Thursday, January 28, 2010

This is not a New Year's Resolution

It's way too far into January for even the most diligent of procrastinators (me) to claim it as one. It is, instead a declaration. A way to be held accountable (because heaven knows I need a whole stable of these sorts of things). I am publically affirming my need to change my life and my habits and get myself back on track, weight-wise and exercise-wise. I have let things slip the past year and a half and it's time to do something about that.

A little background. In 2007, I lost between 50 and 60 lbs. I did it on Weight Watchers. I hauled my butt out of bed on Saturday morning to go to an 8 o'clock meeting 15 minutes from my house. If that's not commitment, I don't know what is, especially when you consider the long and special love affair I have been conducting for most of my life with my bed and my pillow. No, I never practised kissing my pillow. I don't mean that kind of love affair! (Although I am getting the sudden urge to leave the computer and head upstairs to snuggle down in my covers.) I mean, I am the one who flat out told the swim coach in college that I wouldn't be coming to morning practice. No, I didn't ask. I told. And he never questioned me. Cursed me soundly probably, but... Anyway, so I lost this large amount of weight. And I started running and agreed to run a marathon and things were going really well. I could see my goal weight shimmering in the distance. I actually hit my college weight again. I looked pretty good, even if I still needed to lose a bit more.

And then we moved.

Yeah, I'll let that stand apart so it looks as stark as it felt. The move was a good one professionally for D. and I was on board. But moving does me in, each and every time. And we've done it enough for me to know this about myself. They say knowledge is half the battle, right? Yeah, um... not in this case. So even though I made new friends and continued training for my marathon, I gained weight. Yes, I actually gained weight training for a marathon. And not a pound or two of muscle. No, I actually packed on 20 pounds. This is not recommended. I am a professional stunt weight gainer on a closed track. Do not try this at home! Seriously, don't do this. It is very bad for you physically and emotionally. And you run a whole lot slower too. But moving does that to me.

So after the marathon was over, despite the fact that I loved the friends I met training for it (I trained through Team in Training and can't recommend them enough), I let my running taper off and finally stop altogether. After all, I no longer had any great need to give myself a pep talk and stumble out of bed to run at 6 or at 7am. And I had run a marathon. The whole thing. (Well, I walked *a little*.) So surely my fitness level wouldn't suffer if I took off a week, a month, 6 months, or more. Have I mentioned I'm very good at rationalizing things that are completely and totally delusional?

So that brings us to today. I sit here 20 pounds over the weight I was when I moved here, a couch potato of champion calibre. And I need to change this. It is a success that I only gained 20 of the 50+ pounds back. But that 20 pounds needs to go bye-bye now. And even before it goes, I need to redistribute the weight I do have so that it's not quite so Stay-Puft Marshmallow-y and the only way to do that is by exercising. So that's the deal. I will commit to more exercise and more mindful eating from now on into infinity.

And believe it or not, so I didn't have to feel like a total and complete loser when I wrote out how lazy and slack I've been, I actually did 10 slow sit-ups, 50 bicycle crunches, and held a plank for 1 minute. (More on this in a moment.) I also agreed to walk a half marathon this fall with a friend and to run a half with my little sister (she's gonna smoke my butt) in a year. I'm also about to agree to meet my running friends for a run Saturday morning. I may not go all 4 miles with them and I certainly won't be as fast as they are, but it will make me accountable and force me to pry myself out of the toasty warm coccoon of my bed, away from the soft heater pressed against my stomach that is the dog, and away from my loudly snoring husband. (Had to throw the last one in there so I didn't convince myself to just stay in bed.) And I might even go hog wild and enter a 5K in March so that I have something a little closer looming over my head with the spector of great humiliation behind it if I don't make and keep a real commitment.

So, do you believe the little bit of exercise so far this morning? I really did do it. Promise. I stopped at ten sit-ups because I do want to be able to get out of bed tomorrow morning without having to roll right over the edge. The bicycle crunches were a little gross as I got to watch my stomach accordian fold and pleat into itself over and over again. Makes me want to sew my mouth shut for the next eternity or so. As for the plank, I was pretty darn proud of myself that I actually held that sucker for a whole minute. My arms started shaking at 45 seconds and I actually started Lamaze breathing shortly thereafter. Didn't work to keep me from feeling the pain now either. But I did all this and might even do it again later tonight. Consider it my delayed bit of circuit training. ;-)

My ultimate goals? Get back into shape so that the only heavy breathing I'm doing is of the fun variety. Lose the 20 pounds I gained by the time I go on vacation this summer. That's four pounds a month. Seems reasonable enough. And once that 20 is gone, set a goal weight and really shoot for it. I know I can be singleminded (I can also be bloody minded but that's a whole different kettle of fish) and do this. Especially putting it out into blog land where everyone can see it.

