Holiday weekends are tough for everyone. We have more time on our hands, less control over the food available, nice cold beer, and parties and barbecues seem more amusing options than exercise. Since I’m talking the talk with you I had to walk the walk this weekend.
I wrote Friday about being prepared so I kept my scout uniform on for the weekend. I got through the dinner that night without a problem, in part due to the fact that my hostess had read my blog and is totally supportive of my effort. She offered me fixins to make myself a nice, big salad which made it SO much easier to manage my portion control where the pasta was concerned. There was fresh fruit and great conversation and I came out of it feeling like I’d done a good job.
You know that old saw “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”? Um, yeah. Welcome to my life. I never eat as much as when I have time on my hands. Although I had a number of things to do, I also had more time than usual with no work and an extra day of weekend. So I started talking to myself. Ok, this isn’t something new for me…at work I frequently walk in circles in the parking lot, talking to myself out loud trying to figure out the right phrasing for a marketing piece, I mutter to myself at my desk about what a douchenozzle someone is – basically I’m a step away from being that guy who sits on a bench on Bloomfield Ave. in Montclair yells at random people in cars (sometimes rather graphically).
So I decided to use my crazy for good rather than evil. When the temperature went well over 80 and exercise was the last thing on my mind I told myself that I was allowed to watch old episodes of The Biggest Loser as long as I drank water the whole time and that as soon as the sun set I would go walk in the park. Good deal. Done. Better yet, that walk energized me and when I got home I spent an hour doing activities from The Biggest Loser Challenge on my Wii (more on that in an upcoming post).
I talked myself into exercise every day this weekend by making deals (as long as I kept them) and thinking things like “I feel like running” and “walking outside will feel good.” I know I can’t really run but every lap I did in the park ended with a short sprint to satisfy the urge. It was good. I felt good….until…
I GOT ON THE SCALE. I was 4 lbs. heavier. WTF?!? I panicked. I freaked. I raged. Then I calmed down and thought about it. What went wrong? I exercised every day. I moderated my portions. I slept. Then it occurred to me that a TON of water had been going into my system but very little had been coming out. It was hot, I refused to turn on my air conditioning and I was drinking a lot of water to keep cool and hydrated. Bottom line, my body needed that water but it wanted to hold on to it. Sometimes my body really pisses me off. I really had to fight the impulse to say “Fuck it all. I’m doing everything I can and I’m gaining weight.” It’s what I’ve done in the past and, frankly, it hasn’t worked out that well for me…although every store whose name ends in “Woman” sends me Christmas cards thanking me for giving up on “that ill-advised diet and exercise thing.”
Logic my friends. Cool, calm logic kept me from eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Ok, logic and talking to myself. I had to say OUT LOUD “You are retaining water because it’s hot and because all those muscles you are using need water. Your body will keep it as long as it needs it and then it will release it. This is not a permanent gain. Oh, and by the way, put the AC in the window you dumbass. You make enough money to pay the electric bill.” Like an infant, we have to learn to self-comfort, but we also have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we’re having a self-sabotaging temper tantrum. It made me think about when we were kids and fire safety education taught us “Stop, drop and roll.” I think that’s what we have to do when we’re having a diet or fitness related freakout – stop in our tracks, drop our anxiety and frustration level, and just roll with it.
Coming soon: my first trainer post! Do you have questions you’d like answered? Leave them in the comments and I’ll grill a certified trainer for you.