The fine line

Today I’m tiptoeing the fine line between psyching myself up and psyching myself out. It’s a snow day — or likely would be if I didn’t work from home. I called a client with questions on a project, but had to leave a message. So here I am, with a bit of time on my hands and the weighty knowledge that today is also a NordicTrack day.

I’ve been dieting for the past few weeks and exercising regularly. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are designated NordicTrack days. (Tuesdays and Thursdays are yoga days. I love Tuesdays and Thursdays.) My trusty NordicTrack is now almost 20 years old, and I really have used it a lot over the years, albeit off and on. So, my $400-ish investment has paid off in spades, costing only about $20 a year.

Knowing that today is an NT day, I should be psyching up. OK, I’m gonna quit wasting time, I’m gonna get out of these pajamas (don’t you judge me, I work from home and it’s snowy and cold and nobody sees me), I’m gonna throw on my workout clothes, and I’m gonna NordicTrack for 45 minutes with 25 minutes of intervals. Afterward, I’m gonna feel great. And a hot shower will be waiting.

Instead, all I can think of is psyching out. Oh crap. I have to get out of my warm fuzzy bathrobe, pull on those ridiculous c.1995 purple Lycra shorts and bra, and freeze my butt off in our dungeon of a basement, in that laundry room so full of junk I have just enough space to wedge the NordicTrack between the mountain of “for eBay” boxes, the Shop-Vac, and the toilet waiting to be installed in the powder room. Oh, and I haven’t been able to find my water bottle (actually Mike’s water bottle since I dropped mine and it cracked). And it’s FREEZING down there. And NordicTracking for 45 minutes is really hard. And what would it hurt if I just took a snow day from working out, since I never get a snow day from work? And I can go get a hot shower right now!

Fortunately, though, my psych up side has a secret weapon. It’s very motivating. Very effective. Works every time.

Sure, honey, you take a snow day. I’m sure those gray pants will fit the NEXT time you try to button them. And those jeans, too. You know, the ones you were ‘so happy’ to find because they fit perfectly? Yes, you just sit there and veg in front of the computer. You deserve it!

My chariot awaits.

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself.
Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.
~ Wayne Dyer

The shape of things to come

I seem to be on my way to inventing a whole new body type. You’ve heard, of course, that people are “apples” or “pears” based on the shape of their bodies — each shape having specific health concerns associated with it. Well, I think I’ve leapt right past “pear” to all out “gourd.”

I had the best intentions ths spring. I (found and) dusted off the pedometer, fed it a new battery, and decided to follow an interval walking program from Prevention magazine. Some days you walk at a steady pace, other days you alternate fast and slow walking for specific amounts of time. It’s supposed to burn way more calories than just plain walking. On the “steady” days, you start out with some strength and toning exercises using what are essentially giant broken gumbands (which I bought on Amazon).

I tried the walking program (and I only fell once during the “Sprint” pace as I stepped half on the street and half on the neighbor’s grass berm), and even did the gumband exercises — no small task, considering it meant following a few sentences of explanation and one picture of a buff woman in perfect shape…

Stand on end of 6-ft exercise band with left foot and place right foot on band about hip-width away so band is around outside of right foot. Place right hand on hip and hold opposite end of band in left hand so it crosses body (band will be loose). Simultaneously lift fight foot out to side about 45 degrees while raising left arm out to side to shoulder height. Hold for a second, then lower to start. Complete a full set, then switch sides. Do 2 sets on each side.

I was quite a sight, I’m sure. The cat was fascinated and amused. But I persevered for a few sessions through all 5 similarly baffling exercises, puffing like Thomas, so it had to be working, right?

But then, I got sick — another flu thing and KILLER sore throat that knocked me out for a week. Then there were all the trips to visit mom, and trips to her house to clean up, and lots of work to churn out. And many trips to Taco Bell because I couldn’t find the time to grocery shop or cook. Walking fell by the wayside. As did my backside — hence the pronounced gourd effect.

And wouldn’t you know, I actually have an “event” to go to this week — a professional organization fund-raiser masquerading as an awards ceremony honoring my former bosses. I really want to go — I wouldn’t have my career if not for them 17 years ago taking a chance on a writer with virtually no professional experience and teaching me the proverbial “everything I know” during my four years there — so much so that I plunked down $120 for two tickets (for light hors d’oeuvres and a CASH bar) and even got a new dress.

A new dress? I can count the events I need a new dress for in once-every-three-years-or-so terms. I’m sure I could have trotted out the “black pants and fancy top” thing for this. But, my soul needed something new. So, about 15 dresses later, I found one. Black of course, even though I was determined I didn’t want black. But really, when you’ve got the gourd thing happenin’ the black thing better be happenin’ too.

Soooo, I will someday, soon, I promise, haul my saddlebags back on the walking path. I may even keep up with the stretchy bands. But not before fully enjoying my $120 worth of cheese cubes and a couple $4 glasses of cabernet and wishing those three guys well in my spiffy new dress.

Maybe I can just tie the cute little zebra-striped shrug it came with around my waist — suburban camouflage?

 A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
                                                                      ~ A. A. Milne