MIMM: On Turning 25 and Getting Back In The Saddle

If you read this on May 12, then it is my birthday!! 25 and cue the quarter life crisis. I’ve had many a ramble on this here Internet space about turning 25 and “OMG MY LIFE ISN’T WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS AHH” and “all my friends have their lives together and I don’t!!!” 22-24 was totally fine, but 25 just seems like a different playing field, overall just different. 25 still freaks me out. I’m halfway through my twenties! Eek! Most of my life I’ve felt the number or stage didn’t reflect where I was. I remember doing a free write in high school creative writing class rambling that I couldn’t believe I was a senior. The seniors before me had been so old! They were so mature!  I didn’t feel I looked like they did, knew what they did, or were as cool/sophisticated (ha) as they were. How was I in their position so quickly? I felt being a high school senior was sprung upon me and I hadn’t met any requirements to prove I was ready yet no one had noticed and just made me play the part of one anyway.

I’m feeling okay about 25 (for now). Meanwhile my parents are freaking out more with every passing day. On Easter my dad leaned in to me at church and whispered, “You’re going to be 25 in less than a month. Are you ever planning on getting married? Will I ever walk you down this [church] aisle?” and every time my mom calls lately she asks if I’m “even trying” to get a boyfriend. Now I just roll my eyes and try to shrug it off at how they value 25. I’m a lot happier than I was on my 24th birthday, so that’s what I am using as my measuring stick. Life is long (hopefully) and now I just stick to what’s meant to happen will happen but am finally accepting I likely have to leave my house more for things to actually happen. 😉

Remember my spin class last year? Horrible memories…me being convinced I would die while standing up and spinning so I took off all of my resistance like a genius. Then I woke up the next day and could barely move. Good times! I still think spinning is a work-out I would like, but I’ve been too intimidated, haha. Rev Cycle Studio opened a mile from my house with Bmore’s top cycle instructors and people have the best things to say about it. I would be like “yeah, yeah, i want to go and try it!” and I honestly meant it but was scared. But luckily Rev dropped a great opportunity right at my feet. A beginners class. Free. Saturday afternoon. Boom. They took away every excuse I could think of. I pulled my usual stunt and booked my bike and picked the dead last row in the corner. I got there and they told me there were 10 people in the class so I could move up a few rows. I still wasn’t sure, but with 10 people in the class it would be uber weird to be by myself in the back corner, haha. A handful of staff and instructors showed up and helped us set up our Schwinn bikes. This was fantastic, since there were so few attendees each staff member could spend time with you explaining everything.

There were ultimately two instructors, Jim and Janet. Janet is a triathlete, and Jim is an accomplished cyclist. At the beginning of the class, Jim explained how to position your body on the bike. Janet primarily lead the class and Jim went around checking on everybody. I remember in the middle of the class thinking “Good God, these two are so kick-ass.” They were so awesome and it was such a great experience for beginners. We did a few climbs and .. guess what .. it was still hard but I managed it much better! I think the Schwinn bike made all the difference. I could see what gear I was at, how far I had gone, calories burned, RPM, etc. Seeing the gear number really helped me for the climbs. Still don’t like the climbs, but I can get through them more easily. I just really like the sitting down part, no surprise there. I still struggled a bit with adjusting my body to the bike. I told Jim (well if we’re being specific, I gasped and panted) that my shoulders hurt and was this normal or was I just being extra wussy? He explained it and helped, but I understand it will still take a few more rides. I walked there and back since it’s only a mile which was great until a thunderstorm rolled in when I was a half a mile from my house with a hoodless jacket. So bad at checking the weather. I sprinted the last few blocks home and my sunglasses fell out of my pocket somewhere which is sad. Anyway…it was marvelous and I am so glad I went! So if you are a Bmore resident who happens to read blogs and haven’t gone yet, go! I’m sure you will be better than I.

