Adventures in Backsliding

6 Nov

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted, my Jillian Michaels and running-infused workout plan has deteriorated into frequent light walking and lifting (cereal boxes), and as I write this, I’m stuffing my face with fifteen American dollars worth of beef fried rice. There is also an egg roll. And some Scotch, because I like to marry my trash with class.

In short, this:


I ran a 10K about a month ago and in the time that’s passed it appears I’ve become a bit of a loser. Perhaps loser is a strong term. I can be hard on myself when I’m shame-slamming takeout.

This happens. I’m trying to find a way to get it to stop, but it is a pattern I can’t deny. Sometimes I like to project my own personal trends onto the general human population, and I think that’s actually kind of a fair thing to do because I do represent a small percentage of the human population – the people who avoid laundering underwear until they’ve exhausted their emergency underwear and swimsuit bottoms – the people who find it difficult to stay in little boxes in big towers, jabbering about minutia that determines whether an enormous corporation gives money to another enormous corporation – the people who sometimes want to look at their student loan debt and then look at their empty cupboards and make the former feel better by ordering beef fried rice so that they can immediately alleviate at least one of their issues at hand. Deliciously. While simultaneously rocking a huge hole in the crotch of their jeans.

So that’s me. I’m America. A fraction of America, anyway, and I’m a pretty serious backslider.

I frequently, on occasion, find myself in quite a schlump after quite a bit of gained ground. It’s a bummer. One likes to think that one has learned a lesson and is forever freed from it, but the fact of the matter is that after I go crazy for months at a time trying to conquer everything at hand, I will reward myself the best way I know how: sitting on my couch in unclean clothes and eating food that probably isn’t what it was marketed to me as. And then I will feel so ashamed by this that I will continue to self-soothe in a similar regressive pattern until I rebel against myself and go back into months on conquistador setting.  

It’s frustrating. Mostly because I spit my brains into a public forum where it appears the subjects are cats, food, discomfort in a variety of social situations, gaining ground, and losing ground. After a while of writing about these things, you start to notice yourself.

But it’s okay. I’ve got moxie. And I’m still a young whippersnapper but I’ve been around long enough to realize that there are two  Jackies on the spectrum of Jackiedom – the one that’s a pile of cheesy poof eating, unshowered slop that plays Warcraft all day and has literally no human interaction, and the one that’s in magazines and giving speeches and leading a very happy group of folks in doing whatever they all happily want to do, and that every day is a choice to continue the struggle against the former and to get closer to the latter. If I ever get to the latter and am asked how I got there by young hopefuls, I hope I have the courage to admit that it was a series of backsliding and pounding theater-style boxes of Milk Duds.

 I did achieve some things, though, in my time away from general live achievements. For example, while I was lounging in my pajamas using my sickness as an excuse to drink Scotch and split-screen watch Netflix and browse useless Internet musings, I learned that Chinese takeout containers are designed to conveniently unfold into a sort of semi-normal plate, and that has really served me well in the 30 minutes. So that’s nice. Payoff is nice.

I guess it’s that time again. That time where I look at every single thing in my life and scrutinize it relentlessly until I’m so disgusted that I spit shine my entire house, go for a 3 mile run, register for a race, organize my to-do list in terms of 1-week, 3-month, and 1-year goals, and thoroughly groom my cats for good measure.

I suppose that as long as I backslide only a little less than the amount of ground that I cover in my motivated periods, I’ll always be moving forward. So there’s that. I’m on the move. I’m getting things done, one overhauling/backsliding segment at a time.

Resolution reevaluation time is approaching quickly, however, so I really have to get my sloth gremlins at bay. I’m supposed to be in the best shape of my life by the end of December and I was doing pretty well there until I convinced myself that 20 minutes of light walking per day still met my exercise quota. Which, technically, it does – but light walking isn’t going to burn off this Chinese. Or yesterday’s. Or last week’s. My vagina doctor said so.

That, and I told myself I’d travel outside the country this year for a resolution. Last year I got a passport, and this year I’m supposed to use it. So far, the closest I’ve gotten to international travel is ordering contacts from the United Kingdom.

