I bought new running shoes the other day in hopes that if I wore them I could motivate others into actually thinking I work out. If they helped me in wanting to work out, that would just be an added bonus. But today I put them on, with two different style socks, and I actually did physical activity. It started out because I wanted to change my diet. I’ve been feeling like, for lack of a better word, absolute crap. And I’ve been feeling like that for a while. I feel bloated all the time and I’m pretty sure if I walked around rubbing my belly it would be only a matter of time until someone asked me when I was due. I knew that it was because I’ve been eating horrible. Soda, fast food, and ice cream sandwiches like nobody's business. I figured that since my job is pretty physically demanding and I’m running around all day that I probably just burn it all off anyway, but apparently that’s not how it works.
So my sister started telling me about “clean eating.” It’s what Jillian Michael’s describes as, “if it doesn’t have a mother and it didn’t come from the ground—don’t eat it.” I thought that seems like a pretty good guideline to go by. Eat simply and primitively. Of course, it’s easier said than done. I then heard about the app called MyFitnessPal that calculates how many calories you should be eating per day and it lets you catalog everything you eat to hold yourself accountable. I figured this could help keep me on track. So I downloaded it and was creating my account when it started asking me the typical questions: my age, my height and my weight. I was going to put in the weight that I last remembered being—112, but then I thought I should probably make sure it was completely accurate so I weighed myself to make sure. That’s when I stepped on the scale in the bathroom and looked down in complete horror. The little pointer was bobbing in between 123 and 124. What?! I knew that I looked like I was in an early trimester of pregnancy, and at some point my “fat pants” had just become my regular pants that I couldn’t zip up, but ten pounds?! I was legitimately shocked. I even picked the scale up and moved it to a different part of the bathroom in case maybe the floor wasn’t completely level, but the ten pounds followed me.
I know that 123 pounds is by no means overweight, and that some people would love to weigh that, but I’ve never been over 120 pounds in my life. I already had to enter my “mid-twenties” this year; I didn’t need my metabolism to quit on me now too. Granted, it’s been awhile since I was completely satisfied with my body. Of course not unsatisfied enough to actually do something about it, but enough where there was always that little voice in my head telling me I should probably eat right and exercise. I know that I’m not fat, some might even consider me skinny but I can’t help but think I’m more of a skinny-fat. My body looks skinny in clothes, but in a two-piece bathing suit it's obvious that not a single muscle on my body is toned whatsoever. I would go so far as to say that I look more like a soft, doughy woman from a Renaissance painting that is draped in silk and surrounded by cherubs. So I made the decision that I wanted, nay, needed to tone up. I don’t even care if I stayed at 123, honestly, if I could fit into my regular jeans and actually feel good.
So that’s when I put on my new running shoes and turned on the treadmill. Don’t be fooled by the word “treadmill” because I didn’t run. But I did walk at an incline for 20 minutes. Then I rode 3 miles on the exercise bike that is unfortunately located in my garage and it was like 100 degrees today so it was like I was doing the Tour de France in a sauna. After losing at least a gallon of sweat, I just started doing random calisthenics in my garage. I did some crunches and some jumping jacks. I grabbed a random hula hoop and started hula hooping for a while, wondering why there was a hula hoop in our garage. Of course after I went back inside and got in the shower I was already pissed I wasn’t seeing immediate results. I exercised! What more did my body want from me?! Why didn’t I already look like the “after” picture on all those motivational fitness pins on Pinterest? Why did I still look like I should be lying on an ornate sofa rolled in soft fabrics and being fed grapes? I let out a long, deep sigh when I realized that I’m going to have to do this consistently—forever. Or at least for a really long time. I wish I could be that person that wakes up at 5 in the morning and goes for a run, but I'm not because I have an irrational fear that I'm going to get kidnapped or get dehydrated and collapse on the side of the road and nobody will be able to find me. But I also have an irrational fear that I'm going to need to have a crane to remove me from my house one day, so I guess I'm going to have to man up and get a move on. But like Paul McCartney sort of once said, it's going to be a long and windy road. A road that I will walk at 3.0 speed and at a slight incline.