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Operation Workout Begins (Soon. Today? Maybe. Or not)

I used to be fit and healthy. But no longer.

I used to go to the gym at least four days a week. And I just didn’t go to hang out and chat. I trained. Hard. I even broke a sweat. At one point I hired a personal trainer who kicked my ass. I could bench press my body weight and I could leg press my body weight and then some. I was strong. I was fit. I was clear-headed. My ass sat where an ass belongs (in fact, it sat where a 19-year-old ass sat—now it’s where a 39-year-old ass sits). My arms didn’t jiggle. I had calf muscles.

Those were the days.

Damn, I used to look good.

Damn, I used to look good! (Although I should learn to match my makeup to my skin color.) Okay, only my shoulders looked like this, but still...

Sadly, that wasn’t all that long ago. Until a little over a year ago I worked at a fitness magazine and it seemed easy—if not mandatory—to get to the gym on a regular basis. Not only did I need to walk the walk to talk the talk, but it was an amazing stress release for me. I’d have a crappy day, go to the gym, throw some weight around and feel better. I slept well, my skin was clear and I ate better (for the most part). It was fun to try new workout programs or exercises.

Since switching jobs 14 months ago I haven’t gotten to the gym with any kind of regularity. I think the last time I worked out was in August (yes, of THIS year). Technically, my hours are 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m. but at certain times of the year that just isn’t reality. I’m heading into the four or five month period of total insanity where getting off work at 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. is going to feel like I’m leaving early. I’ve been at work until 11:00 p.m. or midnight.

The stress is immeasurable. I eat like shit, and it throws a wrench in my sleep patterns. I’ve thought about working out in the morning (which tells you just how desperate I am), but with those hours I just can’t get up. I can’t barely wake up on time—forget about waking up EARLY. There are also a few days coming up where I need to be in my chair at 5:00 a.m. And, sadly, coming in at the butt-crack of dawn doesn’t mean I’ll get to leave at 3:00 p.m. Not even close.

With my crazy hours and stupid eating habits (Corn Pops for dinner if I eat anything at all) I have actually lost weight, but when I check myself out in the mirror (Yo! How you doing?!), I see a soft, weak person looking back at me. (The only part that I AM happy about is my gut. No more muffin top for me, baby!) I’m like the Pillsbury Dough Girl. I’m tired. I have bags under my eyes. I have no energy, and walking the dog wears me out. And the worst part for those around me? I am one cranky bitch. (Yes, bitchier than usual.)

I ran into my trainer at Starbucks this morning. While he got his black coffee with Splenda, I was holding my Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte and a cranberry orange scone. He looked me over from head to toe, and was like, “So, I haven’t seen you in a while. Your husband looks great.” Bastard couldn’t even fake a compliment.

So shut the fuck up and do something about it, right? I’m trying. I have my gym bag in my trunk (although I just realized I took my tennis shoes out. Can’t run on the treadmill in my boots, can I?). I’ve made an effort the last few mornings to get up, stretch and do some push-ups and sit-ups before I get in the shower. It’s pretty pathetic—I used to be able to do about 30 guy-style push-ups without breaking a sweat. Now? I’m lucky to do 10 of the girlie push-ups. But it’s something, right?

I’m looking into alternatives/substitutions to hitting the iron (wow, doesn’t that make me sound tough? No. Oh well.). There’s a new yoga studio opening after the first of the year near me. I think I’ll check them out. I don’t like the yoga classes at my gym, but I want to try something less jarring, more Zen. Lead with the body and the mind will follow. Or something like that.

Even this kid is stronger than I am

Even this kid is stronger than me.

So Operation Workout begins. I’m working up to making my way to the gym. This week. I swear. I can’t pick a day and go (okay, I probably can, but, you know…). I know it’s the only way I’m going to feel better. But making the time with a ramped up work schedule, grooming the dog for dog shows (that’s a whole other post), being married to Julie the Cruise Director and the holidays? It’s going to kick my ass. But I suppose not as much as me NOT going to the gym will.

Until I get my strength (and my body) back, if you see me pinned under a barbell, could ya call for help? I’d appreciate it.

Thank you Lesley for your Ah-May-Zing Photoshop skills. I laughed my ass off this morning! Check her out over at Um…What?? You won’t regret it!!


8 Responses

  1. Been there and back , baby. Life changes –you change — don’t beat yourself up for not being 20 or 30 anymore. There is stuff you can do that is good for you and enjoyable and fits in with your life. I used to go to the gym every day, too, but that isn’t me anymore. I walk I do a few reps with my own free weight while I watch TV at night, do a bit of yoga stretching in the morning. I eat well. I feel good without all the angst of worrying about the next level, staying ripped and all that other crap. Just relax and do something you enjoy.

  2. I totally eat breakfast for dinner too! Woo hoo!

  3. Dude. 19-year-old ass or 99-year-old ass. Gut-less or gut o’ plenty. Pillsbury Dough Girl or skinny-ass bitch. Regardless: You will always ROCK, sister. Because you? Are beautiful.


  4. Wow, you actually made me feel pretty good about having missed the gym for the last 4 days…I am down to 5 days/week now, but I feel like absolute crap when I can’t get there.

    Of course I still have the pressure of working at that fitness magazine and having to be out representing the book.

    Sometimes I think having corn pops and not worrying about it would rock…and believe me..you left a ton of stress behind here too…I think it is everywhere now


  5. It’s the big lady here…to give you a break. You DO look great…feeling great maybe does matter too so I am here to tell you to relax with your Pops, sleep in when you can, you can exercise walking to and from the wine bar. It’s okay. It happens to all of us. In the meantime I’ll think of you when I get to the 6:30 spin class tonight…as long as I don’t forget my orthotics at home, in my other shoes, I can move my old ass all over that tiny Mo-sized bike seat baby!

  6. I am cracking up at that photo! That is so funny! And, strangely enough, is EXACTLY how I picture you in my head. 🙂

  7. Debra: This is how she looks ALL the time. Needless to say, it causes quite the spectacle when we go out to dinner and whatnot.

    Me: Um, can you put something on, please?

    Mo: JEALOUS.

  8. UPDATE: I just ran a little over a mile tonight. It wasn’t pretty. In fact it was downright ugly. My throat burned from the cold and my nose ran. I tripped over my own feet from lack of consistent use. But I did it. I started. So there.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go throw up.

    Um, yeah, so Operation Workout is so NOT off to a good start. In fact, it’s off to no start. I know the hardest part is actually getting back to the gym—once I get there I’ll be fine. But I’ll be damned if I can’t stay awake at night. By the time I leave my office I am so fried. And I feel fried because I haven’t been to the gym. I have no idea what time I”m off tonight but I’m going to do something, damn it. I may just walk around the block and check out all the Christmas decorations, but I’m gonna bust a move (but hopefully not my pants).

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