This morning I got up and sat around the house for a while, not really motivated to do anything in particular. Do you ever get so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things on your “to do” list that you end up just sitting in the living room and staring at the wall? That’s what happens to me…and I hate it.
The 5K training schedule I’m following says I need to do 35 – 60 minutes of walking today. Wasn’t motivated to do that either. Knew I would regret it if I flaked. Still didn’t want to do it. I wanted to sit on the couch and watch “Friends” reruns with the dogs. Instead, I decided to ask all the Hot Mess fans on Facebook to vote if I should turn right or left when I got to the path behind our house. The results? Right.
I really wasn’t motivated in any way to walk today. The only thing that made me even think about it was knowing that I’m committed to walking the Buffalo Boogie 5K in May and that some of you will be there.
I don’t want to let you down.
Still, I sat here. Staring. And then my legs made me stand up…and they walked me out the door. My brain was still saying no, yet out the door I went…like I was propelled by someone else’s legs.
The sky was gray and angry like my mood. I do this to myself every time I make myself exercise, but if I don’t make myself do it…I never will. I get angry. I get bitchy. I curse myself for not being born waifish and perfect like Keira Knightly or Gwyneth Paltrow – even though I know no one is actually perfect. I wish I could hide my imperfections from the world whenever I step out the door but my giant body screams for all the wrong kind of attention. And I’m angry at it. And I’m angry at myself for letting it happen.
It started raining. Immediately, I told myself that I should turn back and go home before it got worse. I love convenient excuses. Instead, I checked the weather app on my phone and saw that it was just an ugly sky and the rain would be fleeting.
Just like my crappy attitude. It’s only fleeting.
I feel like a floundering fitness noob with a pissy attitude…but I know in my heart that by the end of the year I’ll be a total badass. So as long as I realize the negativity is only temporary, the important thing is to keep pushing forward.
Yesterday, I promised that I would share the training program I’m following today…and that I would also share how those of you who aren’t in the DFW area can also participate. I can deliver on 75% of that. Lemme ‘splain…
First, I’m following Hal Higdon’s 5K for Walkers program. You may ask why I’m not following Couch to 5K and it’s simply psychology on my part. See, Couch to 5K is ultimately designed to get you running. I look forward to that someday, but I’m over 300 pounds and my feet hate me. I won’t be running for a while.
Understand, I’m not being a slacker…even when I weighed 125 pounds I was a regular in the podiatrist’s office. My feet really do hate me. I was always bandaged up or going for physical therapy. Two foot surgeries and multiple stress fractures later, I’ve learned to be realistic about what I can put my feet through at this weight – because if there’s one thing that sucks, it’s getting yourself all motivated and ending up in a stress fracture boot for 8 weeks. That shit ain’t fun.
So the psychology of it all? If I was a grown-up, I could read Couch to 5K and just substitute the word “run” for “walk”…but that’s not what happens in my head. What happens in my head is something like this:
Everyone else is running and you’re walking. You can’t run because you’re too fat. What if you never beat this? You never should have let yourself get this big. Who does this? You’re ridiculous. You’ll never run. You’re a failure.
Welcome to my evil twin, ladies and gentlemen…that’s what will be going on in my head if I do the grown-up thing and try to just overlook the word run. I don’t give myself any credit for trying. I’m horrible to myself. So to keep that from happening, I do what I have to in order to avoid those destructive voices in my head…and I keep pushing forward.
I’ll do whatever it takes to keep that crap silent. Determination is what’s most important to me.
I’ll be posting my daily walking goal on my Facebook fan page every day, so if you want to follow along please do! I’ll also be blogging quite a bit about it here…you know I won’t shut up about it.
So for those of you who don’t live in the DFW area and can’t walk the Buffalo Boogie with us, don’t fret…you can train with us! And that’s not all…there is actually one more announcement I have to make this week, but I’m not ready to do it tonight – so stay tuned.
I’ll hurry it up as fast as I can. I should have it out by Wednesday night.
For now, you’ve got the link to the training program I’m using…and I’ll be back soon with the re-birth of a pretty damn cool project I launched a while back. You’re gonna love it!
Sometimes I forget to be grateful for what I have. There are days when it feels like I’m in constant battle against “the grass is always greener syndrome”. Someone’s always luckier than me, prettier than me, has more money than me. Thinner than me. Hell, that’s most of the world.
I’m ashamed of how often I forget to be grateful. I’m luckier than so many others.
Remember back in the day when Oprah had her “Ah-hah!” moment and finally lost all her weight? I remember sitting in a restaurant with one of my girlfriends talk’in shit about poor Oprah. While we chomped on what was easily a day’s worth of calories, we lamented about how easy it would be lose our weight if we had Oprah’s enormous wealth.
