Eating and Working My Way to a Size 8 in 2012

I’ve written about falling into an exercise plateau, I’ve written about discovering (or, finally, giving in) to Jazzercise, and I most recently wrote about beginning to run. I have been honest in my struggles, in my inspirations, and in my battle for self esteem. I thought that I had learned how to motivate myself, how to keep myself fit, and how to eat well so that I feel well.

Then, I came up against an enemy far more formidable than I had been prepared to face: an office job in the winter in the Pacific Northwest. Eight hours of sitting a day (when I am not out traveling) combined with the windy cold and interminable grey of December in Western Washington has become the largest detriment to my health since Sophomore year of college. I have somehow miraculously avoided putting on weight, but I feel terribly squishy, lacking in energy, and physically unhappy. I am tapped out, and by the time I get home at night all I want to do is watch Netflix, take a bath, and go to bed.

This past week (and upcoming one) are especially painful, because while I have been in town I haven’t been able to Jazzercise because I have had to and still have to stay late at work to call students and find out if they really want to apply to Saint Martin’s.

I have decided (and I know I talk a lot, but I mean it!) to rebel against this festering seasonal slobbery and am going to make it to size 8 by the end of 2012. There is no reason why I cannot reach my ultimate goal this year, and stay there. This is not a resolution, I am forever failing at resolutions. Rather, it is a promise.

This health journey has been eye-opening, especially in view of the recent failures. I need inspiration, motivation, and accountability.

With my job I have free access to a wonderful gym, literally a five minute walk from my office door if I am wearing heels. I have not taken advantage of this since summer–I will no longer waste this luxury. I have an hour lunch break that I often spend lazing around, traveling from store to store listlessly trying to fulfill my yearning for something more by making purchases I could probably survive without. I will make an effort to spend at least half of my lunch breaks working out.

I’ve also done something a little reckless and out of character–I have agreed to play on the Staff Intramural Basketball team. They needed women, I needed structured exercise, and I think it will be a really fun way to hang out with colleagues and make a fool of myself. I should probably start studying up on the rules of Basketball….back when I was a Drum Major I could tell when to yell “offense” or “defense” and when a time out or quarter was coming up so that I could start a song, but I think I have since then pretty effectively wiped the rules of the game from my memory if I ever knew them.

In the search for workout inspiration, I was exposed to two magazines yesterday (at a Cookie party, nonetheless) that I am hoping will be a good reminder for me that I am not alone. I subscribed to two years of Clean Eating, and I am going to try out a digital subscription to Oxygen for a while. The first is chock-full of clean and devastatingly delicious looking recipes, and the second seems to be written for female competitive body-builders but has information for women at levels of health and fitness. While browsing Oxygen’s website to see if I was really interested, I came across a very helpful tip: once in a while I ought to reward myself for doing well, but with something other than food. Interesting! I know that all of the literature in the world cannot give me the will to work out, only I can, but as a visual learner I will find the reminder to be most helpful.

I don’t feel particularly bad that my slipping has hit the heaviest during the holiday season, I actually find it rather comically cliché. I am not upset with myself, but I can feel the difference physically and mentally. As another visual cue, and a source of encouragement, I am going to print out a picture of myself at my heaviest weight, and hang it next to a picture of where I am at now by my mirror. This will be a reminder of where I never want to return, and of how much I can accomplish when I, as the maker of my new running shoes would recommend, “just do it”.



P.S. Thanks to the two “S”s for recommending the mags.

P.P.S. Thanks to Y for Jazzercise.

P.P.P.S. Thanks to A and K for constantly recommending running, even if it took me years to believe you.

and finally, skipping the P’s and the S’s, a funny article in the New York times about how technology is ruining common plot devices.

11 thoughts on “Eating and Working My Way to a Size 8 in 2012

  1. Hey I hear you about the winter slump. Even though you might not have a depression issue, you could still try a S.A.D. light, they can just tend to help your body get up and get going and have a little more energy in life. I started using one to help my insomnia and it kinda just makes you feel good mentally! When you get up, you just turn it on while you eat breakfast or get ready its great!

  2. Go Emilie! I am happy to help you in any way I can, including not encouraging us both to split an entire package of bacon from this day forward…

  3. Good for you! Thanks for sharing your progress the past few years, it’s been really great to watch and think about how to apply things for myself. Can’t wait to see how we do next year!

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