Tag Archives: exercise

The Next 365

2 Jan

Okay. It’s January 2nd, 2014 and I have a 365 to account for.

For those of you just tuning in, it’s been exactly three years to the day since I wrote my very first post in my very first 365 Challenge: to fire up a blog I once adored and let sit dormant for years with one post every day for 365 days. It was far more successful and fulfilling than I could have imagined and I’ve become an advocate for 365 Projects ever since, much to the irritation of my friends and family.

In 2012, what I now refer to as The Dark Days, I didn’t complete a 365. In 2013, I enacted Project Fat Ass. To quote myself: “…before I give up all hope of ever being the kind of person who can run for 6+miles and/or fit into single-digit clothing, I’d like to give myself a fair shot by forcing myself to face my fat every single day for 365 days.  And then of course running a 10K so I can be sure something tangible came out of it: a certificate and a t-shirt.”

I did. I did all of that except get in the single digits (they’re a terrible myth, I’m sure of it). I exercised every day and ran a 5K and then exercised every day and ran a 10K and I got a shirt and a finisher’s medal. I took shots of myself every month and tracked my progress . At my least fit, I was 189. At my fittest, I was 155. It was really hard and it was completely worth it.

Originally I placed the 10K at the end of September because I thought it would give me an extra few months to harden up my body post-6-miles before reporting my progress. I thought about all the extra motivation I’d have thinking about how awesome it was that I finally ran that far and that long.

In reality I kind of blew it.

I mean, I walked for 20 minutes most days and sometimes I’d even do something pretty taxing but post-10K Jackie was nothing like pre-10K Jackie.  I should have gone harder. I won’t say I failed because hot damn I completed a 10K but I also won’t say that I was a warrior those last three months. If pre-10K Jackie were around, she’d be pretty upset. I’ve gotten pretty soft.

It’s all good though. Not only because I spent all year understanding my body and my motivations and what does and doesn’t work (and how disgusting my habits used to be), but because it’s January 2nd and it’s time for a new 365.

I was thinking about my big accomplishment this year and celebrating my new improved self with a bag of Skittles and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food (which I now eat in two days, not one), when I really struggled to think of something I wanted to do every day for a year.  I also thought about how many of you have talked about doing smaller daily challenges (30 Days) and how many of you took me up on my Gauntlet challenge earlier this year.

I can do lots of things better or differently than I’m doing them now. I had a whole list of ideas – I could spend all my free time only reading books, I could be vegan, I could go carless for a year, I could cook from scratch every single night, I could say yes to everything for a month – there are many possibilities I could dabble in daily that would seriously affect the kind of person I am and the effectiveness of my personhood a year from now.

It’s kind of hard to choose.

So this year my 365 is actually a series of 30 Day Challenges. I have twelve chances to adopt a new habit within thirty days. Some of them might stick, some of them surely won’t – but every single month I get to focus intently on something I want to be better at and share my failures with you all.

I’ve already picked the first month. As penance for the last three months of slacking, I’ll whip out my tried and true Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred so that I can stop hating on my soft self for the pathetic walks in October and November and the shameless cookie munching through December. That should also give you all ample time to tell me what you want me to do for 30 Days.

That’s right: I’m taking reader suggestions. I’d love to hear from you. Some of my best Lollipop Tuesdays have come from you guys. Heck, we can do one together or you can try to live vicariously through me or you can just suggest something you think I suck at so that you can point and laugh while I struggle.

In 2012 I wanted to be the kind of person who was fit. I wanted to be able to jog and maybe even run a race. It seemed completely out of my territory and I was so scared leading up to the 10K that I wanted any possible way to get out. Because deep down I’m a little whiny bitch and a bit of a pussy.

That’s truth right there. I know that it’s vulgar and I don’t usually do vulgar but that’s truth. And it’s probably true about all of us, really.

Let’s do 2014 correctly, shall we? We’ll live with intent, try new things, and laugh at ourselves. Of course you’re always welcome to just laugh at me, but I do hope that at some point this year you’ll consider joining me. If you aren’t sure what the rules are for a 30 Day Challenge, you can review my recommendations in numbers 1, 2, and 3 here. Eventually I might even put it all in one convenient location because I love you so hard.

