I went back to the gym last week. That’s after gaining back thirty of the ninety-five pounds I lost last year! It was time. You can only go for so long saying to yourself things like, “It’s a stressful time: I should eat.” Or “I’m feeling really happy today: I should eat.” Or, “I have a wedding coming up where I’m going to eat anyway, so I might as well eat.”
So, I signed up for a two-week session at my local YWCA that has the lovely name of “Boot Camp.” And, for the past eight days (the camp goes for ten), I’ve been showing up at the Y and doing an intense combination of cardio, weights and just general misery (lunges, planks, etc.) that has made me feel completely exhausted and muscle-achy–but very proud of myself. I’m feeling muscles I didn’t know existed! I have more energy at work. My outlook on life has improved. I’m even feeling more hopeful about eventually getting back to where I was. My friend Catherine, who is the Director of Programs at the Y, told me about the camp, so, all I can say is, “Thank you, C.P.!”
I would like to say that I’ve also seriously curtailed my eating this week—to really take advantage of all those burned calories—but I’m afraid I’ve just boosted my eating enough to make sure I don’t lose weight. But that’s okay. The main thing is that I bit the bullet; I took the bull by the horns; I put a stop to the downward slide I was on. I haven’t lost weight this week, but I also haven’t gained. And I’ve gotten back over the terrible hurdle that I always face: FEAR/DREAD OF EXERCISE. So, there’s hope.
Here’s how I figure it: at the end of these two weeks, my body will be in slightly better shape than it was two weeks ago, and I will have two important things to motivate me to keep exercising (and, eventually, perhaps, even to cut back on my eating): 1) I will not want the misery—and the cost—of Boot Camp to have been for naught; 2) my body will actually feel the need for exercise again—it will be in a groove and not want to get out of it. Most of all, I hope I can remember not to be a perfectionist. My plan at least, is to forgive myself if I don’t go to the gym every day but reward myself for any exercise I can squeeze into my life. I will say to myself things like, “Any day you go is progress!” or “If you walk around the block right now in the hot sun, even though it’s not a ton of exercise, it’s better than sitting on the couch.”
We’ll see. Before I get to that point, however, I’ve got two more days of boot camp to get through. Wish me luck!