I took the day off from work and I’ll probably go back to Rev for a barre class in the morning, then grocery shop, food prep and do laundry. I’m just so crazy. I’ll send you a postcard from the wild side. My mom asked what she could get me for my birthday and I said “protein powder.” Oh how times have changed, haha. I’ll probably go to my favorite bar, get drunk and then ramble about being 25 over a big plate of nachos.

Thanks to Katie for hosting the link-up!

 

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I Spent Cinco De Mayo At The Bar(re)

I dunno what it is but…winter. I don’t want to do anything but hibernate in my house in sweatpants and fuzzy socks and just watch all the TV, eat all the bad food and read all the books. Then nice weather rolls in and I’m suddenly thinking “gahhh why are my pants tight?! Why haven’t I been going to the gym? Why have i instead just languished about? Why am I so lazy? SO MUCH TIME HATH BEEN WASTED. Gotta get MOVING.” I’d probably be starring in fitness videos by now if I lived in California.

It was Sunday, I was procrastinating picking out a work outfit and figuring out my work meals, when fellow Bmore healthy living blogger friend Mary posted that she was teaching her first SB Barre class the next day at a new location of my gym that had just opened…aaaaand it was 10-15 minutes away from work. I decided this was perfect because I’d been wanting to try a barre workout…and the best part…it was the first time the class was being offered at the new gym so it wasn’t like I would be a buffalo in a sea of prima ballerinas. It would probably be everyone else’s first time taking the class, too. Hooray.

But first! Before I went to class, I went to the beautiful shopping center across the street which included a Target. I had  a gift card to use, so I threw all this stuff in my cart, then at check-out, the cashier informs me the gift card is for way less than I had thought. Crap. Yes, crap. That’s what I wound up paying for on my credit card. Gahh. Oh well. Great story, yes?

Image

As described on the website, the Soul Body Barre class is an hour long class that incorporates “principals of Pilates, wisdom of yoga, grace of dance and the body sculpting benefits of traditional interval strength training.” And it was haaaaard. I had my usual “oh crap why did I subject myself to this public display of humiliation? Come on, come all, see the 20 something that can’t figure out how to move her body!” thought train that I have for the first 5-60 minutes of any fitness class I go to. It was pretty hectic for a first class. In the middle of it, a gym manager came in and said there were way too many people. At our gym, you have to register for a class a few hours beforehand (or it fills up), and then check-in 10 minutes before class. If you don’t check-in, the wait listed people will get in. Some registered people forgot to check-in, so a bunch of wait listed people filtered in. The manager sorted it out with who had not checked in and told them they couldn’t be at the barre, but it still was an unfortunate interruption for a few looong minutes. Growing pains for a new class and new location!

Mary pointed out something i’m always lazy about – triceps kickbacks. She reminded us “no swinging”, which is pretty much what I always do and then think “What was I thinking earlier on [in the class]? Exercise is easy, I got this, me so strong.” The barre part was crazy hard. She would tell us what to do, and then demonstrate, and I would think “oh look that’s not that bad”. And then I did…and..burn. Such simple, deceiving movements.  Haha.  I definitely want to keep going to her class. I’m so sore, in a good way! I’ve missed feeling this way.

 

1. barre- yay or nay?

2. how did you spend cinco de mayo?

3. think about how to bottle up the spring energy and hang on to it for winter consumption. your homework. go. 

 

The Way I Think

Hey. Thanks so so much for all your comments on my last post. Sometimes I wonder why I blog, then I read other peoples blogs, comments on other peoples blogs, comments on my own blog, and…I remember exactly why. To hear I’m not alone. I love social media and I also hate it because seeing everyone’s statuses squealing about getting promotions or getting the coolest job ever, Instagram pictures that feature the hashtag “#engaged” and whatever, gets me reallll down in the dumps. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for everyone and when I comment ‘congrats! happy for you!’ I mean it (most times), but sheesh, I hate that their happiness/success makes me feel like shit about myself. I feel angry and saddened that (it appears) everyone is moving forward yet I am like a hamster on the wheel that never gets anywhere, forever chilling on the very bottom. Being grateful every day is not something that comes easily to me. Neither does self-acceptance (believe me we know, think longtime readers of this blog).

