“Must be jelly, Cause jam don’t shake like that!”
Those words were spoken to me on numerous occasions. Usually, the words came from a car full of leering men, other times from a construction site. Sometimes they were followed by a wolf whistle. I could never understand why men insisted on yelling at women on the street. Finally, I mustered up the courage to ask one of my more uncouth male friends why guys hounded women on the street. “Because women like it,” he explained. “I can’t count the number of times I got a phone number from a woman walking down the street, just by telling her she looked good.”
I was baffled. Most of the women I knew DIDN’T like being shouted at while walking down the street. And doggone it, if you told me my butt looked like jelly—or jam for that matter, there was only one thing I could do. Go home and exercise it off.
Well, times have changed. Now, thanks to Beyonce and J-Lo, having a large round derriere is in fashion. Except my backside stopped being round a long time ago. Now its sort of shaped like a watermelon. And I don’t exercise to get rid of my backside. I exercise because I like the way it makes me feel--good.
Funny, because when the topic of exercise came up at a recent Diabetes Sisters meeting, only one other person in the room “liked” to exercise. She didn’t like it, but had come to the conclusion that she had to do it to manage her blood sugar. Everybody else in the room acted like exercise was akin to asking them to carry stones on their backs. Up a hill. In the middle of Winter.. These middle aged women immediately started talking about the trauma of having to wear an ugly gym suit in high school, and the terrifying gymnastics equipment, especially the dreaded vaulting horse. That was 30 years ago, ladies. Its time to move on.
I’m not very athletically talented. But I can put one foot in front of the other and walk three times a week. I can manage to stay on an elliptical trainer for 30 minutes and swing a 25lb. kettlebell. Not because my butt is going to stop looking like a watermelon if I continue to do it, but because I will feel better. And I won’t have to take blood pressure medicine. And I can keep my blood sugar levels down to reasonable levels if I do. One of the ladies at the meeting purchased a hula hoop. She couldn’t manage to keep it circling her waist for very long, but she counted the times she had to bend over and pick it up from the floor as exercise. And it is!!
A body is meant to move. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or done in a gym or at 6am. It is just meant to be in motion. Keep it simple, people. Get off the sofa and march during TV commercials. Walk around the block or down the street to the next telephone pole. Put on music and dance like nobody is watching. Its fun, you will feel better and it may make a difference in your health.
Jelly, jam--at this point, who cares? Its not about how we look on the outside while exercising, but what it does for our insides. So get out there and enjoy this beautiful weather!