Thursday, October 26, 2006

6 weeks

What a difference 6 weeks makes...

I don't do well with creating habits. Good habits, anyway, particularly exercise habits. I'll do well for a week or so, adhering to my newly-formed regimen. But in the past, the first time that my schedule deviates from that regimen, I have a horrible struggle getting back on track. I can't hop back ON the bandwagon, so to speak.

The past three mornings, though, I've dragged myself out of bed before 7 AM -- when it's still dark out, people (and it'll be worse on Sunday, when the clocks "fall back") and down the block to the gym. In the past three days, I have logged more time in that gym than I have in the almost 2 years that I've been here.

Pathetic, I know.

I'd never wanted to workout there, because I didn't want any of the multitudes of size -5, perfectly-tanned, phy ed majors, all with tiny shorts, perfect blond highlights and fake nails, to see me. I loathed them, mainly because I wasn't them. Trust me, I didn't want the blond hair or the fake nails, or even want to be skinny-skinny. I just wanted to blend in, to be one of the Thin Girls, someone impossibly fit. But these Aryan Youth inhabited the gym and made it seem as though the only people who worked out were people who were ALREADY skinny. There were times I would go to the gym, then turn around and flee the scene, because the only vacant machines were in the front row. There was no way I was going to work out where all of them could see me, see how I fight with the elliptical machines. I don't know how some people can still look sexy and perfect while elliptical-ing; my shoes scoot up to the front of the footrests and smoosh my toes; my knees fling up to my chin, and I feel absolutely frantic. My Perfect Gym would have cubicles, where I could work out with nobody else able to see my butt, or my thighs, or see that maybe, just maybe, I was a bit out of breath.

Finally, three days ago, I got to the point where I realized that it was all a bit ridiculous. I was not going to refuse to take advantage of the gym (brand new, state-of-the-art facility) because of self-consciousness and being intimidated. Plus, I've been so good lately, not having any wheat or corn products, filling up my 32 oz waterbottle four times through the day, having hardly any carbs, and enough protein. (Oh, and another super-motivator: 7/14/07. we're getting married, and I want to be trim and lovely.)

Three days ago, I decided to do something about my body. I recently saw a picture of myself, taken when I was nine years old, posing in my ballet outfit for mom; a beautifully dorky little girl with huge glasses and long, long hair, skinny little legs...and sucking in her tummy so far that it looked as though she hadn't been fed in months, terrified of looking fat in the picture.

I realized when I saw that picture how horrendously sad it was. I've never been comfortable in my body, eternally self-conscious, and I have, finally, had it up to here with it all.

The past few days, I've been working out between 45 and 80 minutes a day (I xercise between 45 and 60 minutes in the morning; on t-th I attend a toning class in the evening). I'm not doing it for anyone else; finally, I'm doing it for myself. I want to try on clothes and have them fit perfectly; I don't want to hand things back to the fitting-room attendant and make up an excuse about why I'm not taking them. I don't want to fold my arms across my tummy when I sit down, or always adjust my clothes, pulling my shirts down, and my pants up. I want to feel...comfortable in my own skin.

This morning, I didn't want to get out of bed. I was cold, and I was exhausted. But John called at 6:58 and asked if I was on the way to the gym. He wasn't checking-up on me; he calls every morning when he first wakes up. But I realized that he already thinks of my morning workouts as a habit, and that motivates me to keep going. So I pulled myself out of bed and pushed my sleepy legs into workout pants, socks, and shoes, and by the time 9 o'clock rolled around, I had had 64 fl oz of water, spent an hour working out, taken a shower, and was ready for class.

I've created an account at fitday, and I keep a record of my exercise and eating habits there. This is where the "6 weeks" tie in. I am going to keep up with this workout regimen, with my good foods (eating healthful foods is not a struggle for me anymore, as it's been in my lifestyle for months), and see how far I progress by December 6th -- six weeks from yesterday. I want to be one of Those People by then, trim and fit, someone who always makes time for exercise.

I'm writing this to put it on the record, to hold me accountable. Feel free to ask me how I'm doing; guilt is a tremendous motivator. :)

Here goes.

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