Searching For My Inner BadAss

Here I sit in Starbucks listening to John Coltrane and wondering where my BadAss went. Was it something I did? Something I said?

I didn’t realize how quiet BadAss had gotten until I read Shelley’s latest blog entry over at A Forty-Somethings Weight Loss Journey. She says she feels like a badass when she lifts weights. I used to, too. …sigh… I miss BadAss and I want her back.

BadAss has been my companion ever since the day in 2006 I walked a 12-minute mile. BadAss was with me when I joined a gym and the first time I got on the elliptical and arc trainers. BadAss dared me to get off the Nautilus equipment and walk into the macho muscle-filled weight room and lift. BadAss fed me adrenaline at my rehab appointments in April when I learned how to use TheraBand and the proper push up to strengthen the muscles around my shoulder and tendon injuries.

BadAss doesn’t want to hear my excuses. She’s only interested in my full attention and dedication to my goals. So maybe that’s why she’s gone. My attention and dedication have waned a bit lately, as my weight and lack of enthusiasm for exercise attests.

BadAss was with me last weekend, so I know she’s not gone far. She made me walk to the farmer’s market and carry beets, carrots, apples, broccoli, lettuce and red onions in my backpack on the way home and then get on the elliptical for another 20 minutes just because. She made sure I averaged 13 mph on the bike trail on Sunday and not be shy to tie my TheraBand to a post at the trailhead and do my routine no matter who walked, drove or rode by. I got a lot of funny looks, but my BadAss said, “Hey, see these biceps? Yeah…they could kick yer ass!”

Nonetheless, BadAss has been unusually quiet. I will log my usual 300+ workout minutes this week, but the feeling isn’t the same. Too much on my mind, maybe? Too much attention paid to the scale? I’m up four pounds since May and I’m determined to lose them by Thanksgiving (down .8 for the week as of today), but when I dug out my Guess Daredevil low-rise boot cut yesterday – my favorite jeans of all time – and they were a little snug around the middle, I got really sad. (Why do I always accumulate fat in my gut? Why can’t it go to my boobs just this once?) Then I did something I haven’t done in years. I went online and ordered a pair of jeans one size bigger.

I’m sure that didn’t make BadAss very happy.

I eat about the same. I work out the same. So what’s caused the scale to go up this summer? I’m guessing it’s my age and (probably) my hormone levels. I think I’m turning into the quintessential poster child for perimenopause. BadAss isn’t sure how to handle that.

I won’t freak out. I mean, I’m fine with my age and body circumstances (except maybe the boobage issue). But when I ask myself, “What do I do?” I mean, do I reduce calories? Work out more? Both? Join a convent? Seriously. This is uncharted territory for me.

There’s so much out there about menopause and weight gain and how to avoid it. But I’m already DOING all I can to avoid it (weight gain, not menopause). At least I thought I was. I read today that being a thin vegetarian with hypothyroidism can cause early menopause. But I won’t not be thin, I won’t eat meat, and other than take Synthroid religiously, like I do, I can’t do anything more for the thyroid. (And before you write and tell me all about soy and its potential affects on thyroid function, trust me, I’m well aware of the studies. I don’t eat enough soy to warrant concern.)

Since I can’t do anything about my age, then it must be my mood that has scared away my beloved BadAss. Time for an attitude adjustment, I suppose. Or perhaps your inner BadAss could talk to my inner BadAss. Any words of wisdom? Thanks in advance. Or as the “kids” say nowadays: KTHXBYE! (Decoded, it means “OK, thanks! Bye!” Who knew?)

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