Thursday, August 16, 2012

Now what????

                I’m losing weight.  A lot of weight if I’m honest, and I’ll tell you what, it freaks me out!  It really does.  It means that my clothes fit and I may even need to drop a size in pant size.  Extra Large shirts now are suddenly fitting pretty darn good.  I look in the mirror and I’m not automatically disgusted with myself for letting go as I age.  All of these things are awesome and I’m proud of what I’ve done to this point. 

                So then, what scares me?

                Losing it all.  No seriously, almost a decade ago I was in the same situation.  I had started working out nearly every day with weights.  I was going to a gym and using my own stuff.  That same equipment is now rusting its way to a dump on the side of our house.  Those weights sit untouched, except to move them from house to house and room to room 360 days of the year.  I dropped down to 190 pounds at one point a decade ago.  It lasted five days.  Slowly, and over about a year or more, I gained weight.  I justified it but for some reason, unknown to me, I just stopped working out.  Oh I rode some here and there but we’re talking, at the most, 500 miles a year…at the most.  I was training in Aikido at the time and that was the one thing that probably kept me from ballooning up in a matter of days.  I went from eating super clean to eating pure crap inside of two weeks.  Did I sabotage myself?  Was I so negative about life in general that I created a self-fulfilling prophecy?  Was I only looking at the whole thing as an experiment, a diet, and not as a life change.  I don’t think so but honestly I’m not sure.

                This leads me to the here and now.  I’ve lost nearly 25 pounds since the beginning of April.  I’ve done it by eating better, portion control, dropping out soda, and exercising three to four days a week for 45 to 90 minutes at a time.  (mostly running & riding) I’m hovering around 210 pounds most days right now.  This was a short term goal but the real goal was to see myself under 200 pounds.  With the end of the year creeping up on us and the achieving of a goal around the corner I keep wondering if all of this is for naught.  Will I simply achieve my goal and then let go?  I hope not but I’m still not sure why I did it a decade ago.

                I have an acquaintance I met through the mountain bike world and follow on Facebook.  She recently suffered an injury that has her riding a couch the past few weeks and probably for several more weeks into the future.  She’s lost all of her conditioning….all of it.  I feel really bad for her because she was at an elite level of racing.  I know she’ll get it back but at what cost to her body and her mental well-being?  I want to…nay…I need to stay away from losing it like that because I fear that if I were to let all of my meager conditioning go I’ll end up as a 350 pound man careening his way through his forties on a high speed date with my grave.  I do not want that.  Not at all, so how to keep it from happening?  My acquaintance can work her way back and use small feats as stepping stones that will ultimately lead to her first race and she’ll be able to build from there.  I won’t.  Why?  Because my work schedule doesn’t allow me to race…racing, for the most part, occurs on weekends.  I work weekends and most evenings during the week. 

                So if weight loss is your goal and you achieve your goal, what’s next?  This is the thing that scares me.  That nebulous no man’s land after you’ve achieved your goal.  It’s not something that will be happening tomorrow but it is something that is on the horizon, something that I’ll have to deal with at some point and in all honesty I’m not sure how to.  Trying new things, new sports, new activities will keep life fresh but will it be enough to keep the weight off, to keep my conditioning at a level that I’m comfortable with?  Seems like a no brainer really but I know from past experience that it’s not, I know just how quickly it can all come back; old habits, poor attitude, and that couch potato mentality.  It’s just not something I want to return to….and perhaps that desire to not return to it is enough this time around but I doubt it.  I am inherently lazy and will pick the easy path every time unless I’m truly putting some serious pressure on myself like I am right now.  I’ll sit in my chair and devour ice cream, oreos, and fast food all day while watching movies and sports if my little devil is in control.  So now it’s off to search for something…anything, really, that’ll keep that little bugger at bay and keep me on the ‘right’ track.  We’ll see how it goes and like always I’ll keep you, the reader, well informed of my journey. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


                Tomorrow morning the kids start school.  I am somewhat at a loss regarding all of it.  Where did the summer go?  It started off so strong and has sort of fizzled out at the end.  They are ready, they’re bouncing off the walls and the twins at least are amped to be starting middle school.  Jackson is clueless to the woes that are about to assault him.  We’ve got the clothes shopping done, the shoes have been purchased and all the myriad of school supplies packed up.  All that’s left is to survive the nerves and inability to fall asleep tonight. 

                For me it’s a sad time.  It’s the ending of an era.  On Friday I took the twins to an orientation at their school and as I was dropping them off at the curb I noticed a strange mix of kids.  There were those, very much like the girls, who looked like they were just as ready for a fun time on the playground at recess and then there were those who looked like they were doing their best to bypass the whole middle school ‘experience’ and jump right into high school.  These kids were dressed in the latest fashion, with purses, fancy backpacks and cell phones to their ears.  It was then as I was driving away from the school that I realized by the middle of the school year my little girls will have been irreversibly altered.  It’s good for them, it’s even healthy…for the most part…but I’m not sure I’m quite ready for this.  They’ll survive.  We’ll survive, everyone does but I’m finding it very difficult to let my little girls go.  When I get them back next summer will they still be the same little girls?  Probably not and all I can do is pray that they haven’t changed so drastically that we won’t be able to hang out. 

                Lil J starts kindergarten tomorrow as well and I’m no less sad about this.  My little boy so full of wonder and with an imagination that rivals my own is about to be introduced to the System.  I think this will be less of culture shock for all involved in comparison to the Twins but I have to admit that I’m sort of suffering from a little empty nest syndrome.  The house is going to be empty.  There isn’t going to be anyone to play with or hang out with and I’m having a slightly difficult time with this.  Sure I’ll have time to work out and write a little more but darn it, who is going to help me grocery shop?  I’m not even going to have any reason to cruise through the toy section at Target.   

                I’m not really whining and I know there are positives as we travel forward as a family.  I just can’t help looking back on it all and feeling like we’re losing a little piece of ourselves.  Maybe it’s the innocence that’s being lost I’m not really sure but while I’m excited for all three of the kids I can’t help but feel a little sadness for us the parents as our children continue to grow.  So as this new weeks dawns upon us I’ll shed a little tear, raise my glass to a job well done by the whole family to get to this point and then step forward and embrace this new era with something between a smile and a grimace on my face.  Here’s to the future!