Oh, and thank you. Whether you’ve been here since the first post or just got on the train, there is absolutely no doubt I would be a fat, motivationless pile of self-produced oils and cheetoh dust if you didn’t support me and ignore my frequent cat, unicorn, and World of Warcraft references. You’re swell. Thanks. As a token of my gratitude, here’s an oldie but a goodie: a large cat either being offered up to a nation or getting a breast exam in front of one.

cat feel up

Thank you and Happy New Year, all. The suggestion box is open. 

My Struggle with Dance

4 Jun

napoleon dance

I wasn’t born a dancer.

I have the long, gangly limbs of an awkward schoolgirl married with the anxieties of a shut-in. Though I’m often mistaken for the kind of person who will get up and dance, it’s one of the pastimes I prefer our culture had never actually developed so that I could never live to be pressured into the misery of participating in it.

I danced once in middle school. I had developed a deep-seated complex about having to shower naked in the open with other girls and so to distract everyone’s attention from my conscientious objection, I stood on one of the benches in the locker room and performed a rousing rendition of “Father Abraham”, which I learned in Christian School.

Father Abraham had many sons, and many sons had Faaaaather Abraham. I am one of them, and so are you. So let’s all praise The Lord! (Right Arm!) Father Abraham… had many sons….

It went on in this hokey-pokey like fashion until all my body parts were involved. It was the dancing highlight of my first decade.

About five years later, I took a real stab at it in college. It was a pact between a friend and me– we were both ungifted with grace and thought taking Modern Dance would be an excellent way to help gain control over our gangly limbs. I remember it taking me several weeks simply to memorize the warmup routine. I also remember slamming my head off the stage during the final performance. Mostly.

A few years after that, I made one final and last-ditch effort to fall in line with society’s demand that I dance. After knocking out my gen eds, I transferred to a performing arts conservatory  with a nationally-lauded dance program. I was in the acting track and thought it would be prudent to dip my toes in the dance water to help not embarrass myself in future auditions that require rudimentary movement.  I signed up for “Dancing for Actors” – a class specifically tailored to actors who want to avoid humiliation. We learned basic steps and combinations and had to choreograph a piece and teach it to the class.

I struggled. There was a lot of stepping on toes and attempting to lead, which apparently isn’t permitted by humans with hoo-has. For my final piece, I choreographed “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and featured a freestyle section where everyone was commanded to channel their inner jungle animal and move through the space. It was beautiful.  It’s the only assignment on which I got an A.

And also the only assignment for which I didn’t dance.

My least favorite part of being a non-dancing human is weddings. People will always try to get me to dance at weddings. Somewhere along the way, someone told society that if you’re in an environment where other people are dancing and you’re not, you must not be having fun. The reality of the situation is that I’m highly skilled in self-entertainment (as a child I spent a lot of hours sitting in the car alone while my mom ran errands). But because society has been taught that dancing is fun and non-dancers are miserable, it becomes everyone’s personal mission to make non-dancers dance at weddings.

As if it’s not humiliating enough to have to scramble for a bouquet of flowers in front of everyone.

I have made two attempts at dancing in the past several months (a new record). The first was at a wedding where my friends pulled me onto the dance floor against my will and gang-danced me into a circular cage until I had to either move or ruin everyone’s fun. The second was last week.

I was at the wedding of a lovely and fantastic couple and feeling quite safe about the experience because Dave has been very vocal about his distaste for dancing. I remembered that quality being one of the things I checked off my “ideal man” list that I keep in my pocket at all times for cross-referencing. However, at this particular wedding, he was dancing.

This was an entirely new kind of pressure. Dave is a very attractive man, and weddings typically feature moderately attractive women. So added to the weight of ruining a wedding with my sourpuss non-dancing and the pressure of my friends egging me to do so publicly, I now had to consider that if I didn’t get out there and dance with him, some other boobed lady beast would.  So I did what any self-respecting woman would do: I asked the DJ to play “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness and threw caution to the wind. He followed it up with “Brick House” and two things occurred to me: 1) I don’t mind dancing if it’s to amusing music and 2) I don’t mind dancing as much now that I’m not so fat.

That last part is a big one.

