May 19 was a milestone for me. I joined a gym, something I hadn't done since my late teens. I always loved going to the gym and working on the machines, but once I got my own apartment and had a baby and got busier in life, there wasn't extra money or time for the gym. So over the years I have played the lost and found game: losing shape and finding weight. I would start a diet or exercise plan and then lose interest when I didn't see results on the scale as quickly as I'd hoped. When I would whine to my doctor about how I had gained 50 lbs. in the past 15 years, she would remind me that I had two babies in that timeframe and got older, losing some of my metabolism and hourglass shape in the process. She would also tell me that 50 lbs.
So looks like it was up to me. The me that never makes time for myself and rarely spends money on myself joined the gym. There was a new gym and a special - $1 down, $10 a month, and the penny-pinching, sale-loving me was intrigued. I had $1, and I could afford $10 a month. Now to find the time. I talked to my youngest two children, and asked if they would mind if I got home an hour later from work every day and explained why. They were supportive, and I promised them I'd still be there to help with homework or studying, to make food and to go to practices and games. I think they were more concerned with the food part, which is why I threw it in there. The other perk of this gym is the hours. They are open all night or late hours, which is right up my alley. Since I consider it an emergency to be up before 7 AM, morning exercise is out or should only be classified as walking to the shower. And since my TV shows were all wrapping up with their finales, I knew that on those early practice or tough homework nights, I could go to the gym late night.
After a month of going 3-4 times a week and dropping a size and 8 lbs., I gained 2 back. I talked to my healthy and inspiring fitness guru BFF who told me I needed to do more exercises to strengthen my core which probably meant more cardio. I thought about that, but I get so bored on the cardio machines for long periods of time. Even a good Dr. Phil episode didn't do it, and I would find myself jumping off the bike or treadmill during a commercial. But I broke down. In my discouragement and frustration of not already being skinny and having those fabulous tank top wearing arms I dream of and admire on girls half my age, I made an appointment with the trainer at the gym to ask what I was doing wrong. I explained what my gym practices were, and he said what I knew he would.
With a big smile of very white teeth, he said in what I imagined was a monster voice, "You need to do more
I have now lost 10.2 lbs! Let me explain the value of .2. It represents the low-fat sour cream I used in my ranch dip this week. It represents the pretzels instead of potato chips I ate with the dip. It represents the 1 soda and 8 waters I have every day instead of the 6 sodas and 1 water. It represents the half a sandwich I eat for lunch instead of the full sandwich. It represents the half a piece of cake I ate yesterday instead of every last crumb. And yes, I will admit that my first thought when looking at the scale was "Imagine what it would read if I didn't have the dip or cake." But screw it! I like my food, and I'm already sacrificing a little. And I have almost entirely kicked my diet coke habit, and I haven't had cheese and crackers since the baby shower in early June. But let me tell you the best part of .2. Much like a mother will answer the question of her child's age with "19 months" instead of saying " a year and a half", I can say MORE than 10 lbs. I'm on my way, and it feels good. It feels sore, too, but I'm told that's a good thing.