“Yeah, if I could afford to hire someone to follow me around all day I’d hit my goal weight too,” my friend said. “She has a personal chef, a personal trainer, a personal assistant…she doesn’t have to do shit for herself.”
Our solution to the problem? Order dessert…because we poor girls, who had to work for a living and struggled so unfairly to lose weight, deserved it. We weren’t really struggling though. Well, I can only speak for me. I started all my diets on Monday back then, after a “last night on earth” eating binge on Sunday night. By Thursday night I was usually so starved and bored that I was calling for pizza delivery. For years, I did the same thing over and over again, failing every time and then whined to myself about it over a pint of mint chip while I watched The Biggest Loser.
It wasn’t until just over a year ago, when I was on the verge of lap band surgery, that I realized the bulk of my struggle was a bunch of bullshit that I was feeding myself. Well, the diet industry was feeding it to me as well – but I was the one swallowing it. Just weeks before my planned lap band surgery, I decided to experiment with a sort of imaginary lap band…and I found something unexpected: gratitude.
My imaginary lap band experiment opened my eyes. I didn’t miss all the processed crap I had been eating when I went without it. Instead, I missed the healthy foods that I enjoy cooking for myself. It surprised me quite a bit…and was the catalyst that caused me to cancel my surgery and do this on my own.
Here we are again, just over a year later, with my food demons in check…and now I’m going after exercise. Just a few weeks into the process of making exercise a consistent habit, I’m putting an enormous amount of thought into every aspect of it. Why do I hate it? What do I hate about it? How can I change that? What roadblocks are in my way? How do I get rid of them? This may seem like a lot of over thinking to some of you, but this is exactly what I did with health eating last year and it worked like a charm. Examine every rock, every stone, every pebble.
This year it’s not my healthy, delicious recipes I’m grateful for. Well, I’m still grateful for all that. With my focus on exercise this year, my relentless over thinking is making me grateful for the fact that I already have everything I need in order to move more. I hate gyms – but I’m grateful for the treadmill in my bedroom that makes gym memberships unnecessary. I’ve always had foot problems that can create issues for me, even when I was thin…but I have strong legs and no serious handicaps that keep me from exercising consistently.
And then there’s the path…
This is the entrance to a 6.10 mile long bike/walking trail in my neighborhood. I only have to walk two neighborhood streets behind my house to get here. The trail connects to other parks with other walking trails as well, providing just over 20 miles of room for me to stretch my legs. If I turn right, I’ll hit the dog park and a few other parks and trails. The bulk of the trail lies to my left. I have no idea what’s down there…but I plan to find out.
This post is the beginning of a series of blog posts I’ll be making as I discover what waits for me on the path ahead…on this trail and in my head as I try to fight some pretty serious mental demons about exercise. Four weeks into my new challenge of making exercise a consistent habit and I’m still resisting myself at every turn.
That’s fine. If that’s how my subconscious wants to play it, I can’t control it – but I can control what I do about it. So I will use the legs that I’m so grateful for to propel me down the path ahead whether my subconscious likes it or not…just like I made myself stand in the kitchen last year and actually cook instead of hitting the drive-thru. At first it was hard, but I avoided fad diets and absolute thinking. Gentle persistence turned into willingness…which turned into habit…and before I knew it my whole way of thinking about food was changed for good.
As I write this and I think about the fact that I’m going to go down this path whether I want to or not, I’m afraid. I know it isn’t real fear. There’s nothing to be afraid of down this path. (Well, at least not until spring when the bugs come back.) But, as I’ll explain in more detail later, there are mental demons at the heart of this that I haven’t confronted in over 20 years. When I think about the crap I’m going to have to claw through this year in order to change my life, last year seems like a total breeze.
It doesn’t matter in the end. It has to be done…because I want it done. I may not be particularly courageous, but I am stubborn.
Today, I begin preparation for my attack on the holiday season. Join me, won’t you?
I love the holidays. I love autumn, especially…when summer shrivels up and crawls back to hell (I live in Texas…trust me, hell ain’t that far off in the summer) and the leaves begin to change and everything gets crisp and chilly. Perhaps you think this is rather ho-hum where you live…but I am a born and raised southern California girl – so I might appreciate the change of seasons a little more than most…because seasons don’t change in southern California.
I remember in school we would start decorating with orange, yellow, and red paper…we would make leaves and decorate the classroom. We would carve pumpkins and talk about seasons changing. I love this time of year.
As you can see, I get a little carried away sometimes. Check out my Indian head dress and paper bag squaw garb. I think this was the day we made cornbread in the school cafeteria just like our forefathers did. I was totally pumped…which is probably where I got the yankee doodle baby saving grin from.
