Like a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, we women of a certain age can have, well, layers.

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It’s impossible to imagine a place with more culinary temptations than the South. (France, Italy, and Greece are likely our closest competition.) We know we should grill our fish—but sometimes we slip and fry it. (Ditto shrimp, chicken, turkey, pork chops—and, in Mississippi, Snickers bars.) We wish we didn’t know that everything tastes better with bacon . . . but we do know. If we could unlearn how to make pecan pie—oh, who are we kidding—a slice of that stuff is worth two days on the treadmill.

Yes, I try to eat healthy—except on vacation, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday, my husband’s birthday, and Fried Chicken Day at my favorite meat ’n three. Also, all bets are off if I’m anywhere near New Orleans or Charleston. Or Mama ’n ’em.

So it has come down to exercise. And my workouts have evolved, over the years. Maybe not in a good way.

Fitness Routine, 1980s:

Fitness Routine, 90s

Fitness Routine, Late 2000’s

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