August 17 12

It may have been the Olympics. I’m not entirely sure, actually. But I think it was.

But over the last few weeks there has been this *thing* that was just nagging at me.

It was like a sore on the roof of your mouth. You know, the kind you get after eating Cap’n Crunch; the kind that you know will never heal because you just can’t stop feeling with your tongue.

Every day during the summer games, I sat at the edge of my bed with my laptop on my lap. I would tap, tap, tap out all of the things that needed to be tap, tap, tapped. And I would watch in absolute awe. The swimmers. The divers. The volleyball players. The gymnasts. The cyclists. The basketball players. It was easy to pick out the obvious commonality there—their bodies. Athletes treat their bodies like temples. Strong, powerful, awesome temples.

I treat my body like..well, certainly not like a temple. Most like, um, a donut shop.

My body isn’t strong. It isn’t powerful. It isn’t awesome.

It just…is.

I feed this body pretty well, most of the time. I love to eat vegetables and the good kind of carbs and proteins. I gave up diet coke over a year ago, in favor of tea. I eat things like chia seeds and quinoa. But I do partake in baked goods—often. And I love movie popcorn. I exercise this body, sometimes. I like to ellipticize and ride my bike—completely inconsistently. But I have a job that keeps me almost entirely sedentary—parked on my arse from 9-4.

But I have been feeling that this just isn’t enough—this kind of only sort of taking care of myself. It’s not enough to eat fairly well and to exercise a little. It’s not enough to just be thin.

I only get one shot at this life. And I am 34 years old. And this body? I want it to be around for the long haul. I want it to see my children grow up. I want it to travel across the globe. I want it to chase my grandchildren around the backyard.

I don’t want this body of mine to give up on me. But I know that in order for that to happen, I can’t give up on it.

And I don’t want to give up on it.

So that is how I ended up with a gym membership.

And a weekly personal trainer named Antonio who is the very best kind of guido (you guys—he is amazing. He looks like he was plucked straight off of the Jersey shore.) who had me playing some sort of dice game to trick me into doing over a hundred squats and forty-five stinkin’ push-ups and some crazy things with my arms and some interesting hoppy things and now stairs are not my friend and I have both the JellyLegs and the SpaghettiArms and I know that tomorrow I will likely feel crippled and not able to sit properly on a toilet seat. That is how I ended up looking very out of place on the second floor of LA Fitness in my Green Bay Packers t-shirt and leggings-as-pants and my David’s Tea water bottle.

And even though I am so very sore (I don’t really *need* to put a bra on today, right?)

I feel amazing.

And I can’t wait for next week’s session.

I am holding up my end of the bargain. So hopefully it won’t give up on me any time soon. And hopefully this old donut shop body of mine can one day become a temple. (A temple that eats baked goods and movie popcorn, of course.)

With just a little bit more GTL.

Pssst. Want to know what I thought of Jonah Hill’s placenta photos…and of Miley Cyrus’ new haircut? Click here!


  1. I just smiled all the way through this post.! Cap’n Crunch roof of your mouth ache? Know it well! I thought for sure this was going to be about kids, they always have a case of the jelly-legs when a parent is in a pressured sich and thousands of people are watching… well written and 3 cheers for doing the right thing. When you’re done with your body, can you do it for mine?


    Comment by Cheri on August 17, 2012
  2. I’m a big fan of strong is sexy. Do I have a perfect body? Nope. Do I have cellulite? Yep.

    But I can pound out 200 squats and run sprints that have gotten faster as the year has progressed.

    Jelly legs and Spaghetti Arms #FTW!


    Comment by Sharon on August 17, 2012
  3. Yay Ali! Seriously, sometimes I have to drag myself to the gym but when I’m there, doing a class or spinning or whatever, it is the best feeling, especially after. :)


    Comment by Loukia on August 17, 2012
  4. Atta girl! I can’t manage to commit to working out, but I’ll cheer you on!


    Comment by alex on August 17, 2012
  5. I am glad to see this topic on here today. I just recently decided that this 37 year old body needed to get in shape. I haven’t consistently worked out in several years. I’ve always admired people who run and to actually enjoy it, so a couple of months ago I downloaded the County to 5K app on my phone. It sat there for a month or so until a friend and I decided that we needed to start doing something so we now meet at the local park’s walking track at 6am every day. After a week or so walking, I knew that I needed to pump it up a level, so I opened up the C25K app and haven’t looked back. I just finished Week 3 Day 1 (of the 9 week program) and have to say that I am so excited about being able to do this workout 3 days a week (we do weights the other 2 days per week). I actually LOOK FORWARD TO the run/walk workout and feel much more motivation to get fit and be able to run the 5K distance than I do to burn calories. This is a big deal for me, to have the fit motivation than the skinny motivation.

    Anyway – I hope you keep us updated as you focus on fitness because I love to read others’ experience.



    Comment by Laura on August 17, 2012
  6. I think this is awesome. I think you are awesome.

    I called the membership guy at our local swim & tennis club yesterday. I’m not sure I’m 100% ready to commit to a personal trainer (I need to be able to like, do 10 jumping jacks w/o getting winded before I’ll let someone witness my out of shape-ness), but I plan on sticking Ollie in the day care for an hour or two while I hit the gym. We’ll see how well that works.


    Comment by Meghan on August 17, 2012
  7. me too! I started attending boot camp 7 weeks ago at my gym. The day one, total jelly legs. I literally pulled the towel bar out of the wall trying to support myself so I wouldn’t fall on the toilet when trying to sit. I am at week 7 and today was one of the hardest workouts ever and I was able to push myself and do things I have never done. I am on cloud nine I am so happy. I know it will never be easy but I am 40 and my youngest is 2. I want to be around when he has kids. And not just around but able to help. I need to. Anything less is not acceptable to me.


    Comment by Chantal on August 17, 2012
  8. The worst isn’t sitting down on the toilet seat, it’s trying to get back up. I just re-re-started training again. At home though because gyms bring out the commitment-phobe in me.
    Congratulations on sticking to it.


    Comment by Kat on August 17, 2012
  9. Good for you, Ali! When I started back at the gym four years ago, it felt so good to be STRONG again. :)


    Comment by Angella on August 18, 2012
  10. Your story gives me joy and true if self is ignored as we make our future, go about your everyday challenges, that you can see your results and these beautiful truth.


    Comment by rushu on August 19, 2012
  11. I find myself in a similar place lately! It would seem that at 32 my metabolism has slowed down and I actually pulled a muscle putting away dishes the other night (ummm most ridiculous excuse for an injury!) I am attempting to be an outdoorsy exerciser until Ontario winter hits and then I will just hibernate (hopefully at the gym?)


    Comment by Jules on August 21, 2012
  12. Good for you. Nothing wrong with the occasional baked good when combined with regular exercise. Speaking of which I need to go find some chocolate.


    Comment by Corey Feldman on August 21, 2012

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