A dear friend the other day asked me why I have been walking so much. My answer was, “because it feels good.” But after she asked, I began to truly contemplate her question.
My first honest response to myself was, I have no idea, or as I told my husband, I really thought, “What the “h” “e” double hockey sticks am I doing this for?”
Let’s look back in a mode of discovery and see if there is an answer.
First of all, my hip hurts. Yep, I feel like a really old woman to divulge the fact that a year ago, due to no evident injury, I developed sciatica in my right hip. Short story, it hurts. It hurts very much. I imagine old women in the south saying, “Lordy be, my sciatica is just a flaring up today.” I hate that it is an element in my life, but it is.
Second, I am 51 years old and postmenopausal since 38 due to medical means. What this truly means is losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight is difficult to the extreme. I have always struggled with bearing a healthy weight. As a child, I was “chubby”. As a late teen I was “too thin” due to self prescribed extreme calorie restriction. Over the years I have tried many diets and some worked, and some didn’t, but no diet was long lasting because I always came back to my size fourteen voluptuous form.
I think these two factors are the crux to my current walking regimen. Because my hip hurts so much I have decided, if it hurts doing nothing and it hurts doing something, I may as well exercise and redeem the health benefits from the walking. My current best is 7.4 miles. I would love to make it to 10 miles by the end of the summer. Only time will tell if I can do it. That and heat and mosquitoes, but I plan to keep trying.
The other reason is my weight. I am beyond frustrated in trying to achieve a weight that internally I, and externally the media, feels is healthy. I can do it if I eat only soy based food products on a restricted diet plan, I know this because I have done this. However, this is not everyday American life cooking and eating. This is also not a choice I can make to make meals for my husband and family when they come to visit. I profess to be a good cook, and I have the knowledge and ability to make healthy meals. However, I confess to be a cook that loves great food. Great tasting food, comfort food, gourmet food, I simply love to prepare meals with fresh ingredients and amazing flavors. Why do I love to indulge in the art of cooking so much, because I can.
All of this culminates to why I am walking so much. First of all, my hip hurts and I have decided if it hurts when I do something, and it hurts when I do nothing, then I might as well do something and walk. Why walk so much? Simply, because I can. Secondly, if restricting my diet to the extreme is the only way to lose weight, but I love to cook, then I will attempt to burn more calories than I eat. How? Walking. Now, this coming week I must substitute teach for summer school and this is an all day gig. This translates to no walking,with mosquitoes in the mix early mornings before school begins and with the heat and mosquitoes later after the day cools. So I will go to the gym and lift weights and perhaps use a machine treadmill. Not my favorite choice. But after next week I will once again be pounding the pavement for my hip and my cooking habits.Will I lose any weight? Most likely, no. But my psyche will feel uplifted and my hip will feel more limber. So, in answer to my friend’s question, “why are you doing this, why are you walking so much?” I believe after much contemplation my answer is...because I can.