Fuck you, Meredith Gray

I know that I promised a recap of the start of my first life switch, but I lied. Hey, at least I’m still alive!

Instead of not posting anything, or offering some sort of space filler like a picture of kittens spooning, I have decided to give you a glimpse into my insanity. Week two starts tomorrow, so I expect the promised update by tomorrow night.

In the mean time, enjoy my crazy.

A big part of why I am so gung-ho about fully adopting a “fitter, happier, more productive” me is in the vain attempt that maybe, just maybe I’ll stop being a lunatic.

Exhibit A: http://www.collaborativenation.com/melissa-kleckner/51-from-augury-to-agita-divine-hypochondriasis-and-how-i-learned-to-embrace-my-crazy.html

The above link is a blog entry I wrote at a time when I was healthier about a time that I was MUCH healthier, and yet the impetus for me to write the piece came from these mini attacks I was having where I was sure I was dying. These mini attacks reminded me of some borderline psychosis I had experienced, oh, for the better part of my life.

Again, that was a “healthier” Melissa. So you can only imagine the thoughts that go through my mind now that I am in a perpetual state of feeling like a bag of old garbage that’s been left out in the rain.

I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I go through these spurts where I am far too preoccupied with death. I hyper-analyze every micro-ailment in my body and FREAK when Dr. Google immediately points to one form or another of the Big C (Laura Linney sold separately.)

Thus far, I have not made any long-term changes that could perhaps prevent (or at the very least, hold off) a dire diagnosis, because that would make sense.

No, instead I play through the telenovela scenarios of being branded with disease. The fall out of my diagnosis, and the all too “Lifetime: Television for Women” for my liking dénouement postmortem, complete with second wives and step moms.

If it’s not my own demise I am surfing for, the very heartbreaking prospects of losing one of my dear loved ones dances onto my minds proscenium arch. Though I just recently came to the conclusion that I’ve ultimately become anesthetized to death, and would probably be able to handle the demise of most people in my life with grace and humility, there are still a handful of people whose deaths would no doubt send me to some sort of tragic kingdom (long slow groan.)

Such a schizophrenic relationship with the end of life does not lend itself well to watching dramas or “very special episodes of…” For example, when a bipolar of bereaving bitch such as myself watches a show like Gray’s Anatomy, it’s not just mindless entertainment wrapped up in Emmy Award-winning schlock.

It’s a catalyst to crazy town.

When a lead character loses her husband, J is immediately in a pine box. Watch a child witness the death of her young parent, that’s my Avie observing my declining sinus rhythm.

All scenarios of heartache and loss become near inevitabilities in my life. It’s madness.

Don’t get me wrong; I know that life can change in the blink of an eye. An accident, an unexpected illness, the sudden arousal of a sleeping giant; at any moment in our lives, our lives can be over in a moment. It’s just the reality that comes with this whole being “mortal” territory, and it sucks.

Not that immortality is necessarily the answer. Save the undead fantasies for the Edward and Bella crowd (those poor, pathetic souls.) It’s just personally I’d like to get through an episode of Modern Family without the internal production of hearing that I have 6 months to live or that I lost my husband and child in a fiery auto wreck (you must have missed that episode.)

Recognizing what is entertainment and what is a normal pain or body ache could very well be the key to a long, happy, stress-free life, without the need to avoid sun exposure or drink blood.

I think it’s time that I start worrying about the fact that I watch Gray’s Anatomy to begin with and ease up on the idea that it is primetime’s answer to a soothsayer attempting to warn me of some dreadful date in the not-so-distant future.

Death comes to us all, eventually, Mary Agnes, but it won’t come in the form of one of Meredith’s melancholy monologues of misery.

Or will it?

 

 

 

Oh…and here’s a picture of kittens spooning.


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.


Eating the Elephant…or Why We Suck at Resolutions

There is something electric about the beginning of the New Year. The air is ripe with possibility. Our minds are open to change.

Resolutions are declared, and they WILL BE ACHIEVED.

The first few weeks of the year are full speed ahead in pursuit of our goals. Gyms are alive with pudgy men and women in brand new workout gear. Cigarette sales are down. The cobwebs in one’s closet, attic, mind are wiped away.

Yes, January 1st through 15th is some of the most productive time in our lives.

Something happens on the 16th though. The excuses start. You begin to miss a day or five at the gym. You bum a smoke or 3 from a coworker. You head down a shame spiral and as a result go on a shopping spree in a vain attempt to make it all go away.

Sound familiar? No.

Well, fuck me, I guess I’m the only asshole.

If you’re willing to take a moment and own the fact that you’re a loser too, you’ll be comforted to know that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can actually make the changes you dream of when you’re in a Veuve Clicquot haze on 12/31. What’s more, you can make them last.

They say that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. While I am hoping that it was no one’s resolution to eat a 15000lb mammal, the idea still applies.

It takes roughly 30 days for a habit to stick or a change to be made. Consider it the “trial period” to a better life. If one maintains focus and consistency, whatever they’re trying to achieve, be it implement a regular fitness routine or quit smoking, should be accomplished in time to write your next rent check (or mortgage payment, you poor bastard.)

This got me thinking, which I try so hard not to do during the holidays. As of New Year’s Eve, I was still having a hard time nailing down a resolution of my own (insert off-color joke about it being easier if it had been Easter, here.) I had close to 12 different ideas floating around in my head. Each presenting their own stellar case for why they should be my last resolution before the world ends.

Then it hit me like the cheap prosecco I pounded after watching Gaga and Bloomberg drop their balls (disturbing.)

12 resolutions. 12 months. 12 monkeys. Brad Pitt. World War Z. End of the world.

FUCK! I have 12 months to make 12 changes before Jesus comes back to Earth to fight the Mayans.

Or something.

But seriously, if it takes 30 days for an old habit to die or a new one to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of your desire (hot), why not go for the golden calf and bang out one a month?

I don’t have an answer to that question.

No, instead I am going to be the asshole that actually attempts this tomfoolery. Not only that, but I am going to chronicle all of this nonsense; the good, the bad, and the barely legal, right here in this blog. As I said, I have in my mind what I want to do for each month, and should probably disclose that now for the sake of accountability.

I won’t though.

For one, life changes in an instant, and I don’t want to be held accountable to doing something that seems like a good idea now, but will make no sense when I reach its scheduled month. Second, I am not looking for fair weather readers who are only going to be interested in my tales of utter embarrassment and near death experiences three months from now when my resolution is to challenge my comfort zone (I may have said too much.)

I will tell you that the first resolution up is to get back into my regular gym routine that had been drug out into the street and shot at point blank range when I quit my job a year and a half ago. I will also tell you that it is now January 8th, and I have yet to actually implement said initial resolution.

Yeah, if you’re looking for some sort of Tony Robbins fucking “shoulding all over yourself” kind of life coaching, you might as well piss off. It ain’t that kind of rodeo.

If, however, you’re looking for a real person, who curses (a lot), who fucks up (see)…(a lot), who is willing to try anything once, except when she’s not, who sees the error of her ways, except when you’re wrong (and you’re usually wrong), and who’s just trying to get through her life without being so fucking cliché (www.twitter.com/sof_ckingcliche) then stick around and enjoy the ride.

Oh, and feel free to join me if the changes I am making are something you would like to apply to your own life. After all, the world is going to end on December 21st. What do you have to lose?