So, I have body image issues. I don’t think this will come as any big surprise to anyone. I dare you to find me one person who doesn’t. You bring me that person and I’ll call you both liars. Whether you think your ankle bones are too pointy or you think your stomach is too flat (I’ll try not to roll my eyes at you) or you think your thighs jiggle too much (hey, mine too!) everyone’s got some sort of insecurity. I don’t have some dramatic catalyst of my mother calling me fat or sticking me in a weight loss camp when I was wee. Although, there was one asshat who called me Thunder Thighs Jr. (My friend was Thunder Thighs. We have a code Delta Bravo, folks.) in middle school and as much as I’d like to blame him, my body issues were well in place by that point, he just poked them.
And while I’ve always struggled with my weight and I’ve desperately wanted to be skinnier, smaller, thinner I’m just too lazy to make it happen. I don’t workout well on my own. I quit before I’ve barely begun because I go into it thinking I have to workout for two hours because that’s what I did in high school. Uh, newsflash there’s a big difference between a two hour workout when you’ve got twenty-some girls and two coaches on your ass and just hopping on a elliptical machine for that amount of time. Or, I workout for two days and then I look in a mirror and hey, my muscles ache and I’ve worked my butt off TWICE so why haven’t I dropped 60lbs and why are my jeans still tight? Or, I go into it not only determined to workout for hours at a time, but I’m also going to stop drinking Diet Coke (blaspheme!) and I’m going to stop eating junk food (…but then what would I eat?) and I’m going eat healthy (I don’t understand your words; can you repeat that?) and you know what? I fail before I even started because just looking at that list has me overwhelmed.
But then, ninty some days ago I read this post and something in my brain perked up and went, “Oooh!” Never in 27 years of life and nearly as many fighting my own body into submission had I thought of putting my failure right up front.
If you’re addicted to something, it’s a given you’re going to flake and want to go back to it. The 90 day thing is a way of declaring: “In spite of the fact that I WILL—it is inevitable—want to give up and quit and drink and keep fucking everything up, I will COMMIT to not drink and go to meetings for the next 90 days.” You’re agreeing to ignore your crazy alcoholic monkey mind. It’s a quirky little promise. Because you know you’ll change your mind. But you’re promising to not listen to yourself, which is a really fucking weird way to relate to yourself.
Well, I’ll be damned. I may not be an addict, at least not in the sense used above, but my own crazy monkey mind can certainly relate to this. BHJ applied this to running. He was going to run. I don’t run. Ever. Ever. Ever. EVER. But, I do have a stationary bike. And I most certainly have 20 minutes every day. So, every day for the past 90 days I have worked out for at least 20 minutes (There was a brief time when I got The Sickness and had to take two days off. We don’t speak of it.) sometimes longer. Some days I biked. Some days I went to Holiday Park and hiked. Some days I got on the Monon and walked and walked and walked. Some days it was 20 minutes. Some days it was 2 hours, but every day I was moving. Every day. As in no days off. As in every single freaking day. Even when I didn’t want to. And believe me, a lot of the time I didn’t want to.
I didn’t change my eating habits. I didn’t worry about a thousand other things I could have changed to help speed this weight loss process along. I just focused on my 20 minutes. On moving every day. On creating a new habit. On overcoming The Lazy.
I suppose now is where I should show you my video montage of me sweating and working out, water bottle to my lips, an upbeat Top 40 song playing while my body slowly thins, my hair miraculously gets better, suddenly I know how to apply makeup and in the end I’m twirling in a tiny dress, showing off my newly slimmed thighs and smiling because I got the guy and in less than one minute I’ve transformed my body and mind and I did it! Or something.
Yeah, that didn’t happen.
I stepped on the scale during the first few days, didn’t like what it had to say and put it in time out until it can use its nice words.
I went on the encouragement of others, the de-tightening of my pants, the needing to buy new underwear because OMG YOU GUYS MY UNDERWEAR IS TOO BIG NOW. I didn’t take measurements, I didn’t take pictures because, in all honesty, I went into this assuming I was going to fail. Work out every day for 90 days? Pssht. I haven’t worked out 90 days in the past year, total. Maybe starting with 20 minutes a day was doable in my mind. Maybe I’m just super determined to be comfortable in my own skin for once. Or maybe I just couldn’t fail at something else right now.
Whatever the reason, yesterday I got on my bike and I peddled. For 25 minutes. On level six. I started at zero. Yesterday I completed day 90. I got on the scale that morning and saw a number that’s not quiet as small as I would like, but is just that much closer to where I want it to be. Yesterday I woke up and decided that today will be day 91 of 180 because I’m not done. And I’m stepping up my game. The next 90 days? 30 minutes a day.
A very sincere thank you and very sweaty hug to every single person who cheered me on, told me they noticed a difference when I couldn’t and who allowed me to sweat in their general vicinity when I dragged them out on walks.
So Internets, what have you been up to?