It started when I thought about The Bride's wedding photographs. At a wedding there are so many pictures, so many angles and opportunities to look dreadful, truly awful for generations to come. As the M. O. B. I knew I would be featured in many of those photographs, posed and candid, black and white and color, flattering and frightening.
Of course I understand that this day is all about The Bride, but I want her to be proud of me as she looks back on her special day. I thought of my M. O. B. dress. My sleeveless dress. What was I thinking? I needed to get ready for the paparazzi-like assault a little more than two months away.
Don't get me wrong. For my age I am reasonably fit. I eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and generally maintain a healthy lifestyle. If my mother is any indication, I had the good fortune to dive into a pretty great gene pool. But here's the thing. Until two years ago, I was a runner. A distance runner. A marathoner. My training consisted of anywhere between 40 to 60 miles a week with the occasional strength workout thrown in for good measure. My body reflected the mileage and the workouts I was putting in week after week.
An aside: You know you are really getting old when you begin a sentence with "for my age." But again, I digress...
When I turned 50, my body started sending me subtle, and then not so subtle, suggestions that it might be time to find a new way to stay fit. In the intervening years, I've done just that, running less and doing other things more...more time in the gym, more walking, more snowshoeing in the winter and kayaking in the summer. But the fact is, nothing has helped me maintain my weight and fitness quite like running.
As I began planning for my daughter's wedding, I realized that I had lost significant overall fitness and had gained 10 or 12 pounds since my glory days of running. While I felt fine, while I was healthy, I was definitely dreading the inevitable photographic evidence of my decline.
My personal revelation followed on the heels of The Brother of the Bride's discovery of The Primal Blueprint, a book that outlines a diet and fitness philosophy, written by Mark Sisson, former marathoner and Ironman triathlete. The B. O. B. has had incredible success at eating healthier and getting incredibly fit in a reasonably short period. By following The Primal Blueprint, in the space of four months he has lost inches, lost pounds and has gone from being sedentary to gearing up to run the TD Bank Beach 2 Beacon 10K in his home town this week. It is no secret that my son was motivated by his sister's wedding. It seems the B. O. B has the same trepidation as the M. O. B.
Mark Sisson (55), author of The Primal Blueprint and his wife, Carrie (53)
The B. O. B.'s most recent visit home (and, if I am to be entirely candid, the picture above) convinced me that if he (they) could do it, so could I. So three weeks ago I changed up my workout schedule, gave up alcohol until the wedding, and began to follow The Primal Blueprint.
Reader, it's working.
Here's the thing. Unlike many people, I really love working out. It doesn't hurt that one of my best friends, the ultra-fit Sarah MacColl, is a personal trainer. In her business, Fit Trips, Sarah works with all kinds of people - from hard core triathletes and swimmers to folks just getting used to lacing up their sneakers and getting out the door. Sarah and I have worked out together forever, training for marathons or just meeting for a quick run. But I knew my intensified effort would take some real expertise, and that Sarah was just the one to provide it.
For the past three weeks, I've been walking for an hour four or five times a week and running three or four miles once or twice a week. In addition, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I work out for an hour at Sarah's gym. This may sound like a lot to some of you, but it pales in comparison to my former workout schedule. Besides, it wasn't just The Wedding that shook me out of my eating and exercise malaise.
The precipitating event, in addition to the impending nuptials, happened last month when I waved goodbye to a friend who was pulling out of my driveway. As I waved enthusiastically, I felt a weird fluttering in my arm. I glanced at my triceps and saw...the dreaded Bingo Wing, that bit of loose skin that hangs dejectedly from your upper arm, most obvious when you raise your arm up to wave, or the gesture that you make when "O 62" is called and you lift your arm and shout "Bingo!".
Hence the name.
I am here to proclaim I will not go gentle into that good night...and I certainly won't go with Bingo Wings.
In my next post I will write more about The Primal Blueprint and The Primal M. O. B., so stay tuned!