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Pieces of Me

This morning at the gym an older gentleman climbed on the elliptical machine right next to mine.  No problem.  I’m not that way.  The more the merrier, I say!  However, this geriatric fellow had bathed in Old Man Cologne before the gym.  Even though he was sort of making me gag, he charmed me with his sweet lingering pace on the machine and his outfit.  All I’m saying is not many people can pull off going to the gym in a pair of slacks and denim button down shirt. 

This morning I completed 5,300 strides in 30 minutes on that beastly cardio machine.  I used the interval program that uses a resistance of 1 for 2 minutes, and then a resistance of 8 for 2 minutes.  Repeat until you reach 30 minutes.  Then try to step off the equipment without tumbling to the floor under the weight of your rubbery legs.

Also!  I hit the weight machines today!  I completely left my comfort zone and did a circuit on the Precor equipment and I think I hit every major muscle group.  I’ll let you know tomorrow morning when I’m all seized up and unable to get out of bed due to muscle tissue anarchy.  Oh, yeah.  They are totally going to turn on me for the new fandangled moves I forced them to complete.  I say, WHATEVER, MUSCLES!  You can’t break my spirit!  However, my body is up for grabs.  What say we sit down and discuss this.  Work together.  I won’t overdo it and cause you to tear and hurt for days…and you cooperate by growing big and strong…mkay?

(I really shouldn’t write these posts after a trip to the gym because I’m all high from the endorphins and I sound like an idiot.  Ah, well.)

Insert segue…

The first time I joined Weight Watchers I was 22 years old.  I was living in Toronto with my then fiance and had put on quite a bit of pounds.  New city, new life, and a whole bag of brand new depression issues.  Awesome.  I was the dream of every fast food conglomerate on the continent.  Tim Horton’s hold some of my fondest memories.  I would go twice a day from my office and get a coffee about as big as my head, along with a donut or five.  TWICE A DAY.  A woman I worked with invited me to a WW meeting.  Because I’m stupid, I thought she just wanted to hang out more outside the office.  I didn’t think she thought I had a weight problem.  I’d become VERY good at ignoring my expanding girth.

The second time I joined WW, I lived in Baltimore.  I had dumped the fiance, moved to a new city, tried another take on another new life, and had TWO new bags of depression issues.  I was living with my Cindy and her Max.  I love them both more than sunshine and would walk through fire for either of them.  I love them THAT MUCH.  I was heavier in Baltimore than I was in Toronto.  I hauled my ass to the bus, then to another bus, and then, finally, to the WW meeting place.  Obviously, it didn’t take.

The third time I joined I was living in Wisconsin with my girlfriend of three years.  I was blissfully happy and in love.  I was, for all intents and purposes, married.  (Oh God, Internet…SO MUCH you don’t know about me!)  Dianne was supportive of my weight loss/body transformation goals.  She lovingly helped me move an 8,000lb treadmill into the basement and helped me turn that room into a gym.  Weight benches and everything.  She celebrated with me every week when I had a loss.  She counted points with me.  She wouldn’t say a word when I reached for brownies.  She was too good to be true but that’s another novel of posts entirely.  I lost 35 pounds.

The fourth time, I had moved back to where I am now and was swimming in a sea of depression and hopelessness after my divorce.  Food was comfort.  I didn’t want to go to meetings.  I didn’t want to leave my house.  I ordered all of the materials for Weight Watchers At Home.  The books, the point calculator, the weekly trackers and the subscription to WW magazine.  I lost 25 pounds.

Every single time I got under 200 pounds…I inexplicably stopped the program.  I celebrated by going out for dinner.  Why someone didn’t take a sledgehammer to my head is beyond me.  My friends and family have put up with my many weight loss endeavors.

I had counted points for a week here and there in the last year.  But the last time I GOT SERIOUS (again.  no really this time.  no, really really for real serious this time.) was six weeks ago.  Then last week, as you may remember, I jumped off the wagon and into a plate of ribs.  And then I was like, well shoot…I ate ribs and fries.  I’m going to scrap this whole day and eat ice cream until bed.

Did you know that unhealthy eating begets unhealthy eating?  For me, anyway.  One trip to the buffet inevitably leads to four more days of trips to the buffet.  No wonder I was trying so hard to be perfect!  If one meal can derail me for a week it only makes sense that I would be so rigid that I would simply break down altogether instead of bending for just a bit.  I was listening to a Jillian podcast last night at the gym and she finally shot that whole “All Or Nothing” approach to eating all to hell.  “If your car gets a flat tire, do you jump out and slash the other three?  No.  You repair that tire and KEEP DRIVING.”


I’m slow on the uptake.  My point counting days are over.  The program is pretty great and I did have success in the past.  But because of my SIX failures, I’ve decided that it isn’t something I can do comfortably the rest of my life.  That’s just me. 

I heard about The Daily Plate from Mrs. B.  It’s an amazing free program that tracks calories, nutrition, fitness, and water intake.  There are so many features that I’ve yet to fiddle with the site enough to use it to its full capabilities.  I’m also wondering about Jillian’s website.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about it but it costs money.  However, I do believe in the adage that you get what you pay for so if TDP starts to prove itself more work than pleasure, I’ll move on to Jill.

I think simple calorie counting and monitoring my intake of fat/carbs/protein is going to be the way I go.  Of course, someday I hope to be one of those people who can simple eat intuitively and with common sense.  For now, I need the numbers and graphs and visual aids and virtual “badges” that tell me I’m doing a good job.

And I’m going to weight train.  The hardest thing for me is realizing that even though my heart rate doesn’t shoot up there, I”m still getting a workout and doing my body good.  Actually, the HARDEST thing was getting started on those weight machines. 

That All Or Nothing approach has got to go.  So now when I eat something with zero nutritional value but tons of flavor and goodness, I’ll think…damn, that was good!  And then I’ll keep driving.  And maybe I’ll add 20 minutes to my gym time.  But maybe not.  I’m not going to get caught up in the drama.  Healthy living shouldn’t be a battle.  Once you take away the dramatic GOOD versus BAD…it’s really just meal after meal.  Simple.  (I’m not sure if that made sense, but I hope you understand the point I’m trying to make!)

In closing, Amy’s 15 Week Challenge requires me to make a list of goals and then a list of rewards for myself when I meet those goals.  Goal setting is always the easiest part.  Rewards.  That’s…difficult.  Because I’m cheap as hell.  We’ll see what I come up with in tomorrow’s post!  I should think of something pretty great for when I break into the 100lb territory!  This is my last time in the 200s.  I know it.

Thanks for reading.  I know it was a long story today.


One Response

  1. Hey, girl…thanks for sharing some of your story. You’re so right – there’s so much we all don’t know about each other, and yet we’re still there for support. I’m glad that you liked TDP…I’m a huge fan of the graphs! I hope that it proves useful for you!

    You can do it! And I’m here if you just want to chat, bitch, or drone on about those big ol’ bags of depression issues.


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