Time to get on the ball. And since I’m pretty broke, I guess that means I’m going to have to just make it work. Looks like I’m hopping a Megabus to Canada.

Conquistador setting, commence. 


31 Responses to “Adventures in Backsliding”

  1. donofalltrades November 6, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    You go girl! I have a similar pattern minus the cats and substitute beer for Chinese food. I did train like a good boy for 12 weeks and ran a half marathon in KC a couple of weeks ago and I’ve rewarded myself by being a sedentary piece of megaturd for the past two weeks straight, almost single handedly undoing all my good work in that short amount of time. I have plantar fasciitis I’m telling myself, so it’s medical! Go to Canada and have some fun! You deserve it.


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

      I would just like to note that “sedentary piece of megaturd” made me laugh out loud. Thank you very much.

      And yes, it’s amazing how quickly all that pavement pounding can be undone with just a few rationalizations and takeout orders. Godspeed, don. Get back on the wagon with me. You pull first?


  2. adventuresinlowvision November 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Marrying class with trash sounds great. It makes for great blog posts, too. Those Milk Duds will melt on the Megabus ride, better leave those behind when you get back on the wagon.


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

      Nothing melts if eaten quickly enough.


  3. philosophermouseofthehedge November 6, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Canada counts..or you can count on Canada, I forget – it’s milk dud deprivation.


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

      *offers almost-gone box*


  4. klsprout November 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Do Gillian and THEN eat Chinese food. It’s a win-win.


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

      I feel like poop after Jillian. Chinese would come right up, I’m sure.

      Safest not to do Jillian and skip to Chinese. DAMMIT. Wait. No.


      • klsprout November 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

        Arrrgggh! Chinese always wins! BTW, now that I’ve been doing Gillian for a year, the injuries are starting to pop up. I love the intensity of the workouts, but I would like all my joints to be in working order in twenty years. I don’t know how to keep doing the workouts AND keep my left knee intact… Hope you’re having better luck!


        • Jackie December 5, 2013 at 1:06 am #

          I think Jillian is good in moderation. You must be one hard body if you’ve been doing it for a year – awesome! She’s rough on the joints, for sure. Maybe mix it up with some less crazy in there too 🙂


  5. Ice_Badger November 7, 2013 at 2:12 am #

    Yeay for registering for a race! It helps with the motivation!
    If you are going to walk…make it a good walk…
    Come to mordor!
    I am going 🙂 (it may take a while…)

    Go Jackie 🙂
    *waves motivational elf sword*
    Ok…that was not meant to sound like a threat :-S


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

      Hey, nerdfitness is awesome! We tipped our hat to his awesomeness in the blog I co-admin with some geeky friends, VersustheUniverse. Thanks for sharing!

      Motivational elf sword is good. I could use one. The more threatening the better, actually. It’s hard to stop being warm and pudgy.


      • Ice_Badger November 20, 2013 at 2:11 am #

        Ooh! I will look at your other blog 🙂

        Warm and pudgy is appealing especially now it is cold and dark a lot if the time!

        But I’ll have none of that!

        Move around *waves elf sword again*


  6. Dylan Hearn November 7, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    And if you’re like me, when you do get around to doing the thing that you’ve been backsliding on, you wonder why you spent so long avoiding it. And then you backslide again. Don’t worry, you’re not a schlump. Unless you are one of those driven, superhuman, polished, shiny, robot type people (who I like to think have a singular lack of imagination), it’s called being human. At least you recognise your behaviour and get around to doing something about it eventually, which is more than many.


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

      Oh yes, the absolute self-loathing that comes from judging myself as you’re realizing how far I’ve fallen (man, this 1 mile workout is hard – only 4 weeks ago I was running 6…) is enough to make me want to self-soothe with cake and cookies and various warm pastries… Such a vicious cycle. Being a human is hard.


