Sunday, September 18, 2011

Breaking Up (WIth Bread) Is Hard To Do.

I feel like hosting a parade.  Some people throw parties to celebrate momentous occasions; I feel as though nothing less than a parade will do for this: tomorrow.  That is the big, huge deal.  Tomorrow.  For me, maybe not so much for you.  But, for me--huge.
Tomorrow heralds the arrival of 30 days with zero nicotine (not even an e-cig!) AND...I'm joining a gym.  A real, live, honest to Jim, gym.  I have consulted with my boyfriend's mother, who is secretly my hero...if she ever reads this, the secret's out...oops.  Now I have a general idea of the hows, whats, and whens of my upcoming workouts (alternate muscle groups, switch up the cardio and strength training sessions to minimize risks for injuries, et cetera).  I still have the equipment and the previous exercises outlined by my former trainer last year.  Yes Casey, I kept everything.  I figured someday I would get over myself and actually follow through with your helpful suggestions.   I have an air-conditioned facility at school for my cardio and weight lifting activities and a balance ball, dumbbells, and yoga videos for my at-home stuffs.  The plan?  4 days a week. 1 to 1.5 hours per workout.  1 weekend day off.  No cheats.  Every other time I have tried to get a workout habit going, I cheated and broke up my entire flow.  No cheats has worked miracles with my nicotine dependence (or lack of, I should say), so I'm applying it to workouts too.  Keeping the schedule, no matter what.  Unless I'm dead or grievously injured, of course.  But that isn't going to happen (knocking on
I have also checked in with one of my other inspirations (shout out to my homie Augustina--that's right, I said homie...I know, that's so suburban white girl of me) and have decided that tomorrow is the day I break up with bread.  Instead of sandwiches, hoagies, subs, po' boys, cheesesteaks, whatevers, I'll be having my turkey, meatballs, steak, chicken, tofu, etc., served over lettuce.  Or in a bowl over a pile of mixed veggies, depending on the type of not-a-sandwich I would like to devour.  In celebration of my impending good decision-making, I consumed my fair share, plus yours, of supreme pizza and lasagna this weekend.  Going out with a bang, I guess.  Ha.
So goodbye my formerly favorite foods. I will miss you, but my soon-to-be-whittled waist line will not.  If I can quit smoking and eating donuts, I can do This.  I have survived worse, but I'm still scared.  There's a part of my head that asks potentially damaging questions, like: what if I end up like I did last summer--smoking and sedentary again?  What if I do all this work and nothing changes?  Yeah, yeah.  What if, indeed.  How about, what if I actually accomplish what I'm setting out to do?  That is a novel idea and I'm going to go with that one.  This isn't rocket science and I won't be winning any Nobel awards or Pulitzer prizes for my efforts.  I'm just one girl on one fairly insignificant mission that happens to be a huge deal to me.  Someone should really throw me a parade...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

So That's How To Get Motivation

I weighed myself on my fancy, body fat and hydration-measuring scale today.  After the pounds result flashed onto the screen, I was too chicken to see if I was dehydrated or what exact, excessive percentage of body fat I'm currently lugging around.  I don't enjoy seeing the numbers climb: 1...3...nope...4... ... ...see?  Even here, I don't want to admit that I have been between 118 and 125 pounds for most of my life, but I am so far beyond those numbers now that I just want to crawl under the couch and chain smoke.  But what's in a number, and why should I or you or anybody care about any of these trivial matters when the rest of the inhabitants of the world are trying to blow themselves up because they're hungry, oppressed, or grumpy? 

The usual shtick about American societal pressure on a woman's appearance is losing muster with me.  I am not an actress or model.  My livelihood does not depend on my outer casing.  I do not live in fashion-conscious New York City or Los Angeles.  I do not subscribe to any fashion or "women's" magazines.  I am considered intelligent, well-read, somewhat cultured and globally-conscious.  I should not measure my sanity, my esteem, my very femininity by the size stamped on shirt collars and waist bands.  I know better than this.  I care anyway. 

I should delete the words "I, me, my" from my vocabulary and volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter or sort mail for that organization that saved those lost Sudanese boys; maybe save for an eco-vacay and go see how the rest of humanity lurches forward, rarely able to survive what waits for them in the next minute or two; get my priorities, my perspective straightened out.  I conjure a picture of an imaginary mom-type human with her fists sinking into her hips as she growls this sage advice to me. 

That's all great imaginary mom lady.  But I am still sitting at my desk, at 3 o'clock in the morning on a Wednesday at the end of summer, beating my head on the keyboard.  I am still angry, jealous, bitter, regretful.  Now I'm not in the shape I want to be in AND I'm shallow for caring about this more than the orphaned Libyan children.  My imaginary mother is making me feel real guilt.  That's talent. 

Does the imagined pep talk work?  Maybe.  I might actually look for my lone pair of tennis shoes tomorrow.  That yoga DVD may eventually makes it way from the hallway closet to the DVD player.  That goal I scribbled in dry-erase marker could possibly manifest itself as more space between my thighs.  After that, perhaps I'll find a Russian burn victim who could really use a few extra bucks for skin-graft surgery...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The 1st Anniversary of This Time Last Year...


First, an ankle injury.  Then my home life experiences gross amounts of upheaval.  Next, I fail a class. (I have a 4.0 GPA, and the professor begrudgingly agrees to an academic withdrawal after I site numerous contemporaneous circumstances that contributed to my acute failure.  But still, I failed.)  Adding injuries to insults (or it that the other way around?), I start smoking after nearly 6 months of freedom from the blasted addiction.  I fall in love.  Still woozy from that, I stop working out completely.  I forget that I am "of a certain age".  I eat illegal amounts of chocolate chip cookies and mac-n-cheese. The pounds come for a visit and never leave.  He loves all of my inches and I learn to pose in the mirror in just a way that temporarily fools my overly-critical eyes before I leave for work.  I float away.  Far, far away.  

I'm happy.  But...

I can't ignore my before photos showing the me I am used to seeing, or the painfully honest musings of a child who squeals "squishy!" every time she hugs me, or the pants that won't button even when I am lying on my bed, sucking in my stomach until I can't breathe.  I become mildly obsessed with thin women who are in their 40's and 50's--how do they maintain their shapes?  I lovingly envy my gorgeous girlfriends, whose parts seem to fit into all the right places.  I begin talking about doing yoga, walking, weightlifting, running, Zumba, P90X, jumping rope, taking the stairs, pushups, situps, bicep curls.  I talk a lot, but do nothing.  I put 3 tablespoons of sugar in every cup of coffee I drink.  I drink an average of 4 to 5 cups of coffee every day.  I copy my 6'9" boyfriend's eating habits.  I suffer mightily for this lapse in good judgement.  The pasta and desserts in all-he-can-eat portion sizes collude with my peripatetic lifestyle and I end up miserable. 

I'm not as happy as I want you to think I am.  

Here I am, here we are:  it's the 1st anniversary of this time last year.  It's not enough for me to just blab or blog anymore.  And it's not enough to go through the motions of making healthier choices if I don't seek to understand why I want/need to make them in the first place.  So, the princess is dragging her engorged booty off of the couch (again) and I will be using this space to explore those whys.  I can't promise instant success, but I will always share honestly.  Thank you for reading this.  Thank you to all of my inspirations, near, far, wherever.  (That was dangerously close to being a Titanic quote...)  You get my drift.  Thank you for that too.