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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Slices of Life: In Search of fitness



By: Jill Pertler



I’m seeking fitness. Again. You haven’t seen him, have you?

It’s a recurring theme in my life. I seek fitness. I find fitness (sort of). Time passes. Fitness, fickle friend that he is, hides from me, and the game begins anew. Olly olly oxen free!

When things first begin to slide, I attempt to ignore the circumstances by pretending fitness is still in the room right by my side. Then I opt for the position that fitness is a fair-weather friend who just doesn’t matter. Finally, the situation becomes dire. This happens when I discover my jeans have lost their zipability and the departure of fitness can be discounted no longer.

Backed into a corner, I face fight or flight and decide on the former, hitting it full bore. I come up with fitness routines, read fitness books, engage in a fitness diet and become a fitness booster. I dream of romancing fitness back into my life and enroll in my own self-made fitness boot camp. It is a seven-day-a-week, three-meal-a-day grind. A friendship with fitness requires much attention to detail – for me.

This is not the case with others living in my house.

My husband shows little awareness of fitness or eating plans that rhyme with riot. He becomes involved in my quest for fitness simply because he sits next to me at the dinner table. It’s sort of like fitness osmosis.

My regimen starts with exercise. My preferred activity is walking because it doesn’t really feel like exercise and therefore helps maintain some of the denial about my failing relationship with fitness. I walk every day. My husband joins me (sometimes) on weekends.

Two weeks after our first excursion he shows me the gap in the waist of his pants. “Boy, walking sure is paying off,” he says. He is smiling.

I am not. His walking consisted of two brief jaunts on a couple of Saturdays. I hit the road hard seven out of seven. He is down two pant sizes. I’m up a pound.

My husband eats a bowl of ice cream before bed. He works off the calories while sleeping. I think about cheese and gain two pounds. He squats down to pick up a dirty sock from the floor and burns calories equivalent to me doing twenty squats every other day for a month.

It isn’t fair.

Experts point to scientific reasons why women experience a harder time losing weight than men. Discussions of this sort always result in the same conclusion. You know what I’m talking about: the horrible-moans, otherwise abbreviated as estrogen.

Good old Mother Nature has provided women with a higher level of estrogen. (Remind me to thank her.) Guess what this achieves? According to my research, it ensures the female human has an abundant storage of fat to stay fertile, carry a pregnancy to term and lactate even in times when food is scarce. The female is further enhanced by a lower metabolism rate than her male counterpart. This tendency increases with age. Exponentially so after age 40.

I am abundantly able to store fat. My metabolism is decreasing with each birthday. Where are my pom poms when I need them?

There’s only one logical and reasonable explanation for this illogical, unreasonable and unfit situation. Mother Nature and fitness are in cahoots. I think I even hear them snickering behind my back. Good one, you two. Ha ha. I can appreciate a joke as well as the next over-40 estrogen-laden woman. I’ll even join you in laughing at myself – as soon as I catch my breath.

Jill Pertler, award-winning syndicated columnist and author of “The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication” is collecting fans on Facebook on her Slices of Life page. Email her at; or visit her website at


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