  7. Katie Robles November 7, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    I’m just glad I’m not the only one with that kind of pattern! 🙂


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      A quick survey of the comments section proves that indeed we are not alone 😉


  8. oneawkwardyear November 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    I am the saaaame way! Backsliders unite. We’ll be better…next time 😉


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      I’m on the up! Started weighing in every day for accountability, started marking days I’ve run on the calendar for Dave to approve – I’m coming back. I will not spend my day-before-New-Year’s in remorse!


  9. lexy3587 November 8, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I think the response comments to your post are proof that you are, indeed, like a lot of your fellow americans. And also, as I’m about to prove, like your northern brethren too 🙂 It is amazingly difficult to get BACK into exercise after two weeks off for semi-legit reasons. And while not exercising, I continue to eat the garbage that I ‘allow’ myself by explanation of “but I’m burning calories. I need this chocolate and greasy hamburger. it’s FUEL” And then, of course, I get back into it and think, “Why did I stop again? that was stupid. Has anyone ever died from doing exercise? Maybe I’ll be the first.” Come visit Canada – we have poutine and beaver tails (not actual beaver… just big fried bread things covered in your choice of delicious)!


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      mmmm greasy hamburgers.

      I’m trying to figure out a weekend I can pad with a few days to make it happen. I’ll fill my car’s fuel tank with hopes and sprinkles and pray it doesn’t break down on the way.


  10. silkpurseproductions November 8, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    On behalf of Canada I say, “Come. Stay awhile. We can backslide with the best of them.” Right now the only thing making me look good is the big pile of stinky doo doo that is the Mayor of Toronto…
    Although that is only one link in a bazillion out there right now it is enough that you will understand how he actually makes me feel really good about the whole sloth thing.


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

      This is… I can’t even…this is amazing.


      • silkpurseproductions November 20, 2013 at 8:44 am #

        It has been almost 2 weeks since I posted that link and by now you are probably aware of exactly how cray-cray the guy is. He has been the fodder for Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart…the list goes on. He has been interviewed by Matt Lauer, Fox news, etc. Every time he opens his mouth it gets worse. They can’t fire the guy (we haven’t figured out why he can’t be arrested for something) and he refuses to step down. So over the past week they took away his budget, 2/3 of his staff, removed him from all committees he sat on and changed the locks on City Hall. Can you say Bizzaro!?


        • Jackie December 5, 2013 at 1:16 am #

          Without cable, I must admit that you were my first exposure to the story. You know, I used to wonder when I’d watch “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” how people could miss the first 3 or 4 questions because those ones are pop culture and plastered everywhere. The answer? No TV.

          Thanks for the edu-ma-cation 😉


  11. CHANGE. CHANCES. HAPPINESS November 13, 2013 at 3:42 am #

    In love with this blog! would love it if people could check out my blog i’m a newbie but I think I’m funny and thats all I have going for me 🙂


    • Jackie November 19, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

      You have a nice writing voice going on there – thanks for sharing and keep it up 😉


  12. crsitina November 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    If you want to laught…


  13. Jules November 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Hello Jackie. Just checking in. Do you really want to go back to being average? Come back to the light.

    P.S. post race schlumps happens to me too. don’t worry about it.


  14. JustJohn November 20, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    life is made of many metronomes, each with their own rhythms. the 7day week, 2day weekend, seasons, holidays, department store sales cycles, etc. there is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing yourself to live and be as you please, every now and then. there is a time for everything under the sun – even for a frozen 3x chocolate king sized snickers bar or chocolate lasagna! i see no issue at all with a bit of deliberate awesomeness with a time for backsliding 🙂 the key is to not allow anything to become a rut for too long. and, “too long” is when it starts to interfere with what YOU want to do or be or feel about yourself. i’m in a rut with my exercise routine. i just run and do core work … boring now. humans thrive physically and mentally and spiritually and emotionally with constant randomness of change itself. the best commercial exercise routines such as bodyforlife, p90x, insanity, etc. are just chrome on standard techniques to break out of plateaus. change it up drastically to get past a blockade. ziglar says “all change must be immediate and flamoyant” and he is right. no hesitating after decision, and no take-backs or else your social circle will know you failed yourself.


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