On the weekend I read an article about training like Megan Gale, (Australia’s Heidi Klum, sort of). The trainer recommended between ten and fifteen hours of exercise a week to keep your body in check. Fifteen hours? Christs alive! Goop aka Gwyneth Paltrow does about twelve hours a week. Two hours a day, with one day for total rest.
“I do 45 minutes of cardio five days a week, because I like to eat,” she says. “I also try for 45 minutes of muscular structure work, which is toning, realigning and lengthening. If I’m prepping for something or I’ve been eating a lot of pie, I do two hours a day, six days a week for two weeks.”
Last night, as BFF and I shook our money makers around the wooden floors of a punishing Zumba class, we talked about this schedule. “It’s like being an athlete,” she said. Needless to say, I am not that athlete. I hate exercise and the only reason Zumba works for me is the performance element within it, for 45 minutes, I am Gloria Estefan minus the back brace.
How on earth can a normal person achieve this twelve hours a week? In two words, according to a very fit friend, ‘they can’t’. It is impossible to achieve this without becoming run down and sick most of the time. You combine the extra stuff you do all day, particularly if you are a parent and you have your extra hour. I am sure Goop doesn’t push a shopping trolley with a dodgy wheel around the Hampton Safeway carpark, or walk a crazy poodle mix around the streets, having your arm pulled from your socket. No. Reality is enough of a workout. When I hang with my BFF kids, I am always sore the next day from lifting, walking up stairs, bending and being jumped on. My fit friend claims that in two weeks of something like Goops workout, you will fall apart from exhaustion. I will take her word for it.
As someone who has had a constant battle with food and laziness over the years, I have now decided to give up and just do what I want to do. Be strong, be happy, be fit(ish) and enjoy life. I don’t want to punish myself when I workout, for then the voices start about how I am not worthy, why did I eat that extra dim sim in 2006 and who do I think I am that I should be thin?
Exercise has to bring something to my life, like dancing and laughing, a walk where I get to listen to great playlists or talk to a friend or swimming with my kids. A friend of mine runs most days, it is her meditation, her wind down where she releases the stress hormones. She looks great for it because she enjoys the release. My other friend walks everywhere, she looks amazing for it also. This is her escape, where she processes life.
You have to find your ‘thang’. I have only found mine in the last year but it takes persistance to keep going. If I leave it too long between classes, it is easy to stop. Continuity and willpower is key. So is putting down the dim sim and not eating your feelings and everyone else’s.