Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The 7 Day Challenge

Last week I saw a video online where an overweight woman went to the gym every day for 100 days and totally changed her life. She was terribly depressed and had given up on happiness, until she took control of her life. The video ends with her smiling and happy...and with me sobbing.

It's the most f#%!ing inspirational thing I've ever seen.

I've been meaning to get my body situation under control for the last few months, but there was Thanksgiving, and then there was Christmas, and then there was every single other day because exercising and eating right is awful.

I really was inspired by this woman stepping up and making changes though. It made me want to do the same thing (with a motivational Glee song playing softly in the background). I did the math, and 100 days would be right around the time that I leave for Las Vegas. What an amazing way to complete such a wonderful journey!

Then I started really thinking about it. This woman obviously had a lot more work to do than I do. I mean, she wanted to change her life, and I mostly just want to look hot enough to make out with a stranger in a poolside cabana in Vegas. She wanted to get below 300lbs. I just want to get back into a size medium. I don't have that much work to do. In fact, if we're measuring me against the national average, I'm not doing all that bad.

Although, if we're measuring me by gay standards, I'm Gilbert Grape's mom.

So a hundred days is probably a bit much. I could probably do some medium level life changing in a month though. That seems a lot more reasonable.

Well maybe not a lot more reasonable. A little more reasonable maybe. Or sorta kinda reasonsable. Actually, not very reasonable would probably be more correct.'s unreasonable, there's no way I'll follow through on working out every day for a month.

So, last Thursday I started my seven day challenge. One week of no excuses, no whining, low level life changing (getting over my fear of the elliptical machine is probably about all the change I can hope for).

I planned to kick it off by heading back to the gym that night. I hadn't been in months. I got home, packed my gym bag, filled my water bottle, and opened up my laptop to update my iPod, and that's when I noticed it...

The internet was connected.

I've been stealing internet for years, and for years it's been pretty dependable. But recently I've gone days on end without being able to get a connection from my usual source, and I can't very well knock on the door and politely ask if I can reboot their router. So I just go without, and then I binge on it when I do get a connection.

I was faced with a decision. I could go work out, or I could take advantage of this rare occurrence. I did make a promise to myself, but who knows when this will happen again? And if you think about it, I'm paying for Netflix, and I hadn't been able to use it for at least a week. It was financially irresponsible for me to not sit down for a marathon of What Not to Wear.

It didn't occur to me that I'm also paying for a gym membership until I was twenty minutes in and halfway through a frozen pizza.

After a few hours I started to feel really bad. What does it say about me that I can't even get through day one of this challenge. What's going to happen when if I ever have kids?! "Ugh, potty training is exhausting! Just shit your pants, Daddy's watching the Kardashians."

Going to the gym was out (I'd already taken my pants off for the day), so I decided to go with my old stand-by "fun workout.": Dance Dance Revolution.

I'd set up a playlist of sorts a few years ago when I was working out a lot more. I used it when I didn't feel like going to the gym, but still wanted to feel like I'd done something. It was fairly easy, so I figured it would be a good way to kick off my week.

What I didn't account for was how out of shape I've become.

This is a game that children play, you guys. This isn't a legitimate workout routine, and I was struggling. I didn't think to grab water beforehand, so I was frantically trying to get a glass in the five seconds between songs, and still make it back in time to start the next one without missing too many steps (because those bitches will boo you). Parts of my body were jiggling that I didn't remember jiggling the last time I played, and I managed to sweat through my deodorant during the half hour routine. I landed a perfect score on the last song though. I was basically Natalie Portman in that f#%!ed up ballerina movie.

And then I almost puked.

Apparently eating an entire pizza beforehand was a bad idea. The important part is that I finished though. I was proud of myself. I got off my ass and did something. It wasn't much, but it was a start.

1 day down.

The high only lasted the night because I completely forgot to work out on Friday. I actually forgot entirely that I'd made a goal. It wasn't until I was laying in bed that night that I remembered. I briefly considered doing some in bed sit ups before thinking, "F#%! it, no one is going to expect that you'll actually pull this off."

1 of 2 days. Eh. Could be worse.

Saturday was a busy day. I had a date that evening. It was a second date with a guy who I was seeing some real potential with, so I really didn't want to screw it up. I got a haircut, I bought a new outfit, and I made sure my apartment was know, just in case. With all my running around, I couldn't really find the time to do any real working out. I managed to convince myself that if I ate well all day, I could call the day a success because I spent so much time out and about. I mean, it's better than my typical Saturday plans of renting 4 Redbox movies and falling asleep on the couch at two in the afternoon.

The date was awful. Like really awful. It's a story for a different post, but when I got home I was having some feelings, and my good intentions for the day went right out the window.

1 of 3 days. Not great.

Sunday brought a new sense of resolve. The events of the night before clearly proved that I was still going to need to hook a husband. I had all morning off. Plenty of time to get up and go to the gym. I planned to set my alarm for 9, go to the gym, and still have plenty of time to finish the book I was reading and relax before I had to go to work. But as I was getting ready to start my day, I got a call from work asking me to come in early.

So that threw a wrench in things. Once again I was able to talk myself into spending the time that I had reading a book and drinking tea rather than going to the gym, reasoning that I was going to be on my feet all afternoon which is basically the same as working out (it's not).

1 of 4 days. F#%!.

I spent Monday evening drinking wine and catching up on Downton Abbey at a friend's house.

But I walked there. 25 minutes each way. It counts.

2 of 5 days. I'm back in the game!

Tuesday came with a burst of motivation I really don't understand. I got off work, I cleaned, I organized, I did a bit of writing, I did laundry...and I went to the gym.

I actually did it! I got home from the laundromat, and instead of flopping down on the couch with a bottle of wine and no glass (which is what my horrible day at work warranted), I grabbed my gym bag and I actually followed through on this stupid plan! I went, I got on a treadmill, I stayed on it for an hour, I fought the urge to "reward" myself with pizza, and I went home feeling better about myself.

3 of 6 days. That's half of the days, you guys.

Today's my last day of this silly little challenge I gave myself. I'm working 13 hours today, so honestly I'm probably not going to do anything else, and I don't really even feel bad about it. Yeah, I'm sitting at 50% right now, and sure that's a failing grade by any standard grading scale, but those three days are three more than I've done in months. It's a start. A slow start, but a start nonetheless.

1 comment:

  1. It's tough to get back into shape and do the gym thing! Got to school too late on Monday and too many other things to accomplish to go on Monday. Yesterday I made excuses; but, got a lot done for teaching. Today I went; but, I didn't stick to my normal 2.5 miles, wind down, rest, 2.5 miles, wind down, rest. Was able to burn 1,000 calories though and since I haven't been to the gym since Finals began in the fall; I would say that's good for a reboot.

    I know what you mean about in the gay community that those who have a small amount of extra pounds on them are frowned upon! It's stupid!