Once when my Mom was driving me to dance class I saw an orange leaf on a tree and I got so excited. Finally, I thought to myself, finally the leaves are changing and we’re going to have a real autumn…and maybe even a real winter!
Yeah, that shit never happened.
Now that I live in a place where we actually do have seasons, I get completely immersed in the festive atmosphere. No, I don’t go around kneeling with an American flag and a baby anymore. After 40, that shit’s just creepy. My enthusiasm for the holidays does add an extra level of danger to a season that’s already fraught with temptation, though. Like I said yesterday, Halloween is my own personal gateway drug…and I’m not gonna let it grab me this year.
I’ve spent the past week or so giving some serious thought to what really sets me back this time of year. What are the potential pitfalls I’m going to come up against and how can I avoid them? What do I really love about the holidays? What will I be sorry I missed if I don’t indulge in it?
That’s how I came up with my Plan that Can…and here are the basics:
Get through Halloween without anything scary popping up on the scale
Enjoy Thanksgiving fully, guilt free, and with my self-respect intact
Have a Hap-Hap-Happy Christmas & a Lighter New Year
Of course I’m going to share the juicy details of each of the parts I just listed…otherwise, this is just lame, right? Baby steps, folks. I’ve learned that I can’t fully be one with my kick-assery skills if I go too fast. This is going to be a multi-post blog series. For now, I plan to tackle Halloween.
Here are the details of my Halloween attack plan:
No chocolate of any kind in this house. And no Twizzlers. And no Swedish Fish. Or Sugar Babies. Basically, only cheap CRAP candy is allowed: suckers, Dum Dums, those straw things with flavored sugar that I liked when I was 9 years old. Those cheap, disgusting gummy body parts are ok for some reason. They don’t ring my bell. I don’t know why Swedish Fish are yummy and gummy eyeballs are gross, but I don’t set the rules…my food demons do. I just work within the rules to get what I want. If it looks like a severed toe, it’s not at all tempting…I don’t give a shit why.
Five second rule. Doesn’t matter if I’m at work, at home, out with friends…I’m enacting the 5 second rule. If I’m around something tempting, I have to do something about it in 5 seconds. A co-worker gives me a little festive baggie of candy, I’m dumping it in 5 seconds. In line at a potluck and I see a gorgeous cheesecake while I’m dishing up from the fruit bowl…5 seconds…MOVE! Back away from the cheesecake, Princess. The purpose of the 5 seconds is to not give myself the time to bargain or give in. 5 seconds. I’ll either toss it in the kitchen/break room at work…give it to someone else…run away from it or throw it in the trash can. Whatever it is, I’m thinking of me first…and all my hard work.
Indulge without Bulge. There are things I love about Halloween that I don’t want to do without. Roasted pumpkin seeds aren’t really a big no-no, but if you roast them in olive oil like I do…well…you still have to count it. I’m still going to have my pumpkin seeds – and I’m not going to limit how many I have. I’m going to eat as many as I want, but I’m also going to counter attack them by adding an extra workout and eating lighter meals the rest of that day. Repeat after me: adjust…so you don’t bust. And (just because I know how completely full of shit I can be when it comes to excuses) I’ve already set the rule that I have to do that workout before I indulge in those roasted seeds or any other treat I decide to indulge in.
Fun. I will replace food with fun. We have no kids of our own, but we have a neighborhood full of the coolest kids around. So I’m going to spook up the house with fog machines and lights and all my usual tricks…and I’m going to sit outside and watch trick or treaters. Think back to when you were a kid and you were trick or treating…there was always that one house on the block that was so much fun, right? Yeah, that’s my house. This year, I’m having fun with the neighbors instead of mowing through mini snickers on the couch.
With this four-pronged attack and my usual eating/logging – and added workouts…well, Halloween oughta get a run for her money. Last year all I did was buy $50 worth of crap and eat it all night. Then I felt sick after. This year will be different. This year will be better.
In fact, I’m gonna level with y’all…I’ve been thinking some crazy thoughts lately. Crazy in an awesome way. I don’t just want to get through the holidays without gaining weight. Nope. I want to kick it up about a notch and a half. Later this week, I’ll tell you how.
Today is October 16th. There are 16 days left until Halloween, all of which will be heavily blogged about, peeps.
If you want to follow along, be sure you’re subscribed to my blog via email…because I’m going to be posting quite a few times a week. If you watch for my posts on Facebook, you may not always see them. That’s just the way Facebook works with fan pages. So look up at the top of my home page on the right and find the SUBSCRIBE section…and subscribe via email!
If you want to create a similar plan for yourself, it’s time to start thinking about your own temptations and what really screws you up. Then find a way around them:
Avoid the things you know you can’t control.
