Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Devil on My Shoulder

So, like most of us, I slacked off a little during the holidays on the whole diet and exercise thing. But, hey, I work hard all year and I happen to think we are totally allowed a couple of weeks of enjoyment.  Now, I don't mean fall off the wagon entirely and eat your body weight in peppermint bark, as tempting as that is.  I think it is totally acceptable to have some holiday food (and drinks), enjoy time with your family and start over in January with the rest of the country.

This advice is actually much harder for me to take than it is to give.  When I am off of my regular schedule, there is an evil little voice in my head that, for the purpose of this blog, I will call my Diet Devil and she spends a good amount of time berating me.

"Don't your jeans feel too tight?  That's because you haven't worked out in four days."

"Put that sweater back.  It only looks good on you when you have been doing sit-ups.  Grab that loose tunic instead.  No one wants to see your Christmas belly!" 

After about a week and half the Diet Devil really gets rolling.  Her voice in my head is a full-blown shriek.

"This weight is never coming back off!!!  You are going to need to go buy all new pants unless you plan on wearing leggings full time!"

Eventually she sinks into despair and tries to drag me down with her.

"You are never going to the gym again.  You are just going to be overweight and miserable.  Happy effing New Year"

Now I know none of those things are true.  My rational mind is arguing back, busy making excuses -

"Hey, I was sick for a whole week there, give me a break!"

"These jeans are snug, but they will fit just fine when I lose the ONE pound I have gained.  Chill out!"

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but I have been thinking a lot about the Diet Devil's voice this year.  So I think my New Year's resolution is to turn my Diet Devil into a Diet Angel.  My Diet Angel would have my best interests at heart.  She would support a balanced approach to a healthy lifestyle.  She would encourage me to do my best.  She would be a voice of reason and a great motivator.  She might say very sensible and encouraging things, such as -

"Three weeks of not going to the gym is not going to ruin your life or make you fat."

"You can enjoy your time off, but stay active and healthy while you do it."

"Ok, so your pants are tight again.  Let's do something about that!"

The holidays are over.  I didn't lose any weight, but I didn't gain any either and I think that is a victory in itself.  I started working out again this week, and am definitely paying a little bit for all of those weeks off.  But I start teaching spin again on Monday and I am so excited to get back into a great routine.  But first, I'm leaving for vacation in San Diego tomorrow.  Three more days of food and fun (and no workouts).  And my Diet Devil is not invited.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I was catching up on The Biggest Loser last night while I started wrapping the huge stack of Christmas presents piled up in my living room. I merrily placed presents in gift bags and pre-decorated gift boxes (I am a notoriously bad gift wrapper, but I make up for it by being an excellent gift giver) while I choked back tears brought on by the inspirational hard work and triumphs of the Biggest Loser contestants. I'll save a long diatribe about why I love this show so much for another time, but as I watched these contestants, who five months earlier were quite literally killing themselves with food, run a full marathon, I felt inspired to push myself out of my own comfort zone.

Earlier this week, while doing a short run at lunch, my running buddy Erin mentioned a 10k that she and another friend we run with were planning on running in February in San Francisco. Well, I had a lot of excuses. February is too soon, too cold, it's too much of a hassle to go to a race down in the city, blah blah blah. Then, I watched the Biggest Loser contestants run their marathon. In addition to being relatively new to this whole working out thing, which is hard enough, the evil Biggest Loser producers made them run this marathon on a dry lake bed in the middle of the desert and about half of it was on dirt roads. There was nothing to look at, they didn't have any music and there were periodic dust storms that pelted them with dirt. It looked awful. And they all just plugged away at it. Most of them finished in five hours. Some of the older contestants walked the majority of the time and must have taken about 8 hours.

So my thought process went something like this. That 10k would take me about an hour. That's not bad. The roads would all be paved. That's easy. I would have my friends to talk to, which would keep me motivated. And it would be cold, but at least there wouldn't be any sand storms blowing dirt in my eyes. That seems pretty freaking easy right now.

So, lest I let the moment of motivation pass me by, I texted Erin and told her I was in. I know she will hold me to it! We've both run a couple of 5ks but I never run any further than 3 miles so I need to start adding some mileage to my runs to get in shape for this race. I'm a little nervous but I'm also looking forward to pushing myself and meeting a new personal goal.

Today my workout was drinking hard apple cider while bowling. Not every day is a fit day. Balance, people. Balance.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I really meant to blog more often

It's been six weeks already! How did that happen? My intention is to blog weekly, so I'll really have to try to pull that together. Maybe after all this holiday madness settles down. Anyway, so I am six weeks into my diet and have lost four pounds. That puts me short on my pound-a-week goal, but I am cutting myself some slack for the following reasons:

1. There isn't much I can do about how much I weigh today, so I need to focus on moving forward. No point in beating myself up for what I've already done!

2. Thanksgiving happened right in the middle of my diet. Honestly, the fact that I am losing weight rather than gaining it at the holidays is kind of a miracle anyway. Also I had a LOT of pie over Thanksgiving.

3. Christmas parties/Peppermint Bark. Both of these items were created to sabatoge diets. I am trying to partake without overdoing it. So far, I haven't been quite successful. Mostly when it comes to peppermint bark. Damn that delicious stuff.

After losing four pounds, my pants fit more comfortably which is awesome. However, I tend to lose weight first in my waist, so now my hips and boobs look gi-normous. This might sound like a good thing on paper, but it is really hard to dress like a professional adult with stripper boobs and a giant booty. The next three pounds should even me out a little. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 7, 2011

And it begins...

So, I quit smoking for the last time 13 months ago and I promised myself that I wouldn't beat myself up about any weight gain for the first year, while still trying to not put on 20 lbs like I did last time I quit. Well, my year is up, and it is high time to address the 8 pounds that I have gained (two of which i blame directly on the soul food diner I went to with my sister and mom last week).

So, even though the holidays are coming up, I am going to focus on losing a pound a week for the next two months. First things first, I'm going to log into my food diary and take responsibility for the waffles I had for breakfast this morning. With dieting, as with blogging, you gotta start somewhere!