After years of focusing on work, career (not the same as work much of the time!), school, family, paying bills and more, I am fortunate enough to have a lot of that off my plate now. I graduated in May, I have one part-time job I do from home, instead of two jobs I commute to, and I have more time than I have had in a long time. Now that my mind has been honed to a sharp Strategic Communications and Leadership point, it's time to hone the body. It's no secret I love to eat and hate to sweat. Really. Sweating is pretty close to something I hate and hate is a very strong word. And when you exercise, especially in the humid Pensacola summer, you sweat. Yuck. I do not glisten in that mysterious feminine way. Apparently that gene has been bred out of the Kasal women. I sweat. Like not just one, but a whole corral of horses. It's nasty. Needless to say, I require a shower after I work out, so when I work out, the work out is about an hour and the shower and getting ready part is at least another half hour. Add in any driving time, etc., and you're looking at about 2 hours of time each time I work out. Regardless of what the spouse believes, before now I did not have time to commit to this as required, to truly make a difference in my waistline. Well, no more! Like I said, I now have time, so I've run out of excuses, because the whole severely-disliking to sweat thing is just a feeble whine that I really need to get over. Besides, most days I now have the time to workout and shower. Twice. But let's not get crazy. I plan to work out 3 to 4 times a week, tops.
And I am just tired. I feel tired and run down, I have a hard time crouching on the floor, not to mention getting back up. My feet and back hurt all the time - key indicators that I need to lose weight. And don't get me started on how much I dislike what I see when I look in the mirror. Or at recent photos of me. Seriously, I am sure people are describing me as "she has a great personality" or "such a pretty face." Either way, whether or not they are true, those are simply polite euphemisms for "overweight... good thing she's married." And just for the record, my spouse has never given a second of trouble. As always, he is very supportive and encouraging. As with most women, I am my toughest critic.
So I met with my personal trainer for the first time on Monday and committed to a healthy diet Tuesday. My doctor in Pensacola recommended the South Beach Diet, and it seems very sensible and do-able. And, if you do it right, you lose a good chunk of weight the first few weeks, which is just the motivation I need to make this new lifestyle a habit. I'll be honest, though: I have never eaten so many vegetables in my life.
My kids keep eyeing my warily to make sure I don't make them eat more than one serving of veggies per meal. I have not yet tortured anyone but myself with vegetables. And seafood. And weird reduced-fat cheeses. I thought Laughing Cows were those happy cows from the California dairy commercials. I had no idea it was a cheese spread. My shopping list had dozens of items on it... everything from cucumbers to salmon to red wine vinegar to light soy sauce. Our commissary is not large, but shopping took nearly an hour.
Surprisingly, the commissary had every item except for the light soy sauce, fresh basil, white wine vinegar and Canadian bacon. Considering the place was out of yogurt and marshmallows a couple of weeks ago, I was impressed. I went home with a trunk full of groceries and the diet commenced.
The fitness assessment provided by my personal trainer was tougher - emotionally, anyway. And, well, I guess physically, too. Here is a bruise left after a body fat calibration on my arm:
No pain, no gain, though, right? The assessment took about half an hour and the most strenuous thing I did was ride a stationary bike for nine minutes. Yes, I started sweating. But once all the stretching and lifting and measuring was over, the conclusion came in: Just about everything "needs work" but my strength is excellent.
I am 80 pounds overweight. The personal trainer did the math and I have gained 8 pounds each year for the past 10 years. That was kind of weird to think about. According to the kid on Jerry Maguire, the human head weighs 8 pounds. I have gained 10 heads. I told my kids that I was overweight but strong, and they wondered why I had to drag them to the gym on a holiday weekend to find that out from a professional.
Because I need help. I don't ask for it very often and I hate doing it. But I have also matured and have realized when it is time to cry "uncle!" I need someone to hold me accountable. To get in my face if I start getting back in to bad habits, to encourage me when I hit those plateaus. Someone who I am not married to and don't feel comfortable yelling obscenities at.
So, if you've gotten this far in the post, you know it's not like the others have been and there is a reason for that: I am asking your for help, too. Hold me accountable. Ask me how it's going. Tell me next week will be better. Tell me to invest in Advil. Whatever might help to keep me moving forward towards my goal. Because it's hard to tell everyone you know that you've failed, but so much more fun to share the success. Especially when you've had to sweat profusely to get there.