Mind Over Matter
This is a guest post by Eva McElwain Tucci AKA Gammianne and mom to Hungry
How many times have you heard the saying mind over matter? When you are an exerciser, in time, working out becomes as essential as breathing and eating (and you can eat more when you work out which is a bonus point).
As stated in a previous post, I started exercising when I was 15 years old. I went through the Jane Fonda era …yes I had matching leotards, leg warmers, jazz shoes and the Jane Fonda album (yes I said album–those round discs we would play on a turntable) . I am relatively certain that Hungry remembers the Buns of Steel, Abs of Steel VHS that I used to work out to.
Back in the day, I would often work out three hours a day. Aerobic Classes, Spinning and Weight lifting comprised the bulk of that workout ..oh and at least twenty five minutes of ab work a day. This served me well through three children by the way as my stomach is still as flat as a 20 year old due to all that time spent (downside to strong abs …babies don’t drop very quickly during birth but giving birth is always worth the effort).
I loved working out. I am wearing the same jeans I was wearing ten years ago …bonus as I have too many clothes to bother with multiple sizes . I weigh the same as I did when I was 20 as well (admittedly it may not be in the same place. I call this shape shifting).
I started heavy duty on the aerobics when I was diagnosed with very high cholesterol levels while still in my twenties. I tried the low fat diet but diet is a four letter after all and that was not working for me as I LOVE TO EAT. I had read an article that aerobic exercise increased the HDL’s (good cholesterol) in your system and therefore lowers the overall ratio of your cholesterol. I actually managed to bring my levels from a ratio of 6 to less than 3 over a period of twenty years.
In 2008, I suffered a serious cervical spinal cord injury and was unable to continue many of the exercises, duration or levels that I had previously performed. Aerobics were out of the question due to compression on the spine. I was limited to use of the elliptical, the bike , leg weights and have been in physical therapy for seven years for my neck and arms. Prior to that, I was considered to be pretty “ripped”.
There are days that I feel wobbly, off-balance , tired and in pain but I keep trucking to the gym (at off times with all the other 90 year olds). Just kidding, I am only 54 …I just feel like I am 90 and the 90 years olds do give me moment’s of pause because I do not want them to fall over on me and hit my neck. I try to always stay conscious of my environment as personal trainers may be tossing balls around with clients and I stay out of harms way. So my answer is go when it is quiet but keep going.
Even though I am suffering a disability, there is not one of my doctors who tells me to discontinue. My body is riddled with arthritis from various accidents and a genetic predisposition and they tell me to keep moving or I will get stiffen up. I was recently away for three months which is the longest time in all these years that I have been without a gym. If anyone read my previous post, they know this was a dastardly winter and I made do with the elliptical and walking in the snow as much as I could.
I am back at the gym and starting over. When I saw my neurologist recently, that was the first thing he advised me to do. Plus, I still eat whatever I want, whenever I want (yea ..some people hate me for that). Remember, mind over matter and never give up. And as always, stay hungry and fit!