Something clicked in me and so I’ve proactively begun to better myself. I’ve diligently exercised every day for two weeks and last night, for the first time in over a year, I ran two miles in 27 minutes and 30 minutes straight without stopping. The walk/run was my go-to workout but honestly; it was usually the walk/run/walk-most-of-it, so I’m very proud of myself for this feat. I’ve been working hard to try and actually run for an extended period of time every day, even if it’s only for a mile without stopping and then walk/run for 45 minutes. So, last night I kept thinking I think I can, I think I can! And two miles were out of the way in no time!
So, I came home and made the lofty decision, that since this weekend is to be the first weekend of no rain; all sunshine, 80-degree, perfect weather, I should pull out my favorite pair of cut off jean shorts from the infamous “Someday These Will Fit Me Again Pile” so perfectly tucked away, out of sight and mind, in the top corner of my closet. Like somehow a 30-minute run magically transformed me into a slender version of myself again. I thought Oh, why not! They might fit! Yeah, hell no. They did not fit. I mean, I can get them up over my thighs but to button them would be a joke. I can’t even cinch them closed. I used to be able to slide them on and off without unbuttoning them. I’m not only embarrassed but I’m devastated. I feel like I’ve totally just left myself go.
At the beginning of the month I finally gave into Chris’s incessant plea for me to attempt weight training, an offer I’ve refused for almost two years now. Weight training is quite different than my usual workout, which mainly consists of cardio until I’m bored. So, over the last few weeks I’ve allowed Chris to impress upon me his knowledge of iron and brawn. I’ll admit, I was, and maybe still am, a bit reluctant. I’m already a big girl and I’m terrified that the fat I have will turn into bulky muscle and I’ll look like a big, red curly-haired, lesbian bodybuilder. I’m hoping this theory comes to no fruition and my experiment with free weights will work in my favor.
Chris has explained to me that if I lift lower weights with higher repetitions I’ll build lean muscle and burn more calories than I normally do during my walk/run routine. I’ve heard this before, but I’m still skeptical. I used to run four miles every day and I lost 18 pounds in eight weeks. So, I know that works. Then again, I was a server, standing on my feet 40 hours a week, perspiring quite generously all over tourists’ Migas and Pork Asada before heading for my daily run outside in 98-degree weather, in the summertime in Texas. The only benefit my 8-5 counseling gig has afforded my body is a larger bra size, and let’s be honest, that really only benefits my boyfriend. A 45-minute walk/run isn’t going to cut it so, I figured why not? I gave into his advice and hope for the best.
I’ve honestly learned quiet a bit and look forward to challenging myself everyday. So far in my routines, I’ve focused on a new area for five days a week, rotating between back, shoulders, legs, arms and chest; a different area each day. On the 6th day I just do cardio. I take one day off to rest. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ve learned a lot about what my body can and can’t do and I’ve completed workouts that I never thought in a million years I would ever attempt. My least favorite thing so far is when Chris says, “burn it out.” Which means, “do it until it hurts and then do it until it really hurts.” I assume I look like I totally know what I’m doing when I’m there and everyone is impressed with my abilities.
Aside from the workout, I know I need to start focusing on what I put into my body, too. Most of the time I’m pretty good about it. Greek yogurt for breakfast, hummus and carrots for lunch, fresh Salmon once a week like clockwork. I also take pride in the fact that I don’t eat fast food, unless Chipotle is factored into that equation, which I have maybe once a month. A veggie burrito with brown rice, black beans, fajita veggies, corn salsa and Pico de gallo with guacamole and sour cream is my jam. Eff getting a burrito bowl, give me a wrap of floury deliciousness. I’m yours Chipotle. You had me at burrito.
But, I hang my head in shame. My belly is my fault. As I’ve said before, the Publix bakery is my best friend, and a major contributor to the increase in numbers on the scale. Breaking-down everything I’ve put in my body in the last few weeks, the things that stick out to me most are definitely the BOGO’s pints of ice cream, the Lobster Mac n’ Cheese from a local restaurant on date night, and the more than a few alcoholic beverages at Blues Festival last weekend that had me passed out on the couch at 9:30 p.m. on a Saturday night. Oh, and I ate a piece of cake at work from a going-away party for a coworker. And all the crap I ate totally canceled out my awesome workouts.
After the shorts fiasco, I made Chris take pictures of me in my sports bra and a pair of shorts, like the before versions on the Hydroxycut commercials. I didn’t know what I was going to see but after he took them I sat on the side of the bed disgusted with myself and really sad that I’ve gotten this big. I immediately wanted to delete the pictures but, they’re part of this challenge; they’re my reinforcement when I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to go to the gym. It also helps that Chris is so supportive. When he saw how sad I was he came over, kissed me and said, “I think you’re beautiful. We’ll do this together.” #bestboyfriendever
The jean shorts got me down but this just the beginning. I started something new and I already feel so much healthier, stronger even. I’m getting better sleep, I’m in a better mood than I have been in a long time and I actually look forward to heading to the gym. I’m focused and determined. The jean shorts will sit on the top of my dresser in plain view as a reminder of my goals. Oh, Ben and Jerry’s is Buy One Get One? Not for this lady! Wine and pizza is only a dollar at the pizza place tonight? Not for me! It’s a battle, but I’m determined not to get bigger and get back into those shorts for the summertime! Ready. Set. Keep on going!