Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You Know You're At Your Wits' End When.....

Pardon the dramatic title. I'm not quite at my wits' end... yet. However, I did plan a workout and look forward to it all day (?!?!?!). Have I lost it? I really am not that fond of exercise, yet I found myself thinking about this workout all day.

It started with my realization that if I wanted this "diet" (yes "") to work, I was going to have to work out. Lame. So much for the easy way. It turned out that the diet was NOT easy. I've always gone back and forth about which I'd rather do and which was the more effective way to get/stay in shape: was it to watch carefully what I eat without being a super-strict maniac, or was it working out regularly? After two weeks of strict phase 1 on South Beach, I decided once and for all that working out was the easier way! Anyway, this weekend was the one month marker of the start of our diet: 2 weeks of very strict phase one, and 2 weeks of us being very not strict on phase two. Josh and I both hit a "plateau" (surely a term some man thought up to describe a situation relating to your body -- no woman would ever use LANDFORMS for this purpose) around the end of week one. We had both lost about 5 pounds, and by the end of week two it was around 7 for both of us. After ending the strict phase, we both still hovered right around the same weight. I thought... if I've stopped losing weight while still on the strict phase, what exactly is going to happen when I add back in the whole grain & berry carbs? I was afraid I would gain but fortunately my weight just stayed the same. Two weeks later I'm still at a 7-pound loss from the very beginning. Josh on the other hand recently added in a workout routine mostly consisting of strength training. Now he has doubled his loss and is down by 15. Seeing this I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and start working out as well.

There are many reasons I haven't exercised in the past. The two biggest are time and sweat. Exercise requires you to set aside time for it, and sometimes I just don't have it. This might be due to working late, errands, social plans or appointments after work, and let's not forget cooking dinner. Schedules fill up and we only have so many hours in the evening, and so many evenings in the week. So anything that needs to get done has to get scheduled during that time. All that aside, there is the sweat factor. If I have class or anything else to do in public in the afternoon or evening, I can not work out before hand. I will not go places in my sweaty workout clothes, and I will not shower, put on a fresh outfit, and re-do my hair and makeup just for 2 hours of class, dinner w/friends, or any other evening shenanigans. It's not worth it. So those have been my excuses.

Today was some freak of nature (or act of God). I had decided I was going to start working out. I planned on 45 minutes a day on the eliptical during Dr. Phil, Oprah, or the news depending on when I get home. I thought about it all day. I left work early with a blinding headache and an empty stomach but never even considered cancelling my workout plans. I popped some excedrine when I got home and had a snack (I won't mention that it was a little piece of cheesecake that I've been working on for a few days now). I even threw in some laundry to run while I was on the eliptical. In the past I've had a lot of difficulty getting the downstairs TV to work (it's hooked up to various dvd players and speaker systems - you have to push a lot of buttons to get sound AND picture, particularly the sound and picture you WANT). Today, it came right on with my first try. I stuck it out for 36 minutes and decided to cut myself a break since this was the first time in a long time that I'd exercised.

I thought about it and realized how important today was. Not only to break the long streak of non-exercise, but that if I could do it today in the condition I was in, I can do it any day. Granted I didn't have class or anything else to go to tonight, but I felt awful when I got home. I was proud of myself for just doing it anyway. I also thought about the combination of factors that pushed me. First, I know, was that I wanted to lose some more weight. But I also realized that I wanted to escape my lesson planning and paper grading. I actually got fed up enough with the recent deluge of work that I turned to exercise as my escape. At least it wasn't alcohol! Hahaha, and not that I want the stress of work to continue to burden me, but I hope I will continue to turn to exercise for stress relief. It was somewhat out of character for me, so I'm all impressed with myself.... sorry :o)

Ok and as if this post isn't long enough, I'll talk a little about how the school year is going. I had a surprise visit from one of the Central Office people today. That was a little awkward and stress-inducing. I didn't show it outwardly though, which was nice. She came in during my World history class and they aren't very enthusiastic about the 14th century. So unfortunately she really got to watch me pulling teeth. It worked out ok though. The class is overall really good. I also have my first official observation for the tenure process on Friday. I had to meet with one of the APs this afternoon to discuss my lesson. He's a really nice guy so I'm not concerned, but you always worry a little about things going well. Other than that I'm very much enjoying my students and the topics I'm teaching. I am very very happy with this job :o)

I'll leave you with that. Don't forget to watch Sarah Palin's speech tonight!

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