Category Archives: Werk it out

Mea Culpa Runneth Over

Deep audible sigh.

A week. A fuuuuuuggggin week. 7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes.

That’s how long it’s been since I’ve been to the gym.

That’s how long it’s been since I’ve attempted to write anything substantial.

That’s how long it’s been since I felt in the groove of my own life (whatever the fuck that means.)

Don’t get me wrong. I have completely legitimate reasons for why I not only lost my path; I went careening into a ditch. For one, I have been fighting a major infection. My husband, my gym partner in crime, was also fairly ill last week. Tuesday was a busy day, complete with a final trip to criminal court for a civil disobedience arrest that occurred during the NY marriage equality push, an incredibly intense interview for a new field placement, and a rally in front of Governor Cuomo’s office for homeless youth funding that lead up to, yep, another civil disobedience arrest.

I have had some serious anxiety and mild depression over wanting to move, and the lack of affordable apartments in my area. This culminated in pretty much a major, albeit brief, nervous breakdown on Thursday, where I blamed

every.

single.

mistake.

I have made over the last 10+ years for the shit show that my life is now. J’s illness + my melodrama = big ol’ fight in the Casa de Us. We’re both Italian and stubborn as fuck, so needless to say, that pretty much ate a good portion of the weekend.

Saturday, I had to go put on a happy face at an event for my daughter’s school.

I am the President-elect of the PTSO (pause for raucous laughter) and had to serve as a judge’s assistant for a chili cook off (pause for even more laughter.)

Fortunately, sneaking in a 6 pack of Hoegaarden makes EVERYTHING better.

Oh, and I watched about 9 hours of Shameless. (Which EVERYONE should watch, and commit certain scenes to memory.)

So, in 7 days my routine jumped the tracks, slammed into the side of a mountain, and caught fire. By now I should be into my 3rd week of this new routine. I should have posted a recap about Week One’s progress (not to mention, Week Two.) Instead, I am sitting here pissed off at the lost time, angry at the fact that I have to basically start from scratch, and scared that I will get derailed again because classes start up next week, and my schedule will get pretty serious.

These are all feelings that I didn’t want to feel. When I set out to accomplish 12 life switches in 12 months, the last thing I wanted was for it to make my life more difficult. These changes are supposed to ENHANCE my life, not cause more problems. I stewed in these feelings for a while.

Then I watched another episode of Shameless.

As I sat watching William H. Macy drink himself into a stupor for the eleventy-billionth time, I had an epiphany that had absolutely NOTHING to do with watching William H. Macy drink himself into a stupor for the eleventy-billionth time.

And you thought I was going to make a connection to the show…

Seriously though, I realized that, to quote Shakespeare, “Shit doth happen.”

Illnesses will happen.

Arguments will happen.

Sudden mental breakdowns and feelings of utter inadequacy will happen (although Christ, I hope not that often).

Chili cook offs will happen (see above).

Life.Will.Happen.

We can make the choice of going all shrunken violet emo crazy chick who throws her hands up in the air (and waves ’em like she just don’t…wait, what) and gives up, or we can acknowledge that much of this crazy little thing called life is out of our control.

The best we can do is move forward.

I am sitting here with the sinus infection of the ages. I did not make it to the gym today.

I already know that I won’t make it to the gym tomorrow morning either. I have to be up at O’Dark:30to get on a train and head to Trenton where I will be rallying for Marriage Equality and NOT getting arrested (I promise.)

There is still a part of me that feels like I am failing this whole project. I could honor that dark voice and let it take over my thinking. Or I could tell it to sit the fuck down, and shut the fuck up. I’ll go to the gym when I get home in the evening.

And if I don’t, that’s OK too. Wednesday morning is another day.

We’re all doing the best that we can on this rotating sphere of water, rock, and gas. We face obstacles. We make mistakes. The last thing we should be is our harshest critic. We can do our best, but understand that sometimes our best just won’t be good enough, and we will always have the option of trying again tomorrow.

Having a pity party for what should have been is about as useful as tits on a nun. So the next time you feel like going all William H. Macy and drinking yourself into a stupor of shame, get the fuck over it.

The sun will come out tomorrow, Annie, and with that flaming ball of gas, a chance for you to try, try again.

What are you going to do with your new day?

