Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Protestant's Catholic Guilt

I have always had a war going on with my weight. Many years ago, when I finally faced reality that 18 Petite was not an oxymoron. And, just because the magical word "Petite" was part of my dress size,  the concept of "smaller" did not apply. I am 5' 2'' and found myself weighing 190 lbs. It was not pretty. It took me 6 to 7 years to lose the weight. I was obsessed with my weight. I weighed myself every morning. If I was at the top of my 4 lb acceptable range, I carefully watched what I ate.

Unfortunately, in the past 2 years I have found that, not only have I passed out of my optimal range, I am 16 pounds above it. However, I insist on not buying larger clothes. My tight, uncomfortable size 6 clothes remind me daily that I have a problem, a big problem - and it is not getting better.  Even though my clothes have stretched a bit,  I have to face reality.

After trying to blame it on medication, age, and every other reason I could come up with, I need to face the facts. Once again, I am over weight and it is not getting better. Sure, I have tried every "quick fix" diet I could find. I tried eating small meals through out the day, then eating only the 3 main meals - no snacking. No fats then no carbs. Fasting.  But nothing helped.

So, like 90% of folks around the world, I have made a New Year's resolution.  I would guess that 75% of that 90% have the same goal - to loose weight. According to the facts (tabulated by those experts "who know") only 15% of those with such lofty goals, will succeed. But, I have been here before, and it is not pretty. It does not feel good. The optics are even worse.

Now that I am determined to fight the battle of the bulge once again, I need a plan. Naturally a sensible diet is the initial move. I have given up my beloved Lime Diet Coke after reading that diet soft drinks do not aid in weight loss, in fact can lead to weight gain - seriously? And, we all know "metabolism" can be a non Catholic's form of guilt. When it is slow, it undermines everything in one's life - oh, the inhumanity!

But, I need exercise. Unlike any job I have had in the past - in my current position I do not move. Given my schedule, a gym is out of the question. Even if it were, there is not one close enough to be feasible. In Charleston, I was walking the pups 3 times a day - that forced me out on the sidewalk in constant motion, despite the heat, the cold, the rain, and dark of night. Thanks to a back yard and a doggy door, that forced exercise is gone.

I love bike riding and have a great bike. Richmond has this fabulous bike trail that runs from downtown to Williamsburg. And it is close by. But the 2 miles between us and the trail is a narrow country road with quickly moving vehicles.  I do not have a death wish. Loading my bike up on my car every time I want to ride does not help - at all. A good friend who lives close to the trail offered to keep the bike. I could easily drive over to her house, only a few miles away, get my bike, and take advantage of the bike trail. I did that once.

Then one day I came across a "Bike Trainer" - a contraption that allows one to use their bicycle on a stand to exercise to one's heart's content. Hallelujah! A cheap person's Peloton - you know that expensive bike contraption that is all the rage. (But, watching the ads on TV, it is not loss on me that everyone riding it already has a tight, slim, swimsuit body. They offer no example of an even slightly over weight rider struggling to keep up.) Besides, at the cost of $2,000 each, this is not in the budget. However, a Bike Trainer is.

So, thanks to Amazon and UPS, my marvelous trainer arrived yesterday. I had brought my bike back home and last night set up the new gizmo in my bedroom. By that time I was too tired to ride it. Yesterday the first thing I saw was my bike - it was a new day. After 2 cups of coffee I climbed onto my trainer. Realizing I am out of shape, the last thing I needed was to over do it. I know from experience that would transform my trainer into a glorified clothes rack - and even more guilt.

Being realistic, I set my first day's goal for 10 minutes. Instead of a sweaty trainer yelling at me to "push it", "work it", "feel the burn", I had my morning news show on. It felt good to get back on my bike. I adjusted the resistance so I did not feel like I was fighting a hill for the entire "ride". I found myself watching time, minute by minute. Suddenly 10 minutes seemed like an eternity. But I peddled on. Eventually I was on a roll (no pun intended). Pushing myself, I  knew I could go longer than 10 minutes. And, I did - an impressive 12 minutes. Baby steps - tomorrow, I will shoot for 14.

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