One Monday morning as I was pumping away in my three times a week, hour long stretch and muscle class, I noticed that the class, primarily women (a couple of lucky guys), had an average age of around 66. Later, while listening to some of the chatter that goes on before the class officially started, I observed that many of the women (me included) were almost as obsessed with flabby arms (triceps) and belly fat as some younger women.
In this class, our routine consists of numerous repetitions (reps) and moves directed at triceps and belly fat. Sometimes, it feels as if my arms are going to fall off; and my ribs have been run over by a truck. Yet, no matter how many reps I do, my triceps still jiggle; and my belly is still fat (I am talking mini muffin top).
The instructor works the hell out of both. She has been teaching this class for over 20 years; and many of the same students have been taking the class for that long. I often wonder what her triceps and abs look like. I don’t know. No one I have spoken to has ever seen her triceps or her abs. Why? Because while we live in Florida, she always wears a loose fitting shirt and long sleeves (no matter how hot the exercise room gets). Some of us have concluded that either she has “killer” triceps and a six pack (hard abs); and, she doesn’t want to flaunt them for fear of making us even more self-conscious. Or her triceps and abs are just as flabby as ours. Whatever the reason, I am beginning to think that for those of us pushing 60 or have moved beyond, belly fat and jiggly arms are here to stay – no matter what we do or how much we do it. Therefore, it’s time to STOP obsessing over them. It is what it is.
Now, here’s an interesting tidbit. I am the only African American woman in these classes. When I am with my African American women friends, belly fat and flabby triceps never enter into the conversation. My African American sisters are not concerned. They don’t go around hiding their arms in long sleeves and binding their bodies with tight fitting undergarments (think spanx). They proudly go sleeveless and let it all hang out. They graciously accept the fact that they are no longer 30; and after a certain age, stuff happens. By the way, I love that attitude. However, just as some women, regardless of age, are not ready for gray hair (I was ready for it in my early 50s), I am not quite ready for giggly arms and belly fat.
How about you? How do you feel about jiggly arms and belly fat? Let me hear your thoughts.