For those of you following along at home, I’m halfway through a venture I’ve dubbed Project Fatass 365, wherein I must work out every day all year. There on that dance floor I realized that there was much less jiggle in my jiggy and that I wasn’t nearly as concerned with people’s eyes being on me as I used to. Not just because there is less of me and because I can better control what I have, but because I just care a lot less about what people think. Now that I’ve shed some of the megagut I was using to store my food for winter all year long, I have more energy to be my middle-school self.

I’m still not a dancer. I will probably never be one. I’m living proof that slides, be they of the cha-cha or the electric variety, are not universally demonstrated. But that’s okay because I do one hell of a Father Abraham.

So here’s to a new Jackie – a Jackie who dances not because she’s egged on or pressured or gang-danced to humiliation, but because she hears Brick House and wants to get funky and doesn’t really care what it looks like to everyone else. It’s a shame that I ever lost that spark that got me on the locker room bench in the first place.

But you still can’t make me shower in public.

Father Abraham had many sons, and many sons had Faaaather Abraham. I am one of them, and so are you. So let’s all praise the Lord (LEFT ARM!) Father Abraham….

A Good Night for a Drunk Run

17 Apr

I shouldn’t really say I update on Wednesdays if I’m not going to get off my rear and post before midnight, right?

I was off my rear, though. I’ve been off my ass since 7 this morning; I just wasn’t typing. Typing has, however, been the only thing I’m doing every other day of the week, all the time, always. I have had so many papers due for school in the last few days that I’m not sure there are any more thoughts in my brain.

For those of you just recently joining the jackie show, it would be helpful for you to know that I am currently enrolled in a dual masters program while also employed to pay the ba-dillios.

Those are bills. Ba-dillios are bills.

So anyway, I’ve been a little busy. But good busy. I’m happy busy. I’m just also out of things to say that are worth saying. Sometimes I stare at the screen for an hour and nothing gets written. Last week, I wrote a paper 3 different times because the first two attempts were a total fail.

I am not failing, however, at my 365. We’re rolling up to the 1/3 mark for my fitness 365, wherein I resolved to do something active for at least 20 minutes a day and have since conquered two Jillian Michaels DVDs and almost finished training for a 5K. No, I’m rocking that party hard. Allow me to regale you with a glimpse of Jackie Present (that is to say the current Jackie who is motivated and no-excuses and trapped by her own very public announcement to not fail or make excuses.)

It was yesterday. I woke at 7am to try to finish a research paper due that night, I went to work, I came home, I tried to finish the research paper again, I went to class late and turned it in, went back home to start a research paper due the next day (idiot) and instead decided to go celebrate my hard work by attending Dave’s open mic.

There, I had a few drinks in the fashion and manner typical of a classy lady. And just when I had almost freed my cares from thoughts of finals and writing and taxing schedules, I realized: I hadn’t run yet.

It was 2am.

You see, I specifically set up my 5K training program (wherein I transform from human Cheez-It disposal to competent jogger in several weeks) so that my final day of training is the day of the race and the first official time I actually run 5 english semi-miles. That means that if I skip a day, I am seriously in danger of being unable to achieve my goal. And if I fail to achieve the 5k, I seriously endanger my ability to finish the 10K in September, thereby bringing my 365 to a dramatic and successful semi-conclusion to ride the home stretch into the end of the year.

It’s an elaborate and volatile plan and my sudden decision to enjoy a few classy lady drinks was putting it in danger. So I ordered several coffees like a champ, left the bar at 3:30am, and went home to put on my running gear.

And proceeded to run. Semi-sobered and exhausted, I launched my flailing limbs across the great pavement plains of my neighborhood. Also, I brought Dave. He’s the best.

I came home, thoroughly pleased with myself and thoroughly exhausted at the realization that I had been up for nearly 24 hours, fell asleep in a pile of sweet satisfaction, and fell asleep until the next afternoon.

When I woke, I celebrated with chocolate. And hot dogs. It was a slippery slope; I’m now cuddled up in bed with an empty plate of pizza to my right and staring at the bottom of a bag of chocolates I’ve just obliterated.

A girl’s entitled to a little visit to Fat Jackie’s Paradise as a proper celebration, isn’t she? Maybe not. But I’m doing it anyways. Leave me alone.

