Sunday, July 3, 2011

That's All I've Got

I'm surprised every time I pass a mirror and see a thin person there. I'm waiting to hop on the scale one day and I've gained it all back. Hit me upside the head if I do, but I'm thinking I won't. My strategy worked. I didn't diet, I just ate a whole lot less. And I ate real food…you know, not manufactured food like diet frozen meals or 100-calorie bites of nothing. It's made it easy to keep the weight off. I haven't had to change a thing.

Okay, so I was a little obsessed with exercising last summer. But I blame that on the bikini dare. Any middle-aged woman who's had babies would do the same thing. I still exercise four or five times a week. I can't say I ever want to do it, but you can endure anything for 20 to 45 minutes. And the results are more than worth it.

If you've had the same struggles with trying to lose weight and keep it off, don't give up. If I can do it, you can too. You can learn to eat until you're full and then quit. It is possible to get to the place where eating "normal" is your norm. Don't take your advice from someone who is overweight on how to lose weight. Instead, watch someone who has never had a weight problem and do what they do. I bet they eat cheesecake whenever they want. I do, and I don't feel guilty about it one bit. Some days I eat a lot more than other days. But that's okay. I'm hungrier some days. Other days, I don't eat as much.

My girls were the ones who encouraged me to start a blog. They said I had funny Facebook posts but writing paragraphs for my status updates was not cool. I thought it would be narcissistic to write a blog about myself. But then again I'm narcissistic, so why not? Really, I just wanted share my story to give others hope.

If you've kept up with my blog, I hope you've had some good laughs at my expense. I don't mind. I've laughed myself silly writing my goofy stories. Funniest thing, they're all true. My family would tell you I've spent way too much time blogging. I'd have to agree. This is my last post. I'm going to have to find a new hobby.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

It's Just Like Having a Baby

Sometimes I think exercise, particularly running, is like going through childbirth without the benefit of pain meds or epidurals. Which by the way is how I delivered all of my babies--without so much as an aspirin. I had been talked into this the first time I was pregnant. It was the 80s and the thing then was natural childbirth. The lady in the birthing class told us that labor wasn't really painful, it was just a little pressure. What a crock. When I was dilated to nine centimeters and moaning with my eyes rolled back, I wanted to find that lady and put some pressure right around her scrawny little neck.

After having Paige

Knowing the truth the next time I went into labor, I decided I would go for as long as I could take it and then ask for "something" to take the edge off. Well, this didn't happen. I always arrived at the hospital in the advance stages of labor and it was too late to give me an epidural or even a stick of gum. I mistakenly thought that with each baby, it should get easier. It doesn't. But it does go quicker. Thus, the stories of delivering babies in the car. 

My mother said that you forget the pain after you have a baby. She lied. I didn't forget the pain. It quickly came back to me each time I had my next baby. But I'd do it all over again without hesitation (and which I actually did--three more times). If we had been independently wealthy, I would have gone onto having ten more. I loved having babies that much. Of course, having teenagers later is a great form of birth control.

Running is a lot like having a baby. I never forget the pain before I start running or working out. It's hard. But isn't anything that's worthwhile in life hard work?  Delivering a baby, getting through college, getting up in the morning to go to work, having a good marriage.  The easy way out is to be a slug. Sit on the couch, munching on chips and salsa and watching Netflix. But then what are you left with? Indigestion and regret.

Besides reliving the childbirth experience, I have a few other strategies to keep me going when I want to stop during my run. I pretend that I'm running from terrorists. And if I quit they'll push me down and pull out all my fingernails. I also do a lot of self talk. I tell myself to make it to the next telephone pole then I'll quit. When I make it that far, I say I can't quit until I count to 100. Sometimes I quit anyway and when I do, I tell myself to knock it off and quit being a baby. Jacci, you can do this. Finish it.  And I do.

I can say I never regret the run (or working out) when I'm done--no matter how hard it was. Even if I don't forget the pain, it's worth looking and feeling better, fitting into a size 6, having energy, and being able to sleep at night.
Childbirth was worth this. Amber's college graduation, 2011.
P.S. In the 90s the thinking changed about going through childbirth without pain relief intervention. My friends say that as soon as they got the epidural they didn't feel a thing except for just a little pressure. Darn that birthing instructor.