Before I went to Denver last week, I proofread a book for Guideposts written by a past-season finalist from The Biggest Loser (Fat Chance by Julie Hadden, releasing in December 2009). Now, I’ve never watched the show; I have a major problem with the whole idea that they’re going to not just sequester people for four months where they do nothing but exercise for eight, ten, twelve, or more hours per day and lose ten or fifteen pounds per week but also where they kick off the people who’ve “failed” to lose an unhealthy amount of weight in such a short amount of time. It was good to read of her experiences with it (and I dislike Jillian Michaels even more now that I’ve read the book than I did before—and I didn’t care much for her before reading about how she really interacts with people). However, what struck me was the way Julie Hadden not only discovered her own self-worth during the process, she grew closer to God and came to understand her worth in God’s eyes. That, and reading about how dedicated she became to exercising and competing for the grand prize (she came in second, only lost by eight pounds in the final weigh-in—and there’s a great chapter in the book about that eight pounds and the blessing it became in her family’s life).
And as I read the book (because, of course, when proofreading for errors made in the editing process, one must actually read the book), I was forced to look at my own life and the shambles I’d allowed my emotional state to become. I’d gotten to the point where I would look at food and think, I don’t wanna do this anymore. I want to be able to eat what I want to eat. I’m tired of having to think about what’s healthy and what’s not. I’m tired of feeling guilty for not exercising. And of course, then I’d feel guilty every time I faced going to Weight Watchers and standing on that scale and seeing my weight go up and up and up—until this week, where I was back up to 272—where I was AT CHRISTMAS!!!!—because of letting myself go and indulging in whatever I wanted to eat.
Yesterday, I finally verbalized what’s been shaping in my mind since reading Julie’s book: if she, with two small children, a husband, and a grueling travel/book-promotion schedule can be committed to meeting with her trainer every day for a 75-minute workout, who am I to be sitting around on my fat bum all day long when I not only have access to all of the exercise videos available on Comcast’s On-Demand Fitness TV option, but a large backyard and a neighborhood perfectly suited to walking—not to mention a community center a few miles away where for $2 a day I could work out in the fitness center, or I could walk the indoor track for free? I have no excuse other than laziness and self-centeredness. Yep, that’s right. I’m self-centered when it comes to diet and exercise, and not in a good way. I’m self-indulgent. If I crave something, I go get it. I allow myself to sit around and get bored, and then I boredom eat. It’s instant gratification 24/7. There’s no sacrifice, no self-growth allowed or encouraged. If Julie Hadden can work out for 75 minutes every day, then I can commit myself to at least 30 minutes a day, whether it’s walking outside (while the strange, fall-like weather lasts) or at the indoor track at the community center or doing an exercise video to start toning up this flabby, flabby body.
Now, I don’t have unrealistic expectations for my long-term goals. I know I’m never going to be a single-digit size. My ideal size (which I’m focusing on more than an ideal weight, because I know that will always fluctuate) is a size 14/16. That would mean I’d be able to shop anywhere instead of just in specialty-size stores. I’d like to stick to the 14-end of that size, but if I can get down to that and maintain it, I’ll be smaller than I was twenty years ago, when I graduated from high school. And that’s my dream. To look better at age 40 than I did at age 18. But you know what, I only have 22 months left to do it in. I have to get serious, because I have about 100 pounds to go, or about 5 pounds per month—and I know the more I lose, the harder it’ll be to lose more. But I MUST BECOME A LOSER! Not just for my physical health, but also for my mental health. Because the more of a loser I become, the better I’ll feel about myself and the more I’ll be able to stick to being a loser.
Yesterday, I re-watched one of the episodes of Dollhouse that’s saved on my DVR. One of the mantras of the “dolls” is “I try to be my best.” I’m not even trying to be good, much less “my best.” But that’s going to change. I’ve already gone out for my walk today (boy, am I out of shape after all these lethargic months!), and am about to not only spend the next couple of hours cleaning the house from top to bottom, I’m also going to clean out the fridge and do my meal planning for the remainder of the week, which I haven’t done in a couple of months either.
So, I’m committing to 30-minutes-a-day exercising. What can you commit to this week (or what have you already committed to) to keep you/get you back on track?