So listen: to all the ducklings attempting The Gauntlet 30 Day Challenge right now, you’re about halfway through. If there hasn’t been a day like this already, there soon will be: you’re going to have a day when your schedule spirals out of control and before you know it, you’re holed up in some bar somewhere, drinking in celebration of your dedication only to find you’ve failed to remember to do your 30 Day Challenge activity.

And when that happens, you’re going to have to suck it up and go drunk running at 4am. Or work to better your small business. Or read a new book. Or cook a challenging meal. Or apply to a job. Or whatever it is you crazy kids are doing out there.

Oh, and congratulations. You’re halfway to being filled to the brim with awesome sauce.

Puppies and Sprinkles,

Jackie

Oh. I couldn’t find a picture appropriate for this so instead here’s a picture of a human feeling up a cat. Warning: Not suitable for work.

cat

Sometimes I Like to Drink Naked in My Lobster Suit

27 Feb

Well, I can no longer take all the fat on my stomach and smoosh it together with my hands to create an enormous pouch of jelly.

So that’s nice.

For those of you unacquainted with my fatness, allow me to introduce you to Project Fat Ass 365, wherein yours truly has committed to work out every single day of 2013 for at least 20 minutes. For someone who just posted last week about how all her dreams could come true if she were allowed to make money to lie in bed and do nothing while NASA pokes and prods her for the betterment of society, working out is kind of epic.

So I’m two months in and I have a bit of a confession: I skipped a day.  For one entire day I didn’t do anything workout related. I tried to make up for it by doing two Jillian Michaels workouts back to back the next day and then going for a jog.  If you know anything about Jillian Michaels workouts, I hope you see that this was a worthy punishment.  At any rate it made me feel terrible enough to never want to have to do it again.

I’m glad I got that off my chest.  I hope we’re still Interwebz friends.

I’m starting to finally notice some pretty nice byproducts of exercise, primarily the aforementioned lack of a kangaroo pouch full of lard.  I also went to an interview recently only to find that my smallest tool costume ( AKA office clothes) don’t stay on my hips, which is both exciting and annoying because I’m currently riding a steady wave of poverty. 

It would be more cost effective to buy 4 bags of Doritos and keep the pants I have than to invest in smaller pants. Fact.

But alas, I made a pact with myself and made it public, so I shall trudge on. Let us not forget that it’s been four years since I’ve been in a body of water at summertime for fear of my own spectacularly thunderous thighs.  I wore cardigans all summer long because I’d rather sweat than vex others with the sight of my flappalicious arms. If I sat on furniture, I would reach for the nearest pillow and place it over my stomach so that others couldn’t see the pile of pudge that would shift forward to rest on my lap like a lard kitten. It would be really nice to not have to do those things anymore.  If I keep trucking ahead and let Jillian Michaels yell at me for just twenty minutes a day, I might actually throw on some arm floaties and jump in the deep end this summer.

Not to mention run that 10K that’s looming over me in September. That’s a killer. Why did I say I’d do that?

A typical day in my apartment with my fatness.  And my cat. And my lobster suit.

A typical day in my apartment with my fatness. And my cat. And my lobster suit.

For those following along at home, I frequently tweet about my hatred of Jillian and all things pudgy on myself, so you can click the fancy button on the right to follow me on Twitter.  Occasionally I will check in with progress in my weekly posts, but for the most part I would rather spend this time focusing on the nuances of human behavior and society that make me want to board myself up in my apartment and never leave.

That’s been the tradition around here, anyway.

I’ve been courting the idea of a contest here on the bloggity blog.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve raffled a t-shirt or offered a gift card for various input. Except this time, I wouldn’t ask for Lollipop Tuesday ideas or macaroni and cheese recipes; I would challenge you to attempt a Lollipop Tuesday yourself or to do something every single day for one month to compete for a prize.

I’m not sure if this is a way to motivate you to go outside your comfort zone or a way to motivate me to keep doing what I’m doing.  Either way, we all win – yes? 

But before I put all that effort into things, let’s do a little market research. Let me know if you’d be interested in participating by answering the two snazzy surveys at the bottom of this post, and if you have any thoughts, ideas, or objections, feel free to spam the comment section – especially if you have a suggestion for a prize that would motivate you.  Be reasonable; suggestions for iPads will be scoffed at.  As you know by now, I love and adore each and every one of your squishy little brains and never let a comment go unreplied to.  

