So I was pretty darn good for the week immediately following my announcement to treat my body better. I did my abbreviated circuit of sit-ups, crunches, and a plank hold at least once a day. I even added push-ups to to the regimen (only ten, wouldn't want to go crazy or anything) and extended the time I hold the plank. The only weight re-alignment from these efforts so far has been when the fat quivers with the strain of the exercise. But it's early days, right?! I didn't get out to run like I intended because almost as if Mother Nature was protecting me from my own dangerous intentions, we had a nasty ice storm that made ice skating a better mode of transportation than anything else. And if I couldn't safely run on the roads because of ice, I sure wasn't getting in the car and driving to the gym on the speed skating tracks that doubled as roads to hop on a treadmill. But running fail aside, I watched what I ate, drank enough water to develop a camel's hump and actually lost 2.2 lbs.
Then disaster struck. My neighbor who is moving next week came over bearing her chocolate chip cake. I am generally not a cake person (not that I don't eat it, mind you, just that it's not my first choice of dessert) but this thing is the best cake evah! She brought one to me when we moved in a year and a half ago and I have been obnoxiously effusive about it ever since. And I can be obnoxious, let me tell you! I mean, I caused the lovely woman to make me a cake instead of packing up her house. As much as this was a kind and thoughtful gesture, I defy anyone who is a compulsive eater to have the best cake ever made in her house and not eat more than her fair share. Yup, I probably gained that lost weight back in one short fifteen minute binge. On the plus side, I forced (ha!) the kids to finish the cake so it wasn't sitting around here tempting me anymore. But that strategy was a little like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted and it's clear that willpower is one of the major hurdles on which I need to concentrate.
Add to the cake a Super Bowl party, and well, I live in fear of the scale on Thursday. My Super Bowl strategy was to make sinful and obnoxious calorie laden goodies that I could force others to eat the majority of, therefore saving myself from out and out gluttony. I'm so thoughtful and generous, aren't I?
Knowing how hideous the last couple of days has been, I took to heart a friend's new mantra: "Exercise is non-negotiable. Get out and run." So I did that this afternoon. I slowed my pace down so could go the full three miles without walking at all and was pleased to find that I didn't slow down nearly as much as I thought I had. On the other hand, I did notice that I must run more while the weather is cold enough to wear tights or pants since they camouflage the thigh jiggling better than shorts, which just ride up into a knot just above the fattest parts of my legs. The pants may make a sound not unlike corduroy about to light itself on fire as I run, but at least they keep the overly elastic flesh hidden. I broke all decent rules of running and wore a cotton t-shirt too. And yes, the rules are there for a reason and I knew that but my handy-dandy long sleeved dri-fit shirts are just a tad too small and snuggish for comfort given the weight gain. I am rarely a fan of peeking at bare skin on someone's belly but I am definitely against it when it is my own dunlop belly (as in it dun lopped over my belt). I might have been 14 or younger the last time I could have rocked that look well (we'll just ignore whatever nonsense I was thinking wearing a bikini in college).
At one point, my trusty, dusty Garmin watch beeped at me to tell me "Weak GPS Signal." I am here to interpret what that really means for you. What the watch wanted to say but didn't have the space for is: "Dear Weak Runner, You are now going so doggoned slowly that the satellite I was using to track you has decided you are a plant and that therefore no tracking is necessary. Either speed up or quit trying to fool us both and just go home with your pride dragging behind you. Love, the Garmin." I know this is what it meant because for once in weeks and weeks and weeks, we had beautiful blue skies, only a few puffy clouds in the sky, and I wasn't blocked in by trees overhead. I was out in the open getting my full on dose of Vitamin D sunshine (which reminds me that I forgot the sunscreen--oops!). So there was no earthly reason for the watch to get snippy with me and pretend it was having trouble locating the satellite. Sarcasm from your equipment is never pretty.
By the end of the run I was cold and sweaty and couldn't find my pulse. I must have had one, right? But coming into my driveway to a murder of crows in the yard and pressing all over my neck in vain hope of feeling at least a faint, reassuring thump was a little surreal. I also noticed that not one person I smiled at while I was running smiled back. Really bad day for people or terrified by the scary rictus trying to pass for a smile as I puffed up and down hills and dales? In any case, the run was slower than usual but it was all at a run and it counts as day one of training again for the half marathon I commited to run with my sister. I know that smoking crack is probably not high on the list for a healthy regimen but I think that's what I was doing when I agreed to run with her.
Now I'm off to do my lame, weak girl push-ups and crunches circuit and then scrounge in the fridge for a healthy lunch of sorts. Too bad there's no chocolate cake left since I'm pretty sure I might have earned myself a sliver today. Perhaps instead I'll have a snitch of the sweet onion dip I made for last night. It's made with low fat cream cheese and light mayo so clearly it's diet food, right?!
In the meantime, have you read this? "Scientists at the University of Bonn have discovered a previously unknown fruit fly gene that controls the metabolism of fat. Larvae in which this gene is defective lose their entire fat reserves. Therefore the researchers called the gene 'schlank' (German for 'slim'). Mammals carry a group of genes that are structurally very similar to 'schlank'. They possibly take on a similar function in the energy metabolism. The scientists therefore have hopes in new medicines with which obesity could be fought. Their research bas been published in 'The EMBO Journal' (doi: 10.1038/emboj.2009.305)." Read the full article here. So what I want to know is if I eat chocolate covered fruit flies, will that help me lose weight and firm up faster than this brutal (but wimpy) exercise regimen. Because, dude, sign me up!