I was thinking today about how I always dwell on all the things that I’m not and all the things I don’t have, instead of all the things that I am and all the things that I do have. What brought this revelation on was when I was at the mechanic/neighbors picking up our plentiful packages [oh the holiday season], and one of the mechanics said to me, “I thought you should know that when your package came today, as so-and-so signed for it, he said ‘Oh good, that means Caitlyn will come by today.’ We all look forward to your appearances because you make us laugh.” I was so stunned/touched by this, I think I stuttered a thank you, resorted to my standby self-deprecating humor bout how that’s the first time I ever heard somebody say they were looking forward to seeing me, we all laughed, I walked away smiling and hadn’t stopped smiling since. Whenever I’m at the neighbors, I am just trying to not be my always awkward self, and I never thought what they might see or take out of the brief exchange because I always just assume my jokes are stupid, that they’re counting the seconds until that awkward neighbor leaves. I always see the worst. I think I’m awkward, I’m always going to be awkward, but that’s not what other people necessarily see. These neighbors don’t know how I see myself.

I pout too often about how I don’t like my weight right now, but I ignore the positive changes I have made.  I was staring at my grocery cart in the check-out line the other day and I couldn’t believe that it was my cart, full of stuff picked out by ME. Two years ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell you what egg whites were. Or why too much sodium was a problem. Or what almond milk was. Or what Greek yogurt was. and why it was different. Two years ago when I went to the grocery store, I completely ignored the perimeter of the grocery store. I never bought produce. Ever. I bought cookies, crackers, bagel bites, ice-cream, cheez-its, pop-tarts. All I drank was soda, alcohol and the occasional water with Crystal Light. I’m pretty confident that I never, ever, ever hit my suggested veggie intake. Now I fill my cart with egg whites, fat-free Greek yogurt, cranberries, spinach, bananas, strawberries, almonds, carrots. I think and care about things like my veggie intake everyday and make smoothies or small salads to accommodate if I realize it’s low. I pause to dwell on if I am drinking enough water – and sometimes, I even drink more water than recommended. I limit myself to one soda or one Crystal Light a week, and sometimes I go without them.

I get borderline depressed when I look at my bank account and remember how poor I am. But if I frame the situation another way,  I  feel proud that while my bank account doesn’t end with as many zero’s as I’d like it to, I’m living on my own in a new city, paying bills, and am still managing to save something.  When I moved to this city, I lived here for 4.5 months without any income. I’m proud that I managed to make it work and am still here making it work and learning about living on my own. I personally have a lot to learn about how to be an adult and live on my own.

Not only do I tend to have a distaste for where I am in my life and dwell on all the things that I’m presently not, I am guilty of pigeon-holing myself and accepting what I  let myself think I can never be. Make sense? Probably not. I know I hold myself back and don’t take chances because “well, obviously, that’s not for me, that’s for people cooler/more successful/more talented than me. I won’t be able to do that.” It’s sobering to realize I severely underestimate myself and cut myself off from fun things. Shouldn’t I be my own advocate? My biggest  cheerleader? It’s sad to realize I’m always my worst critic – and yes, I know I’m not alone in that. I’m training for a 12 miler in August (!!!!!) which I NEVER thought I’d do. Those kinds of things were obviously for runners only and I can never be a runner because .. hello..look at me, my name is Caitlyn, it’s not in my DNA, I suck at everything forever and ever amen. I’m still not 100% convinced I’ll be able to pull it off but I try to banish those thoughts and just focus on going a teensy bit further than I did yesterday.  I always thought it’d be so cool to be a half-marathoner but never pursued it because of who I thought I was and who I just accept that I am. Lazy, afraid, doomed, terrible at everything,hopeless. Yes, I’m lazy, but I can overcome that. Yes, I walked a nearly-20 minute mile in 7th grade and hated it every second, but why oh why still think about that 10 years later? It was a stupid grade school fitness test, it should have nothing to do with today, and the Caitlyn back then was most definitely not the Caitlyn of now. Thank God.