So take the survey, leave a comment, and/or follow me on Twitter to harass me with tweets like “run fatty, run!”  It’s not mean; it’s motivation.

Sprinkles and Puppies,

Jackie 

My Cat’s an Asshole

23 Jan

Man, I’m in a sour mood.  Usually when I’m in a bad mood, I just eat something delicious.  Works every time.  Unfortunately, I’ve committed to a 365 Project where I work out for at least 20 minutes every day and as a result, I’m starting to kind of like not being fat and miserable and so I don’t have any junk food in the house anymore.  The idea is that if I want junk food, I have to go to the store and get some, which isn’t going to happen because I’m innately lazy.  I’ve outfoxed my fat self.

Even if I did want to solve my bad mood by going to get a pepperoni roll or a belgian waffle with ice cream or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, it’s too darn cold outside.  I don’t know about you folks in warm, happy climates but I’m here on the three rivers in Pittsburgh and yesterday my walk to the bus stop was so tear-inducing that I genuinely wondered why people haven’t made ski masks more fashionable by now. Because I bloody well need one. It is face-shattering cold.

This cold has accumulated on the outside of my rear bedroom in the form of a colony of man-sized icicles that are melting and refreezing and saturating my crappily-crafted walls with water.  Thus, the wall is leaking.  It’s crying large tears of cold sadness along with me.  And though I called my landlord and two maintenance guys stopped by, I’ve been assured there’s nothing they can (read: want to) do. Since the ceiling in my bathroom fell on my head two years ago for similar wall-crying-related reasons, I’m going to go ahead and guess that the bedroom ceiling will also fall on my head shortly.

Also, a commercial offering litigation for problems related to vaginal mesh transplants just came on television and I’m not really a fan of the terms “vaginal” and “mesh” squished beside each other like that.  It’s uncomfortable.

So I’m a little grumpy.  And I’d like to take a moment to share my grump with you in the hopes that it will suck the devil out of me like The Exorcist and I will no longer crave happiness or cake.  You know, before the ceiling falls on my head and I die and I’ve missed my chance.  I’d hate to be lying in my grave, thinking about how I could have died happy if I would have only publicly ranted about my case of the grumples.

Actually, I feel significantly better already. Maybe I should just start blogging when I want junk food.

On second thought, that would get real spammy real fast.

So I guess I’m due for an update on the 365 Project.  As I’ve already mentioned in previous posts (and at the beginning of this one), I’m in the midst of a project I’ve lovingly dubbed Project Fat Ass 365, wherein I have resolved to do one health/exercise related activity every single day for at least twenty minutes.  I’ve begun with the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and have already hit the 160’s.

To understand how monumental that is, you should know that I’ve only been in the 160’s two times in my life: when I was a vegetarian and when I had a terrible case of mono. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to live my life without cheeseburgers or a balanced amount of white blood cells ever since and have been hovering in the 180’s forever.

Now, that’s not to say that I’ve gone from the 180’s to the 160’s since just the beginning of January.  As long time jackieblog subscribers know, I began trying to get super cereal about my health back in October of 2011 when my vagina doctor told me I needed to lose weight.  Apparently for the health of my vagina.  That’s right: my BMI was so high that my lady bits doctor told me to lose weight.  If that doesn’t get you moving, I don’t know what will.   I’ve been working to slowly improve my diet and exercise habits ever since.  So that 20 pounds has been a long and somewhat yo-yo-like journey. Luckily I’ve set myself for absolute success (or absolute embarrassment) this year by attempting this 365 and announcing that I’ll be running a 10K in the fall.

I only have to announce it, right?  I don’t actually have to do it.

Sometimes when I'm cold and grumpy and don't want to exercise, my cat (Hobbes) blatantly displays his comfortable state of fat in front of me. Like an asshole.

Sometimes when I’m cold and grumpy and don’t want to exercise, my cat (Hobbes) blatantly displays his comfortable state of fat in front of me. Like an asshole.

Just kidding. I’ve already invited my family to come heckle and loudly mock me from the sidelines to ensure I finish.  And they shall.  I was pretty tempted to invite my readers to form a team with me to help raise money for the dwindling populations of honeybees but as you all know by now, that’s a panic attack waiting to happen.  I can’t handle meeting that many new people.  I would stay in my apartment the morning of the race, perpetually projectile vomiting my anxiety into my toilet.

