Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It's That Time of Year Once Again

It’s that time of year once again; the time of year when I make my annual pledge to lose weight, eat healthier, and get in shape. Traditionally this means 2-4 weeks of eating things like quinoa, salmon, and blueberries while drinking enough water to ensure 49 trips to the bathroom in any given 24-hour period. During this period, I will exercise until my muscles hurt so much I cannot get off the couch without the help of my children (and a whole lot crying and pathetic moaning noises.) This 2-4 week period is followed by a slow weaning of the recently adopted healthy habits in favor for chocolate and binge watching Netflix while lying like a sloth on the couch. What can I say? It’s tradition.

I weigh about as much as I did while pregnant, which wouldn’t be horrible except for the fact that I’m not actually pregnant. I look in the mirror and am absolutely disgusted with myself. And I have no one to blame, but myself. I think of the Serenity Prayer often.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
The courage to change the things I can, 
And the wisdom to know the difference. 

Weight is one of those things I can change. There is no excuse for not accepting responsibility for that. Or well, actually there are a million excuses (believe me, I’ve invented quite a few myself – I can’t go for a walk or I might be hit by a fish falling from the sky and I can’t do Bikram yoga because Satan teaches that class.) But those excuses are just that – excuses. In the end, something as transient as weight is fully in my control. It’s up to me to make the decision to change and then to put a plan in place and stick to it long-term. 

So here I am once again, resolving to make permanent changes. Once again. To that end, I started exercising once again. I started off slowly, or well, I thought I was starting out slowly. The last time I regularly exercised, I could jog 5 miles. I thought walking 3 miles wouldn’t be a big deal. I thought wrong. 

I met my friend, Cheri to walk. Cheri is the Monica to my Fat Amy. When I'm like:


She's all:  "No, c'mon, we can't stop, c'mon, we've got three more pounds to go. I am the energy train and you are on board. Woo-woo, woo-woo, woo-woo!"

When I woke up Sunday morning and saw that it was raining, I got down on my knees and thanked God for the dreary weather that would enable me to get out of walking for the day! Of course, then I couldn't get up off my knees so I just crawled to the bathroom on all fours like that was my plan all along. Cheri, however, being the Monica-type, declared that a little rain would not put a crimp in her plans to torture me make sure we exercised. I ignored her text, thinking that eventually she'd give up and find something else to do. After the 28th text, I realized I have crazy persistent stubborn determined friends, and if I didn't show up to walk, she'd hunt me down.

So I pulled on my shorts and a t-shirt, and we walked around her neighborhood. In the rain. And the unseasonably cold, 50-degree weather. Cheri is like a foot taller than me. Now imagine a sloth trying to keep up with a giraffe. Got that visual? Yeah. So Cheri walks backwards. She works her muscles out differently by doing that and I have a sporting chance of keeping up with her. I never really thought about how we looked until a neighbor (wearing a winter coat and hat) called out to us. "I saw you two walking yesterday too. Why do you walk backwards?"

Without missing a beat, Cheri answered, "So I can watch for danger this way and she can watch for danger in that direction." You know, just in case ninjas attack from all sides while we're walking in broad daylight. In her gated community. The guy stared at us for a minute while questioning the sanity of people walking backwards in the rain.

Then again, maybe he was staring because of the way I was dressed. I had opted for beige shorts and a light pink top. Within a block, my clothes were soaked. The stripes of my bra showed through the t-shirt that was plastered to me. And my black underwear showed through my light shorts. Actually, my underwear probably didn't show through too much because it had all but disappeared in a wedgie of epic proportions. That's what happens when you're fat, your undies are too small, you're walking fast, and there are people around to see through your wet clothes. Yep, that's me - keeping it classy.

A mile into our walk, I insisted I was having a heart attack.

She countered with a peppy, "You're not dying! You're getting in shape!"

We walked another mile before we neared her house. As soon as I saw it, a tear of happiness slipped down my cheek. "I can see the end! We're almost there! Just a few more steps . . ." I panted.

Cheri turned the corner and headed in the opposite direction. "C'mon! You can't stop now! We have to do 3 miles!" she called. I think I responded with this:


We finally made it around another winding loop of streets and came to her house once more. "I made it," I gasped, tears of joy mixing with the sweat and rain. I started to turn up her driveway.

"You can't stop now! We haven't done 3 miles yet," she said, looking at the app on her phone. "We're at 2.9 miles. Come on! Down to the corner and back!"

"You go ahead and walk down to the corner and back, you sadistic wackjob! I'm going to pass out."

"You can pass out after you've done 3 miles. Come on! You can do it!"

I trudged behind her, chanting, "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you," (which, roughly translated, means, "I love you. Thank you for kicking my butt.")

The whole ordeal wouldn't have been so bad expect that I shockingly did not lose 20 pounds from that walk and really, I don't think that was an unreasonable expectation. And of course, the fact that my underwear needed to be surgically removed by the time I got home.


noexcuses said...

You got your funny back! Hang on to it! Write something about returning to work, and how you are dragging your sorry wedgied butt back to a place filled with people who are also dragging their sorry butts back! Misery loves company! You have the uncanny ability to turn disasters into laughter...you are a survivor, my friend! Thank you for your inspiration! Liz

grandmatomato said...

Love it this is so true. This is the kind of writing I love to read from you.

Cindy said...

Oh my gosh this was so funny! This is how it's like for those of us who are, ahem, exercise challenged!

Unknown said...

Cheri is so bossy! (pun intended)

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