Really I get so angsty about how I’m not where I want to be, but I don’t stop to think about where I am, compared to where I  have been. Sure it’s not as fast and the results aren’t as sudden as I’d want them to be, but they are there. The littlest of results. Things – good things – will happen if I keep chugging along. Even if it feels like I’m getting nowhere. Good things are there. I just have to pay more attention and readjust what view I’m looking at.

And I’m Here….Again.

I’ve been the worst blogger in all of the land and sorry. Work has been crazy and I’ve lost any pretend grasp of control of my life. BUT…I can’t just blame work as much as I would absolutely love to. I’ve, uh, been avoiding the blog kind of because … yeah.

For my roommate Molly’s wedding, all I wanted to do was show up looking thin and toned. I knew about her wedding for months [years, even], so anytime I reverted back to my horrible, junk food eating habits, I’d stand back up and brush it off and resolve that I had to get my act together for Molly’s wedding. Yet somehow, three days before her wedding, I found myself in the same situation I’ve been finding myself in for years. Sitting in a dressing room with horrendously critical lighting surrounded by dresses, wearing one that I couldn’t zip up, fighting back tears. Except only this time, thank God, my mom wasn’t outside the door. Here I was back at my normal size and I HATED how everything looked. How was I here again? After all my months of trying so hard, here I was AGAIN. It felt like I hadn’t even made any progress because I just looked the same. All I had wanted to do was show up at the wedding 10-15 pounds lighter and barring a miracle, that wasn’t going to happen. I pulled myself together somewhat and bought a dress I didn’t like that much because it was the only one I thought looked kind of okay.

On the ride home, I felt so frustrated. I felt so sad. I felt so disappointed. And my mom called. My car has a speaker phone thing in it so there’s no getting around it. I was weak and answered. She noted I sounded down and so I told her I didn’t like my dress. She translated accordingly [why do moms know everything?] and sighed. “Caitlyn…you know…don’t get mad at me, I know you’ll get mad at me but….for as long as you have been working at this, you should be 80 pounds by now.” I snapped and told her if I were 80 pounds I’d probably be dead, and then hung up. I’ve been dragging my family along [and everyone via this blog] for months on some great, wonderful, weight loss journey of self-discovery and here I was. With nothing to show for it except for now I know how to microwave egg whites and that I like Trader Joes balsamic dressing. Whoopie.

Sure, I overslept for Body Pump a few times, or missed it because I was working, or just because I didn’t feel like going or I had groceries in my car and didn’t go to the gym because I didn’t want to let them sit. I’m so good at letting myself off the hook and think ‘Oh I’ll get ‘em tomorrow.’ Or I haven’t been 100% committed to healthy eating even though…

Abs are made in the kitchen

 

I let myself off the hook too easily with an unhealthy snack or a binge session because oh hey! I ate salads and oatmeal and apples yesterday..I’m good! Can’t I ‘cash in’ on yesterday’s success? I knew when I started this whole thing that one of my problems is that I’m lazy, have a hard time committing to things and staying motivated. I like to run when things get hard and never be forced to face it.

This whole healthy living thing isn’t easy and it takes time. I knew that going in. But that’s not an excuse. I should absolutely have more to show by now. It’s horrendously embarrassing to have somehow lost any momentum and have come to a sputtering stop trying to figure out how I keep winding up here.

And that, friends, is one of the reasons I’ve been semi-absent. Pride. Embarrassment. I debated deleting the blog because who wants to keep writing stupid, whiny, pitiful posts by a girl who can’t figure it out and put it together? At this horrendous rate I’m going, it’ll be 5 years before I lose 10 pounds and keep it off for longer than a month. But then I remembered how much I like you guys sooooo….blame yourselves. 🙂

Where do I go from here?…I’d claim it was rock bottom but I still apparently have enough self-control to pull back the reigns on the dramatic effect…I don’t know. I can’t feel any lower about all my attempts than I did over the last three-ish weeks. I guess it’s ‘New Resolve’ version 9.0. And what’s the saying, can only go up from here? I sure as hell hope so.