Which, on second thought, would probably help me shed as many pounds as a 10K.

At any rate, things are going quite well on the fat front, thanks for asking.  It’s still not too late to join in on a 365 (you can start any time, y’all).  All you have to do is think of the kind of person you would like to be in a year and then pick one thing related to that goal that you can do every single day that will get you closer to that person in a year. And then, you know, do it. Like I am.  Listen: if I can blog instead of eating when I’m grumpy and if I can exercise for 20 minutes every day instead of cracking jokes about how I’m not the kind of person who can exercise every day, you can do whatever it is that you’re actively avoiding as well.  And then in a year we can all celebrate our new, improved selves.

But not together in the same place, because that will make me projectile vomit.

All right, that’s my last plug for 365s.  I’ll stop badgering you for a while.  But only a while.

To our faces not cracking, our walls not weeping, and our fat mitts not reaching for cake. 

Puppies and Sprinkles,

Jackie 

World, Meet My Butt

19 Dec

the hot new exercise trend

I am now the proud owner of a pair of super skin-tight, inappropriate workout pants.

I’m a little scared of them, actually.

Dave did this adorable thing yesterday when we were running errands in the afternoon where he would try to gauge my interest in the things I got distracted by to see if they would be appropriate Christmas gifts.  There’s a new athletic store that just came in right across from my favorite ice cream store (I know – rude) that I wanted to check out.  Inside were lots of super awesome looking, incredibly effective bits of workout gear.  I wouldn’t normally be excited for such a store, but I ran in the snow the other night and was a lot colder throughout the experience than I would have preferred – so I was up for anything that could solve my problems, especially if it was actually somewhat attractive.

Right now I’m wearing so many frumpy, misshapen layers that I look like the Junk Lady from Labyrinth. 

The Junk Lady: In case you're lost on my obscure cult classic references.

Dave encouraged me to try on a few things in spite of their jaw-dropping price tags and I instantly fell in love with two pieces. One was a fleece-lined sweatshirt with thumbholes and a built in neck scarf that was so simultaneously cozy and badass I could have fallen asleep in it and then woke up to run in it.  The other was the most serious pair of pants I’ve ever donned.  Fleece-lined, padded with some sort of magic wonder fibers, and lined with little hidden zippers and pockets for things I might need to tuck away while I run.

They were also super form-fitting.  Tight.  Like, hey-I-painted-my-buttocks-with-black-paint-and-went-for-a-run tight.

I would never in a million years imagine myself going out in public in them.  I considered not even opening the fitting room door to show Dave.  The second I did, the sales associate working the fitting counter perked up like she’d just come off a Bikram yoga high and shouted about how awesome they looked on me.  It took a lot for me to hold back from saying something snarky.  I’m surprised the pants even came in my size, as I had to sort through to the very back of the rack to acquire them.   I made a comment about how they were a little too form-fitting for me and that I didn’t know if I could leave the house in them.  She responded that everyone says that and that they don’t really make anything that isn’t form fitting.

Something related to their hiring requirements, I suppose.

At any rate, there I was in what felt like my underoos, staring at a size negative 2 and thinking about the ice cream I ate before I came in to try on these spray-painted-on leggings.  And even though I should have felt like a fatty fat and told myself to rip them off quickly before anyone else saw me and suffered a stroke from the shock, I had to admit that they were incredibly comfortable.  And warm.  And the answer to all of my winter-running problems.

I told myself I run in the early morning or late at night and no one would be able to see me in them anyway.  I also told myself that maybe the fact that people can clearly see the location of my butt crack would inspire me to run faster, as to blur the details of my rearend in a flash of speed.

I looked at every mirror angle possible and agreed that the pants were not flattering in any of them, but I was shopping for function and not form and would do as I pleased.  There was a small part of me that mentioned I’d be running for another 6 weeks yet and somewhere in there, I’d eventually start to look better in them.  So I stared at the super comfy sweater that looked great on me and made me want to sleep and run at the same time and then again back at my super tight, super inappropriate pants.

And I chose the pants.

