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Abstinent and sleeveless

We’re in the middle of a prolonged heat wave here in Portland, Oregon, and I am just back from my morning walk. The walk is nothing unusual. I walk every day that I don’t go to the gym. What’s unusual is what I’m wearing: a sleeveless cotton shirt. I haven’t worn a sleeveless shirt outside the house in decades, no matter what the weather. In fact, I haven’t worn them inside the house as I couldn’t stand the way my arms looked. I had fat, old-lady arms and I hated it.

While weight loss was not a surprise to me when I got off sugar and flour and snacking, the increase in my energy was and so was the renewed interest in gentle weight lifting to improve the tone of my body. Three days a week I do bicep and tricep work, shoulder weights and upper back weights. I didn’t start doing these for cosmetic reasons. I wanted a strong upper body so that I can lift groceries and kitty litter with ease. I also know that a strong upper body is an essential part of balance, which gets more and more important as we age.

What I also got were respectable arms. Are they gorgeous? No, I’m 70 years old. Are they toned? Yes. To the point where I can go to the store or walk down the street and feel good about how I look.

What might gentle weight lifting do for you and your abstinence?

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