Have a plan of attack for the times those things surprise you.
If you plan to indulge, plan to work it off…and don’t let yourself down!
Find a way to enjoy the things you really love about the holidays…and make sure you won’t come away feeling deprived. Adjust so you don’t bust.
This is about being real…this about finding positive, fun ways to bring healthy changes to my life. Because I know I can do it, because I want to prove it can be done.
Y’all know what I say: No rest for a fat girl with a plan. Bring it.
Can you feel it? It’s coming. Can you sense it? It’s out there…ready to pounce on all our well-intentioned plans? I can feel it.
Halloween is coming.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween. As a kid, I loved dressing up as my favorite hero or scary creature. And while, on this particular day, it’s perfectly acceptable for a grown woman to go traipsing around town in tights and a cape…I refrain. Generally speaking, super heroes tend to have a lot less kneecap fat than I do.
I celebrate in other ways. Mainly by turning my house into the most badass display of Halloween fun in my neighborhood. I rock Halloween so much that I actually get “repeater trick or treaters”. My house is the best one on the block for Halloween. That’s how I roll.
So yeah…Halloween is a lot of fun, but you know what?
It’s also a big fucking problem.
Do you know where I’m going with this? Let me paint a picture for ya:
They call marijuana “the gateway” drug. Why? Because young unsuspecting potheads often go looking for a better, stronger high…and they end up addicted to a world o’ shit. For those of us who’ve had a few self-control issues when it comes to things like…oh, I dunno…chocolate…nougat…cream filling…Twizzlers…you name it, this is dangerous ground we’re about to be walking on. Halloween is the gateway to a season full of holiday eating madness. MAAAADNESS, I tell you!! Bag after bag of temptation in the form of “fun size” bars in cute little packaging that cries out “Eat me!! Just one won’t hurt! Look how cute I am!”
We need a plan. With a quickness. If we don’t come up with something soon we’re gonna be mowing our way through $50 of fun sized evil before we even know what hit us. Screw that!
Luckily, I have a plan. If you’re still ooh-ing and aah-ing at the tantalizing candy displays, snap out of it! This is serious shit. I know I’m usually all about the “You don’t have to be perfect…just do what you can do…c’mere and give me a hug!” but there’s no time for that. (And, for the record, you don’t ever have to be perfect…but I don’t want to see any of us fall on our asses because we didn’t have a plan.) If you don’t have a plan, you can borrow mine…but first you have to snap out of it!!! Eyes off the Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins, soldier!! FOCUS!
I don’t just want this year to be different than last year. I want this year to be better than last year.
Last year, I went shopping for Halloween candy and (just like every year before) I bought all the crap that I love to eat. I know I’m not the only person who’s done that, right? If we’re going to spend that much money on free crap for the neighbor kids we might as well enjoy it too, right? Besides, it’s only one night, right? Yep. Well, I mowed through quite a bit of it that night…and it set me directly on a sugary road to hell, my friends. Just like it’s done every year before that. Are ya feel’in me?
This year will be different. No more one night stands with the candy bowl…waking up in a sugar coma…empty wrappers on the dresser making me feel cheap and easy. I’m not up for a repeat of last year when my sugar coma sent me straight into Thanksgiving with a lust for baked goods. Before I knew what hit me, Thanksgiving had flown by and I was standing in my kitchen in December…bent over a tin full of butter toffee…crying…because I felt so sick from all the sugar and yet I could not make myself stop eating.
Listen up, peeps…and picture me doing my best Dr. Evil impression: Halloween candy is evil. EEEEVIIIILLLLL!!!!!
After almost a full year of making positive, healthy life changes I’ve lost 45 pounds. And I’ve managed it without listening to the diet & fitness industry mainstream that makes millions off of those of us who struggle with overeating and weight issues. The past year has been pretty damn enlightening for me. And here it comes again: Hallo-frick’in-ween… my own personal gateway drug.
This year, I’ve come up with a plan for getting through the holidays…and it starts this month. The time for preparation is now. There’s nothing fun sized about an extra ass in your pants by Christmas. We’re talking plan & strategy this week here on the blog. By the time we get to Halloween, we will laugh in the face of danger.
This year, we will control our shit before it controls us. So get ready. Here’s your homework:
Make a list of what tempts you this month. Halloween candy? Menu preparations for Thanksgiving? What situations do you find yourself in that always cause you trouble? What are the triggers that are set to launch you into the holidays? Write ‘em down because you’re going to need them for planning this week.
Let’s band together and show the holidays we’re in it for the fun and the family and the joy…but not the extra weight. Because we’re too smart to go down this road again…and New Years Resolutions suck ass!