Dave managed to pick up the tab on what was a perfect Christmas gift because it inspired me to do better, supported my current goal, and would stop my legs from being beet red when I return from a chilly run.  The pants were an all-encompassing gift of love and henceforth they shall be painted on to my buttocks to enhance the appearance of jiggliness while I run.  Maybe after I make it to week 7, I can go back for the sweatshirt as a reward.

I’ll just have to make it a size long enough to pull down over my butt cheeks. ♣

Run, Jackie, Run.

15 Dec

I’ve actually begun to kind of look forward to running.

I can’t believe I just wrote that.  But there it is.  Just, you know, sitting there.  

For those of you who don’t have a feeding tube inserted from my blog to your brain, 1) button’s on the right and 2) let’s debrief.  I started this program called Couch to 5K in an attempt to truly test the psychology that has (so far) successfully propelled me through posting each and every day in 2011.  The idea is that I take the same no-excuses attitude, publicize it so people hold me accountable, and try to tackle the thing I hate most in the entire world: running.

One of the things that drew me to Couch to 5K is that it advises you not to do any more than it calls for, even if you think you can.  Since it’s built for couch potatoes, it doesn’t want you to get burned out and quit.   But earlier this week, I was sincerely pondering breaking the rules.  I just wanted to feel good about the fact that I ran that day.  I wasn’t in the mood to run, per se… I just wanted to be proud of myself and imagine my kangaroo pouch shrinking while I was huffing and puffing.

I’m using it for some serious storage.

Perhaps some psychoevaluation is in order.  It appears to be a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome.  With no choice but to continue on in the program I’ve so widely publicized and rooted in an activity I so deeply despise, I’ve begun to accept my position as captive and am starting to empathize with my captor.

Never, ever, in my life did I think this would be true.  Of course, I’ve only almost finished week three of a nine-week program.  Next week I could be cursing and devising new and exciting ways to break my foot so I can cop out.  But what if I just keep…liking it? What if I turn into some kind of crazy running beast that can’t be stopped?

Well, the asthma will get me eventually.  But after near-death and a puff of that inhaler: BEAST.

I’m on to something here.  I’m going to unlock and entire world of psychoanalysis discovery.  I can hear the news anchors now: “Postadayer turned marathon runner? How this awkward hermit girl became the Forrest Gump of our time.”  I’ll write memoirs and I’ll get shoe endorsements and I’ll take the world by storm.

But first: week four. 

Cracking the Fit Club Code

9 Dec

 

I tried to make this image smaller but it was being rude. So I relented out of frustration. All hail the enormous stick figure runner. DIE IN A FIRE, PICTURE.

I’m having a hard time gathering enough stomach fat to hold it in my hands in front of me now.

That’s radical.

There were really only two times in my life that I’ve been able to say that.  The first is when I was a vegetarian (8 months, Thanksgiving turkey got me), and the second is when I had mono.  So unless I’m starving myself or my body is starving itself, I’ve been fat.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still totally fat.  But yesterday I put on a pair of pants I haven’t worn in forever because I feel distinctly like I have two sausage link for legs when I’m in them.  And when I sat in my office chair, the waist of the pants didn’t even cut into my stomach and make me feel like I was being stabbed to death by a rubber knife.

I’ve only been running for two weeks, so I’m not really sure how I can lose so much in so little time but that’s pretty darn exciting.  I did three weeks of P90X and didn’t notice any change at all.  This seems strange to me – as if I’ve entered some sort of dimensional fold that is quickly rewarding me for doing something I absolutely hate.  How is it that working out for 1.5 hours 6 days a week got me nowhere fast and interval running for 30 minutes 3 days a week is beginning to make my body stop jiggling furiously while I brush my teeth?

That’s a serious fat girl problem, people.  No joke.

Now, I don’t want to go all life lesson preacher on you because it’s only been two weeks and I seriously can’t even imagine graduating to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th weeks of this program, let alone ever actually running a 5K.  That sounds like crazy talk to me.  But right now, at this point in time, I’m succeeding.  And I think I’m having an epiphany.  My entire life, I assumed that there were people who liked to work out and people who didn’t like to work out and I was one of the latter which is why it never stuck.  And while I’m sure there may be people in this world who like to work out, I think it’s only a very small percentage of humans.  I don’t think they’re doing it because they like it.  I think they’re doing it because they like it more than the alternative.  It feels better to wreck yourself for an hour or less than spend an entire day feeling like a fat turd.