 

The Road I’m On

I was thinking the other night about how happy I am when I go to the gym and that I work out. Weird. Have I fallen in love with fitness? I’m not sure I’d call it love yet, but right now, it’s definitely infatuation.  All I know is we’re in it for the long haul. Fitness has been trying to court me forever, and I’ve brushed it off with lame excuses that are the equivalent of “I can’t..I have to wash my hair” or flirting with it briefly then never calling it for months and months and diving out of the way when I see it on the street.  We’re going to have our highs and lows throughout the decades and I’m probably going to hate it and behave like a bratty Taylor Swift toward it from time to time. Lately, though, I’m starting to feel as if I’m getting in the groove.

I never was someone who liked working out. In college I’d take my Kindle to the gym and sit on an exercise bike going the slowest possible speed and would read.  Or I’d just go for long, slow walks on the most isolated part of campus when the gym was too crowded so I could be alone with my thoughts and my cheesy bad pop music on my I-pod. I never would attempt to work out very hard. I didn’t like how red my face got if I tried too hard. So unattractive. Of course another factor was that I was in such bad shape with virtually zero stamina so why would I want to embarrass myself and flaunt my pathetic status in front of my classmates? I didn’t like my body and knew I had to work out and eat better, but I had no interest in it. I didn’t want to try and set myself up for embarrassment or failure. I have a hard time sticking with things when they’re hard and give up on myself pretty quickly.

But after  starting a new chapter when I moved to a new city, I realized I was sick of coasting and so easily accepting that I was: overweight, not in shape, weak,  a horrible eater and resentful. I was too young to give up and just slot myself into the role of a person I didn’t want to be. I had such an opportunity for a fun life in my new city, I could start over here. I could be happy here. So I started a blog about it (my condolences to the Internet).

My fitness journey for the few months has found me going to a class or just ducking into the cardio cinema and doing strictly treadmill or elliptical because I didn’t know what else to do at the gym. But lately I have been hanging out in the private training area. It’s very isolated and I get to try out new circuits without feeling self-conscious or like everyone is silently mocking my slowness or noting that my arms start shaking 5 seconds after I get into a plank. I’ve had so much fun playing around on Pinterest and finding work-outs to do. I’ll find them the night before, save the pin to my camera roll on my phone, then watch a Youtube video on how to perform a certain move.  I, of course, forget how to perform that move when I actually get to the gym. BUT…I get really sweaty, have fun (will wonders never cease?) and afterward feel like the cat that swallowed the canary. The red face I used to dread is now worn as a badge of honor, of sorts. Like, yep, I worked out hard people. 

I love feeling my heart beat faster and the beads of sweat. I love getting my body moving. After years of only fueling it with poor nutrition, I love knowing I’m finally taking care of it.

apartment-house-quote

 

image from fellow bmore blend, kate. I LOVE THIS QUOTE. #hitshome 

Over the last few months, I’ve tried a lot of new things. I’m not particularly adventurous and am very intimidated at the idea of new things. Remember it took me two months to work up the nerve to go to Body Pump? And I LOVE it. I’ve tried CXWORX, which I liked even though I made a fool of myself, and I really look forward to definitely seeing improvement as I get stronger and not having such a hard time with the ONE piece of equipment the class uses [sigh]. Also I ran two 5ks.

I’m so glad I found  Brian, the Zumba instructor at the gym, and that I have such a good time at his class. I love that I can kinda run a little now- granted, it’s still pathetic and I’m slower than molasses, red-faced, panting, dying, cursing with my last breaths, etc., but I can do it. And I do do it. Slowly I’m learning to let myself revel in the fact that I do it, and not pay attention to how much faster everyone else is or how much longer they can go for, because just the fact that I am going at all is wonderful.  I love that I have the Bmore Blends and that we’re plotting out fun workouts. I love that I’m get to try classes like Body Combat but I especially love how gleeful I am  about trying these classes.

