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Tag Archives: losing weight

15 // Backyards

I went for a walk tonight with my dog, Bella. It was kind of refreshing being outside in the cold, walking briskly with my heavy jacket on. Five minutes in, I had to unzip my coat. But I continued on. I was determined to put in 30 solid minutes of exercise, and if you’ve ever seen my neighborhood, it’s not your typical walk in the park.

Most of the streets dip wildly up and down, so even after you’ve begun you already know you’re in for a decent workout. I usually hate walking in my neighborhood for that sheer reason alone. As me and Bella walked, we passed the usual giant dogs barking at us, cars getting a little too close to the curb and the myriad of other normal-neighborhood things you encounter at 7:25 at night.

I usually end up going all the way to end of my neighborhood (which, in my mind, ends near my old friend Melanie’s house) and then turn back, which is what I did tonight. The most interesting part of my walk didn’t happen until I was halfway back to home. I was passing houses of people I knew and when Bella stopped to pee for the hundredth time, I saw it. This one house of a family I don’t know terribly well. I remember their son vaguely from my days on the schoolbus. I always thought he was weird. I’m pretty sure he’s much older than me.

But the point isn’t their house. It’s their backyard. They have a pool, which, you know. Isn’t anything too exciting. A million people have pools. But their backyard is lit up entirely with Christmas lights. Bright, neon ones decked all over the trees and around their pool. I glimpsed it through the cracks in their huge fence. I just can’t believe I’ve never noticed it before. It was like magic and Christmas and wonderment all wrapped up into one neat package, displayed in their yard.

It made me really happy to see it, and after Bella was ready to go, we carried on as we always do. Maybe when I get my own house, I can convince my future husband to let us decorate our backyard in a ridiculous amount of lights. As long as the neighbors don’t care. But that’s what fences are for!



14 // Buying a Scale

You wouldn’t think that buying a scale would make me happy. Most of my life, I’ve avoided knowing how much I weigh. Growing up, I did gymnastics. It’s one of those sports that is really good at highlighting every single one of your flaws. Even then, in middle school and high school, I never quite looked like the rest of my teammates. They were stick thin rails, flipping around with ease and still able to shop in the girls’ section of Old Navy.

I, on the other hand, was always bigger. Not fat, per se. But I was more a power gymnast than anything. Primarily meaning that my specialties were bars and vault, two events that caused my arms and legs to be fairly muscular. Back then, I always had this sinking feeling that I looked awful in my leotard. I had no idea how any of the other girls ate as much as they did but still stayed so skinny.

It’s easy to get down on yourself in a leotard. Since I left high school, my sports activities diminished. After my short stint in marching band in college, I quickly fell into a routine of being more sedentary than not. I’d walk to class and that was about it. When I graduated, I joined a gym in the ridiculous hope that I’d go every day. That didn’t last long.

I have problems with sticking to things. Following through. I’d make excuses for skipping out on gym time like “it’s snowing and I don’t want to get my hair wet” (I swam laps) or “the last thing I want to do when I come home from work is go work out next to a bunch of jocks I graduated high school with.” I don’t get tons of exercise. At work, I sit. That’s it.

Recently, a few friends of mine have been telling me about their efforts to lose weight. Hat tip to Rachel and Sara, specifically. What they were telling me sounded, well, not easy to do. But they inspired me to want to get myself healthier. I’m using a few ideas from both of them. One is using an app that tracks her caloric intake and also helps track some workouts. The other is pirating some Weight Watchers documents. I’m mixing both of their approaches, and I started really monitoring what I’ve been eating starting today.

It amazes me how easy it is to overeat. I honestly hadn’t REALLY realized how much I was doing it until I was writing down points (a la Weight Watchers) and seeing how many calories were in some of the stuff I was consuming (a la the MyFitnessPal app). Today, I turned down treats from Prantl’s Bakery. I only ate one slice of pizza at dinner, and succumbed to buying unsweetened black tea. I went to K-Mart and bought a scale. The first scale I’ve ever owned. We’ve never had one in the house. I’ve never known what my weight really is. With the exception of when I visit a doctor and they give me the number quickly under their breath, I try not to think about it too much. But I’m thinking about it now. Seriously. The number is much, much higher than I’m comfortable with and I know I need to modify my behavior.

I want to start exercising. Nothing ridiculous, but it wouldn’t kill me to go jog and walk the track every once in a while. I’m tempted to get a Wii so I can do some “exercise-centric” games. Even Just Dance 2 (when done full-out with all the dance moves) is a really good workout. I’m not a gym person. I’ve accepted that about myself. But I don’t want to go through my 20’s looking at every picture I’m in and cringing at how my arms look. So I’m starting a few steps to a healthier me. And I will be taking it one day at a time. I don’t have a super-set goal in mind for how much weight I’d like to lose but I have a range. i just want to feel better about myself.