Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Yesterday I went swimming at the Y for the first time in a long time. For years, I used to go almost 2 times a week, but I started dying my hair, and I felt like it wasn't worth it to bleach out my $160 dye job with all that chlorine.

But the flabby look of my arms has been bothering me, actually my whole body has been bothering me, so I'm going to try to start going swimming again at least once a week.

It really went OK - I could still do it - I went almost my regular amount - 2 500s without stopping, plus about another dozen lengths or so assorted strokes - although when I am in practice I can do the 2 500s all crawl with flip turns and I didn't quite manage that ...

I was showering and then dressing in the locker room at the same time as two other women, who were talking about running and rowing, and living on Lake Wingra. They must have been pretty close to me in age, one had no kids left at home and the other a middle schooler, but they were both more fit than me. The younger one was a runner, and she had that smooth hard flat kind of belly, like a marble statue. The other was all white and pink, big solid German farm girl looking, powerful thighs and big shoulders, but a trim waist and small high breasts. When I got back from swimming I used some web calorie counters to see how much I had burned - one site said 128 calories, but another said 320 - I'd like to believe the latter.

As far as I can tell I've gained 8 or 9 pounds since I turned 50, I weigh 132 or 134 now, and I don't really know why, except my metabolism must be slowing. I don't think I'm eating a whole lot more, or exercising a whole lot less - but if I can get regular on swimming I am sure that will help.

When I was about 43 I got my body mass index calculated and it was around 22 which was great for a woman over 40. At the same time they said that my ideal weight was 117 -127 (I think I weighed about 121 at that point). So I have been beating myself up that I'm seven pounds over my ideal weight - but maybe my ideal weight at 52 is higher than at 43. When I was looking around for my calories burned swimming, one web site said that at 134, my BMI is still only 24, perfectly OK for a woman my age. AND it said that I was allowed to eat 2000 calories a day - a lot more generous than the 1659 the diet & exercise diary in my palm gives me.

Loudon Wainright singing about swimming.

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