It’s also dizzily exciting how much I am looking forward to trying things out: I’m determined to compete in a half marathon sometime in the next 18-ish months. I want to try CrossFit. I want to try the bootcamp type classes my gym offers that right now I’m still too scared to attend.  And whatever else I decide I want to do.  It’s truly amazing that I now look forward to fitness classes and going to the gym.  I’m excited for all that’s ahead and working toward it.

When I Get There

What’s waiting for me? Who am I going to be?

I know, this is ridiculous and I don’t blame you if you think “why does this girl so willingly plaster allllll over the internet that she’s totally loony tunes?”.  I’m only trying to lose 15-ishhhh pounds so this shouldn’t be such a drastic overhaul, but being an analytical worrier is kinda my thing. For so long, I’ve always chalked all of my insecurities to being overweight. “I’ll be better at speaking in meetings if I’m thinner”, “I’ll be a better flirt when I’m not overweight”, “I’ll be more confident when I’m thin”, ‘I won’t think everyone’s judging/laughing at me if I’m thin”, et cetera, et cetera. The extra weight I lug around has always been a defense mechanism, of sorts. I’ve always been convinced that I’m so insecure because of my weight. And if I lost the weight, I’d be more confident, have more fun, let loose, not so easily intimidated and whatnot. For example, in my lackluster love life—if I’m a little overweight, no guy could want me so I never have to face rejection.

Here’s what I know:

  • I’m not expecting that when I am fitter that I’ll be a totally different person who suddenly hates Goldfish or realizes my calling to join Scientology. I know that I’ll still be Caitlyn who needs plenty of alone time and is forever addicted to the terrible, terrible, terrible Bravo shows. I’m not going to suddenly be !!omgzz so happy!! after a magic number appears on the scale
  • I am well aware that being thinner is not the Be All End All and losing pounds doesn’t change how you think.
  • Working at being healthy is a forever thing. It’s never really going to be a done deal. I’ll be constantly adjusting and changing my goals and routines. Note to Future Caitlyn regarding the changing routines because Present Caitlyn is a moody creature of habit who loathes starting anything new and adjusting to new routines: this.is.a.good.thing.relax.
  • Let’s face it, I (and most people) will probably never really be 100% happy. If it’s not my legs, it’ll be my arms.  If it’s not my arms, it’ll be my abs. If it’s not my abs, it’ll be shoulders. And so it goes on and on. Everyone, no matter what size, has issues or causes of unsatisfaction.

I can’t help but wonder. For sooooo long now, I’ve always thought thinner me= happier me.  I think I took so long (almost 10 years!) in delaying making my health and body a priority because I was (am) scared of what I might find if I was to shed the extra weight. I just might find that when I was fit, I would still largely be unhappy with my appearance and that I would still be an insecure mess. If I was thinner/fitter, I’d lose my safety net. The blame game is one of my favorites and what do I blame then? I pin being overweight on practically everything: no, he wasn’t interested, I’m overweight,  I’m scared of practically everything because I’m overweight, I’m shy because I’m overweight. To lose that would mean I’d be more vulnerable and have to accept ME. It’s scary.

The last time I was thin I was in grade school – 8th grade. I played a sport every season just because all my friends were. And in 8th grade, we all quit so we could “live it up” (like our idol Ja Rule) as much as you can when you’re 13. I had more free time than ever and found myself mindlessly snacking and subsequently ballooning. For most of the crucial, maturing  years, I just slotted myself into the funny, kind-of-overweight kid who was content to fade into the background and let everyone else get allll the attention because oh I’m not thin like they are and I don’t want to be in the spotlight so that way I won’t feel judged slot. I don’t know (and don’t want to know) if that’s how other people in real life perceive me, but it’s how I perceive me and I’ve found I’m my own worst enemy. It’s weird: I’ve been fervently wishing the extra pounds away for so long, but now that I’m actively working toward it, I’m all panic! (at the disco) thinking ‘but what am I going to do when it leaves?’