So, if you know me in person, please don't put tasty looking hors d'ouvres down in front of me. I am an unconscious eater and will just clear the platter. Even worse, once I regain consciousness, I will look at the devastation I have wrought and think "Oh well. I'll just keep going then, shall I?" So put the good stuff quite a ways from me. The public humiliation of crawling over others to get to it should at least slow me down. You can, instead, put the veggie tray in front of me. I'm liable to clear it like a plague of locusts as well but I'm okay with that if you are. Also, don't be offended if I hie myself away from the interesting conversations in the kitchen. I am fairly simple and essentially lazy so if I am sitting away from the food and have to hoist myself out of the chair to actually walk over to the food, chances are inertia will win. See Mr. Hale? I *was* paying attention in physics all those years ago. Inertia is a very powerful force. And it should be used for good, not evil. ;-)

Well, I think that's more than enough for now. I thought about doing a daily update like in Bridget Jones' Diary but didn't want to bore you all stupid. I mean, my fragile ego can only take so many people unsubscribing from the blog. (And incidentally, someone did that just the other day, not that I am obsessing over it or anything, but why? Didn't you love me anymore? And yes, I know you won't even see this because, after all, you unsubscribed. But really, you couldn't even fake it and tell me that it was you not me? That I'm still great and all that jazz? **sob** No, don't worry, I'll eventually get over it.) So I think the daily update is out but feel free to nag the heck out of me if I haven't posted an update in whatever time frame you deem best for keeping me accountable. Tonight I crunch some more; tomorrow I run.


  1. Now that your resolution is out there, it can work its magic!

  2. you know, you can read while on a treadmill or stationary bike... That's the only thing that keeps me in the gym in the winter. I managed to read 16 pages of Jane Eyre last night while walking 2 miles on a 5% incline. Now you just need to pick the marathon! Good for you and I'll try to be a barier between you and snacks tonight.

  3. I laughed as I read your post, but I can totally relate to what you wrote. I have gained and lost the same 40lbs over and over again over the last 30 years. Most recently I was in the +40 mode, but have lost 5lbs in the last 3 weeks by walking again. (good luck Kristen)..

  4. I have a similar story, unfortunately - not the training-for-a-marathon part, but the 8 AM-Saturday-at-Weight-Watchers part. I don't really want to go back to the meetings, but I'm trying to eat smarter, and the Wii Fit is my workout buddy. A recent change in my routine has given me the chance to use it every morning, so we'll see if it helps.

    Good luck with your non-resolution :-). The accountability thing really does seem to make a difference.

  5. Well, at least now I know why I refuse to do bicycle crunches! Seeing my stomach pleat is NOT a pretty thing. I feel you on the weight loss thing- I'm still trying to lose the "baby" weight from when my 3 year old was born! And I continue to battle. Alas, I love sitting, eating, and reading soooo much and would hate to give that up.

    I'm going to continue to read your updates and cheer you on! After all, maybe if you can do it, there's hope for me. Good luck!!!

    (And to the person who unsubscribed- shame on you!!!!!! LOL :))

  6. Good for you! I'm right there with you. Daily updates are fine with me LOL - I need all the motivation I can get.

  7. Wow. Moving has done me in too. Brought the professional depression eating demons. I found myself relating to Kevin Federline who admitted he gained weight because he was depressed. Duh! I'm at a weight high-point. Even my fat pants bought a few years ago are getting tight! Shouldn't my tight underwear have been a clue? The other night I freaked out and broke a picture frame while screaming "That person (a tan, beautiful smiling happy version of myself) doesn't exist!!"

    We may be well into January but heck, it's STILL January. We get the whole month to accept some change and set some goals.

    Thanks for your post!! Have a great run (you know, when you past those first air-sucking "jogs").

    Love ya! (your old Ft. Island pen-pal)

  8. I will be cheering you on from afar in your 'health declaration' the same as I do for reviews. You can do it!!!

    Can I just add, geez I love the way you write, I know it's serious/important stuff but you decribe it all with a sense of humour that totally appeals to me LOL

  9. Good for you for putting your commitment out there - you are off to a great start!

    What marathon did you do with Team in Training? I agree - they are a great organization. I have done 2 marathons with them and each time I met great people!

  10. First, congratulations on the 50 pounds that you lost previously - and for gaining only 20 back. As you said, that is a success. A huge success.

    It occurred to me that I'd like to work out along with you. Running isn't possible for me because I can't stand up for more than a minute without pain, but the circuit stuff I could do. Maybe others don't want to hear about this daily, but I'd welcome an update now & then.

    My bed is my favourite spot in the whole house, too. Cozy in the cold weather, cool in the warm; comfortable & inviting at all times. Some people retreat to the couch or the kitchen(!) but I'm with you (okay, not literally) on this.

  11. Good luck! I still have about 30 of the 45 pounds I gained when I moved. I can't even think of an 8 am meeting! Or running.... More power to you.

  12. What is it about moving that packs on the pounds??? I've moved a lot lately and have definitely noticed this. I'm slowly, ver slowly getting back into working out and hopefully shedding these pounds. Good luck to you! I will be cheering you on from my elliptical!!


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