Media people

Facing 50, LA editor decides to work out

amy-wallace-kick-segal.jpgAmy Wallace, an editor at Los Angeles magazine, has gotten personal and revealing in print before (about breasts, her divorce and other things.) Now with her 50th birthday coming up, she's going public with a crusade to walk into her party "a taut, 140-pound warrior-goddess—or as close to one as my genetics and the metabolic realities of middle age will allow." So she's embarking on a fantasy that a lot of journos would probably love to do, if they too worked for a magazine.

To get there I have resolved to work out at least six days a week (sometimes twice a day). Under the tutelage of my trainer, a five-foot-six mixed martial artist who at 25 is half the age I’m about to be, I will do whatever it takes, no exercise off-limits, from biking to bleachers to boxing to burpees. I will eat less and drink no alcohol. I will finally make crossing the divide between good enough and fantastic a top priority. With that kind of resolve, what could possibly go wrong?

Put another way, the challenge is this: "We’re not talking Biggest Loser here but rather My Dream Body—the body I fantasize I can have if, like movie stars and athletes, I consider fitness part of my job. Maybe if I literally work my ass off for 28 straight days, I can attain the ideal that has eluded me. You can’t control the years, but can you control the pounds? "

Here's what she has to work with. She is 5'10, and reports weighing in at about 150. The tale of the tape:

The measuring tape is lassoed around my thighs: 21 inches. Hips: 41.25. Biceps: 10.75. Shoulders: 39. “Don’t hold your breath,” says my trainer, Jay McLeod, as he reaches around my middle. “I’m not,” I say, lying. Clearly the first thing I must lose (and quickly!) is my dignity. Waist: 30.5. Then comes the body fat measuring device, which looks like something that could beam you to another galaxy. Gripping with both hands, I hold it in front of me for 30 seconds and am rewarded with this news: 28 percent of me—practically one pound out of three—is made up of fat. Ick. I’d go drown my sorrows in a box of See’s Candies, but that would be defeating the point—and I’m not feeling defeated. I’m feeling fired up.

Photo from Los Angeles: Gregg Segal

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