I think I cracked the code.   Listen: I don’t like running.  I’ve been very honest about the fact that I’m doing this as an experiment on how far I can take this whole “no excuses” psychology by doing something I absolutely hate.  But what I do like is finally shaking that feeling that “I should really try to get healthy”.  I’m not walking around with this huge sack of shoulds on my shoulders and it’s awesome.  If I hate myself and what I’m doing for 30 minutes straight, I can spend the other 23.5 hours in the day not thinking about how out of shape I am, how bad my skin looks, or how I should make more of an effort.

Is this obvious? I don’t feel like it’s obvious.  I feel like things are presented to us in terms of people who enjoy working out and people who enjoy sitting on their pillowy bottoms, eating comfort food, and watching television.  You figure out which one you are, and you stay there.  Or you spend all your time trying to jump from one bowl to the other.  

Listen: it’s a myth.  No one likes exercising.  They just like it more than not exercising.  

Now: let’s hope that stays crystal clear when I’m halfway through Couch to 5K and I want to kill myself. 

My Plan for World Domination

5 Dec

My butt hurts.

And my thighs.  And my arms.  And my lack of abs.

Yeah, I didn’t think that a lack of something could hurt either, but that was until I started running.

For those of you not pumping my blog posts right into your veins every day, I should probably note here my most recent undertaking: Couch to 5K.  That’s a term for transforming one’s self from a sad, flabby couch potato into a lean, mean running machine.  This is an experiment for me in whether the psychology lesson I learned from blogging every day is applicable to other areas of life.  Areas I really hate that make me want to die.  Like exercising.  

Specifically, running.

The concept is simply no excuses.  I decided to do something, so I’m doing it.  One day at a time, without looking at the end product.  

I'm sorry but it was really hard to tell the search engine the difference between domination, and well, "domination". So you get the latter. Maybe it will inspire you to do Couch to 5K too. Or vomit. Sorry if it's just vomit.

This is the ultimate test of the postaday psychology because every time I think about running a 5K, I vomit in my mouth a little bit from fear.  So it’s important to focus on one day at a time.

I’m doing all right so far.  I mean, I’m only one week two.  But I’m still doing it-  I still run when the voice on my iPod tells me to run, and I (gladly and with much thanks to God in Heaven) walk when it tells me to walk.  But oh my good grief my fat does not take kindly to the flogging.  I went up a flight of stairs today and my thighs questioned me.  I had to talk them into it.  The sad part is that I’m not really even running yet. I’m just, like, jogging for a bit and then walking for a bit.  Interval stuff.  It’s just that I haven’t done anything active whatsoever with my body in so long that telling me to run for a minute and a half straight, giving me two minutes to question if I want to end my life or keep going, and then telling me to run for another minute and a half again is. so. hard. 

I’d like to mention here that I have asthma, so as to help the judging ease itself ever so slightly.  That’s right: I’m pulling the asthma card *pushes up glasses*.  Actually, I make Dave go with me so he can coach the breathing part.  Left to my own devices, I will haunch over and hyperventilate myself into an all out wheeze-fest.  It’s more like an exercise in breathing than an exercise in running.  

I’m hanging in there.  Ever so slightly.  I have to admit that the knowledge that in two weeks I will be expected to run for five minutes straight has me approaching paralysis.  I haven’t run for five minutes straight since I was in 9th grade soccer.  Even then it wasn’t pretty.

You know what I really can’t get over? That I do this crap at 6 in the morning.  SIX IN THE MORNING.  Because if I don’t get up and do it then, I’ll dread it all day.  It’s like knowing I have to get punched in the face eventually.  I can either spend my day working myself up to it and freaking out, or I can just take a slug right at the top of the morning. So far it’s been effective.

What if I unlock a whole key to psychology here? What if I begin to take on one unfathomable concept at a time until I have become a guru at life-changing and mind-altering? That’s my claim to fame, folks.  And you saw it all start here, on the Jackie Blog.

Now go share my Facebook page and Twitter with all your friends so you can be a cool hipster and say you read me when I was fat and unmotivated.

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