I worry I don’t know how to be thin. I don’t know who I am thin. Does that make any sense? Probably not but if you’ve read here before then you likely know that logic isn’t my style and over thinking with a generous side of dramatic is.  This is the classic diagnosis: fear of success and fear of the unknown.  I’m just trying to figure out my best self and finding a balance, but I guess that’s what we’re all doing, isn’t it? Si.

(puh-leez don’t bother sending me e-mails saying I’m self-absorbed and/or seeking compliments as the second part is not correct,  n-o-t what the post is about or the discussion I’m interested in engaging in. Kthxbai. 🙂 ).

A Little More Conversation, A Little More Action

As I’ve mentioned before, I have many issues about talking about my weight. I just can’t talk about it with family or friends because I think it’s so embarrassing. I wasn’t planning on telling my family about my resolve to get my act together, health and fitness, wise. I just wanted to show up somewhere and be all ‘Oh?’ But I slipped and now they know.

In post linked above, I talked about how I didn’t want to go home because they were all so excited to see “the new me!” And I was scared of their expectations. And you know what, I did go home, they thought I looked “good” but could look “better.” No shit, Sherlocks, I think was my gentle reply. My mom still grabbed one of my stomach rolls (while I was sitting down, for God’s sake. Not a fair playing field) and said ‘Not there yet!’ which hurt but I didn’t let totally annoy me whereas normally I’d stew about it all day. I’m finally grasping that I don’t need to apologize or feel bad about things taking time because I’m A) doing it the right, healthy way which just happens to be a slow way and B) still have many of those days where I oversleep and don’t go to the gym or eat a cupcake (or two) when my co-worker brings them in. Although yes, I do have to remind myself of that quite frequently.

Now after hearing about my endeavor, my whole family has jumped aboard the ‘get fit’ train. Through the years, we’ve all packed on the pounds and none of us were making great decisions with food. Except for my dog Maggie. She remains flawless. My mom admitted she was so impressed by my getting up at 4 am (as she knows how hard it is for me to part from my bed) and trying to learn to eat healthy that she was inspired to finally get her own health back on track. Plus, and I think this is the biggest part, she realized she is one year away from the age her dad (my grandfather) was when he walked out to get the mail on a hot August day and had a fatal heart attack.

My parents are aiming to lose 40-50 pounds each. Before I was born, my dad was an avid amateur cyclist who participated in races and loved toying around with bikes. All the neighborhood kids would bring their bikes to him and “Melvin” –when my parents moved in, he jokingly told the kids to call him Melvin, which they of course gleefully ran with ha– would fix their bikes up and help their parents teach them how to ride. When my parents had us kiddos, he stopped biking and his free time went to us. He’s looking to get back into that, after two and a half decades off. He’s also now gotten into stand-up paddle-boarding down at our shore house in Ocean City, NJ which is supposedly one of the best workouts out there.

My mom has never been an avid exerciser and over the years  she’s developed bad eating habits like the rest of us. She is now seeing a dietitian once a week who put her on a seriously restrictive diet and she’s already down 20 pounds in three weeks (!!!). I give her so much props because I just could not do it. My sister is looking to lose 10 pounds, gain muscle and finally learn proper eating habits for the rest of her college days. My brother is looking to gain back muscle and lose his beer gut from college.

Where I am going with this is that even though I had no intention of telling my family about my quest to get fit and shape up my eating habits, it happened and I actually couldn’t be happier about it because it sparked THEM to do something about it. We just completed our first family 5k on Sunday! Much as they can piss me off, I’m ecstatic that it looks like my parents will be around longer to piss me off occasionally and enjoy those grandchildren I might eventually have. I’m slowly getting over my weird little insecurities, although it’s hard and uncomfortable, and so we’re having family discussions and comparing notes on new healthy foods we’re trying. It’s a team effort now and we’ll all get to the finish line at different times but…we’ll each get there when we get there.

and yes i know that’s not the song title.