15 or Bust….The Latest….Namaste
It’s been awhile since I’ve been here, which essentially means I am failing at one of my New Year “To-Do” items….write at least one blog entry per month. But, you can’t win them all. I was bound to fall short on at least a few of those items….so rather than dwell on my failures….how about I tell you what I’ve been up to.
I wish I could tell you that I have left behind my job as an adult babysitter….er, Human Resource Manager….in pursuit of something more meaningful….like becoming a nurse, or a full time volunteer for my favorite charity….but no. My gag reflexes would never allow me to do something like put ointment on a bed sore, or wipe the poopy butt of an adult patient….I’m clearly not mature enough either.
As for volunteering, I figure I’m kind of already volunteering….since the income I contribute to my household is about the same amount my husbands unemployed, ex-wife collects in vaginamony.
So, until I win the lottery….work, I must….and for the past few months, I’ve had more than my fair share of it….literally.
More than two years ago, a co-worker of mine was fired for getting really drunk at a work function, twerking to Baby Got Back and then attempting to rough up another of our co-workers who suggested she might want to tone it down a bit. In the wake of her departure, I ended up with her workload and a promise that it wouldn’t take long to replace her. More than two years later….and without a salary increase to compensate me for taking on the work of two people….I quit believing she would ever be replaced and had just learned to deal with the imposition.
Then, six months ago, another co-worker was promoted and his responsibilities were also heaped onto my already full plate. A few heated conversations and several threats to quit later….the roles were filled and my work/life balance has slowly been returning to the balance I prefer….less work, more life.
Sweating It Out
If you’re visiting my blog for the first time, a few months ago, I started a journey I named Operation Dump the Frump; a commitment to achieving a more healthy and active lifestyle.
Since the birth of my son, four years ago, my diet and exercise regimen had been inconsistent and sadly lacking in commitment. I’d been carrying around an extra 15 pounds like some kind of trophy earned for growing and then birthing another human being….rightfully so. And while I despise the pressures and expectations placed on women regarding weight….and all the celebrity post-baby body debuts and the dozens of articles devoted to how those women lost their baby weight….exclusively due to breast-feeding and a diet consisting of grass and tree bark, of course….I knew I didn’t feel good and something needed to change.
After putting a lot of thought into my long-term goals regarding diet and exercise, I waded in and began the work. My approach to this process, for the first time in my life, has been fairly simple. I wasn’t expecting a quick fix or a miracle. I just wanted to be as fit and healthy as my body would agree to be….without resorting to anything drastic.
I’ve been watching what I eat and doing my best to make healthy choices, but I don’t restrict anything. If my body wants a Kit-Kat or a huge bowl of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, then by God, I’m eating it….and without guilt.
I’ve also been moving….a lot. I had never considered myself a sedentary person, until I thought about the way I spent the majority of my days….being essentially sedentary….so, I found an incredible women’s only fitness studio in my town, owned by two young women embarking on their first business venture and dove in.
The environment at the gym is welcoming, fun and totally lacking in pretense or judgement. Women of all shapes and sizes, ranging in age from early twenties to late sixties, meet to work our buns back into steel….or at least a less pancake-like form….and to rediscover that underneath our various scars, we’ve got abdominal muscles that might not ever become a six pack, but are definitely there….and so is our confidence and general self-esteem.
I’ve been at it about six months now. I get up for a 5:30am workout Monday through Friday and I return to the gym in the early evenings three days a week for a second class. When I have the free time to sneak in extra sessions on weekends or during a lull in my work day, I do and I’ve never felt better.
At 36, I’m in far better shape than I ever was in my 20’s….but to be fair, I spent most of that time on a diet consisting of Ramen Noodles, Chef Boyardee, Boone’s Farm and over the counter diet pills….I washed down with something caffeinated for the extra boost….and my exercise routine involved strapping on a pair of Rollerblades and heading to brunch and Bloody Mary’s, so….things have changed all around.
These days, I have muscle definition in places I thought had atrophied years ago and I’m down eight pounds….though I really don’t care about the number on the scale….it’s inches, tone and muscle I’m after.
I have the energy and stamina to get through my days without feeling like I’m on the verge of collapse by 6:00pm. I have more patience, I feel clearer, less anxious and less stressed.
I’ve also made new friends. In the past, I’ve always been leery of large groups of women. My experiences in this area have rarely been good. Like the time in college, when I unknowingly wore a red sweater on the very day the Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority girls had earmarked as their day to dress in their signature color of red….and then I spent the entire day….until I changed….being reminded by every red clad, ladybug sporting snob that I was, in fact, NOT, a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha.
So, I had originally planned to attend the classes, be nice, but keep my distance. I mean, what if our menstrual cycles harmonized and all hell broke loose? What if a newbie plopped herself on the stationary bike another member typically rode and we had to choose sides? What if there was gossip and mean spirited comments regarding the shape of someone’s ass in lycra….like mine….or someone’s tacky taste in activewear?
But these chicks have worn me down, because they are truly lovely women. There is no drama, no mean spirited commentary or gossip…they are funny and smart and sweet and nice and supportive and I genuinely enjoy spending time with them.
In order to “Have it all!” as my generation of women has been encouraged to do….which is a load of crap, you can’t have it all….at least not all at the same time….my life is a daily exercise in efficiency. I strive to squeeze every single second….out of every single day. If I have to go to the bathroom, I consider what else I might accomplish on the way there. When I’m nuking my lunch, I know I typically have enough time to toss in the next load of laundry, or check and respond to a few emails. In fact, as I type this, I’m also engaging in a work-related conference call.
However, over the last few months, I’ve regularly run out of seconds….and long before my daily To-Do list was completed….so my blogging has fallen by the wayside.
With my more workload shifting and the summer here, I’m looking forward to getting back to my blog. I’ve missed it here. I hope some of you missed me too….even just a little.