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The Oracle of Denim

As the calendar creeps slowly toward the middle of the first month of the year, it’s time to get serious about these resolutions. The end of the world is nigh, bitches, no time to dawdle.

Before we begin, I actually want to say a little something about the word “resolutions.” I generally hate the term. I don’t know (nor do I want to take the time to research) when it became necessary to cast a dark shadow over your New Year’s Eve drunk with the idea that come the following morning YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the symbolism. “New Year…New You.” The concept was just made for marketing gym memberships and Jenny Craig dinners. What most of us fail to recognize is that every day we are fortunate enough to open our eyes, we are offered the opportunity for change. It’s just a question of turning on our desire to do so.

Therefore, going forward I won’t be referring to my 12 changes as “resolutions,” or “commitments,” “promises,” “pledges” or friggin “intentions.”

I will be referring to the changes I am making as “switches.” To me, making a change can be as easy as illuminating a room…you just have to flip a switch to turn on the light.

One simple action is all that it takes (how is that for some new agey, self-help bullshit!?!)

My first “life switch” is to get back into the gym schedule I was rocking when my body didn’t feel like a pair of opaque tights filled with warm pudding.

At my height I was doing at least 5 hours of serious cardio a week, plus 2 to 3 strength-training sessions at 45 minutes, and rounding out the insanity with roughly 3 yoga or pilates sessions a week.

A week.

Then I quit my job and no longer had the luxury of spending eleventy billion dollars to feel inadequate and unattractive in a room full of metal, machinery, finance douchebags, and the communication majors who love them. For quite sometime I was able to stay somewhat in shape by working out in my apartment and running through town.

The spiral of shame began when I started graduate school. My days were no longer my own. Eating healthy, if at all, became a problem for me. My home workouts ended when my family and I moved into an apartment the size of an elephant’s taint, and I was usually too exhausted or busy to run on the weekends.

I gained and lost the same 5 pounds for a good year. Then all of a sudden the losing stopped following the gaining.

This became apparent when I dug out a pair of Michael Kors jeans that I’ve had for a few years now. I bought them when I first started getting serious about fitness.

I lurved them.

The denim was quality. They were the perfect dark wash. They sat just right on my waist, and the boot cut made my legs look great.

They also had the initials, MY initials, MK etched on the ass…how cool is that!?!

I used these jeans as a barometer for my success. If they were loose, it was time to celebrate. Fit? It may be time to throw in an extra cardio session. For the longest time I relegated these jeans to the bottom of my denim pile because they were way too loose to be worn.

When I pulled them out recently…they were snug.

MICHAEL KORS WHY HATH THOU FORSAKEN ME!?!

Oh, who am I kidding. CHIPOTLE, WHY HATH THOU FORSAKEN ME!?!

It was clear that my wavering between hyper-busy grad student, and depressed puddle of ooze living for her next trip to Pinkberry had its toll.

The fact that I’m not in my 20’s anymore doesn’t help either.

Oh to have the wisdom I lacked when those jeans were collecting dust. I was so hypercritical of myself then. All of the work I put into being healthy and here I am starting from a big ol’ flubbery scratch.

In the past I’ve been fortunate enough to have my body respond to exercise without much change to my  diet. I mean I was in the best shape of my life at a time that Tuesday wasn’t Tuesday if it didn’t include 4 glasses of Pinot Noir and a shared plate of nachos (DON’T JUDGE ME.)

Now that my life is much less motivated by Happy Hour (yes, in reverence it deserves to be capitalized), I am hoping that getting back into a regular workout routine will be the impetus for the overall change I wish to see in my body.

This doesn’t mean that I am going to continue to let my diet go to shit and hope that I can just sweat it off on the Stairmaster, but everyone needs to start somewhere, and I figure that physical activity is a damn good place to start.

Saturday will be the end of my first full week of new gymness, so expect a rundown of just what my plan of action is, how I am doing, and what my next steps will be.

(HINT: If you don’t see an entry by Sunday, I probably keeled over and died.)

In the mean time, if you’re looking to get back into, or start, your own fitness regimen, go for it! Remember, one simple action is all that it takes. So, turn off the interwebs and take a walk in this gloriously mild weather that is in no way thanks to climate change at all. It may just be habit forming.