an embarrassing case of sudden death syndrome on the side of the road overrides my good intentions.

My lay-in, which included three hours of Facebook-trawling in the guise of research for the blog, (my favourite thing in the world to do), was as fulfilling as I had hoped, but apart from naked torso shots of Chris Hemsworth, it doesn’t really get the heart racing, and the internal guilt at being a complete slob threatened to spoil my relaxation during the third hour.

English: Chris Hemsworth at the 2010 San Deigo...
English: Chris Hemsworth at the 2010 San Deigo Comic-Con International. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around 11am, the old man informed me he was off the gym and I discerned in his tone an accusatory ‘shouldn’t you be out of bed by now?’ Maybe I’m being paranoid, but that sort of passive aggressive behaviour made me suddenly resent him even more than usual and so much more determined to remain there, embroiled in the heat of stale sweat caused by sitting under a heavy winter cover in a thick towelling dressing gown for far too long.

And looking about as far from how Natalie looks above as possible.

Because I am fundamentally a child and despise being told what to do.

But as I heard the front door close on Mr Fucking Smug, I sighed, rolled over and attempted to heave my sticky mass out of bed deciding it was indeed time to give the neighbours some entertainment and pound the streets to get this lardy body feeling the burn.

But the sudden movement must have confused my body, for suddenly my eyes began to glaze over again and the Princess took full advantage of my brief confusion and snuggled in more tightly for her post breakfast, pre-lunch sleep, and I thought ‘Fuck It!, I’m going to listen to my body’.

And if what my body needs to do is rest, then so be it.

4 thoughts on “Exercise And Listening To The Needs Of Your Body In Middle Age

  1. This was fecking brilliant 😄 Thank you Louisa for putting into hilarious words what my own battle with perimenopausal excercise (or utter lack thereof).

    I cannot even recognize myself since the advent of bloody Peri…and wine has indeed become the thing that I prefer over trying to work full time and then try to take more precious time from my day to slog it out at the gym..I hate the gym, really..and then you have all these well-intentioned people saying you just need to find a form of excercise that you enjoy….? I think I’ll have another Pinot Gritio and consider that…

    Keep up what you are so amazing at Louisa, writing this blog that so many of us can relate to! Cheers from Alberta, Canada


    1. Thank you for your kind words, Kelly. It’s a constant battle, isn’t it, but all evidence suggests that as long as you’re moving through the day, that counts. So moving to the fridge for wine is a good thing.


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