Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lacing up and going public

Lately I’ve been really trying to commit myself to making wise decisions overall as it pertains to my health. I think I’m a little ahead of the curve on this, given the fact that our new insurance company awarded me with “elite” status as far as my physical health is concerned. (Pausing for a moment to mentally flex my muscles and make “Grrrrrr!” noises.) In reality, I think they just caught me in a lucky streak of running and we must not have had any ice cream in the house prior to my blood draw.

I’ve discovered that my middle-aged self is no longer a fan of sugar. Let me clarify – it isn’t the eating that I have developed a problem with, it’s the way sugar works on my body. I can't enjoy a nice dessert after dinner without knowing that I will wake up feeling like I had five margaritas rather than a slice of cheesecake. I have no idea why this happens, but it does. I can usually resist most sweets, but there are times when it’s oh-so-hard to say no. Case in point: Last night we had our umpteenth fire of the summer, which means s’mores. I relegated myself to being the marshmallow/chocolate/graham cracker distributor (because, let’s face it… you do not simply give an entire bag of marshmallows to the kids). It was difficult to see those puffy, white mallows being toasted over the dancing flames until they reached the perfect golden brown color, knowing I wouldn’t allow myself one. I knew my resolve was thinning when one burst into flames and I considered telling the owner I’d take it off their hands. For free. But I held my ground and resisted. I sipped my green tea and reminded myself that I’d feel great in the morning by not giving into the gooey, chocolatey, crunchy graham goodness of a s’more. I’d be lying, though, if I said I didn’t savor the chocolate smudges left on my fingers as I assembled the fixins for everyone else. Come on, people, I said I am committed, not downright stupid.

In any event, this more focused attention is not without its (potential) reward. I have verbally committed to running a half-marathon in September (my 10th), and my first-ever marathon in early November. I went back to basics and downloaded a training plan devised by a runner whom I trusted to get me re-started in the hot mess of running back in 2005 after a nearly 20-year hiatus. With the exception of one missed long run, I have stuck to the training schedule for two weeks. I feel better and so much better overall when I make time to run. Granted there are days when it just isn’t going to happen, but most days I can get to the gym at work during lunchtime, then grab a salad from the cafeteria to eat back at my desk.

I decided to bring this area of my life to the blog for no better reason than simple accountability. I can rationalize my way out of working out like nobody’s business. I practically minored in Rationalization Theory in college, learning from the best: Shipley.

Shipley: Hey, what are you doing?

Me: I’ve got Spanish in half an hour.

Shipley: Wanna go to the Fashion Shoppe?

Me: I should really go to class.

Shipley: Come on….. it’ll be fun. And you’re getting an A in Spanish anyway.

Me: (divided pondering)

Shipley: It’s just one class….

Me: Mmm… OK.

OK. So I was probably an easy mark for her persuasion, but had I not been? I would never have had all the bonding experiences we have shared as best friends. And I would have never found myself being driven backward through a Rax restaurant drive-thru, with me looking pitifully up at the confused Rax employee holding our chocolate chip shakes, while Shipley cackled next to me in the driver’s seat. Oh. Yes. She. Did.

My point? Rationalization will get you out of what you’re supposed to be doing, but it will move you no closer to your goal. (In my defense, I still kept that A in Spanish class.) I figure if I post my training on Back to Square One, it’ll make me accountable to do it without cutting any corners. No matter how tempting they might be. (I am getting back to basics… “square one” … you know.)

Thank goodness there isn’t a Fashion Shoppe in Fort Wayne.

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