Wellness, Post Six

So this was my worst week so far. I made it to the gym a pitiful 3 times last week.

Oh, I had the excuses...called in to sub for Special Ed. a couple full days, spent a very late night with some awesome friends, drinking wine and laughing...which made getting out of bed the next morning grueling, never mind the Jedi mind tricks I would've had to play on myself to get to the gym (not to mention the fact that I would have reeked like a wino on the treadmill).

And a weekend hockey tournament. William and I went to a quaint little town a bit over an hour away from here. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, and much to my surprise I actually checked ahead to make sure they had a fitness room. Indeed they did, and like a good girl I packed up my gym bag along with the smelly hockey gear and our overnight bags.

Did I make it to the fitness room? No. The bed was comfortable, sleeping in felt divine. Even though there were two queen sized beds in our room and for whatever reason I slept with a 10 year elbow planted squarely on my face for most of the night, it felt like a dream. They had those cool room darkening shades, folks. I just wanted to revel in the dark, soft quiet.

I also made some poor food choices.

Inhaled my first order of fries since December. Along with 1/2 a cheeseburger. And a tall beer.

I would like to say that these past six weeks of making healthy choices has turned my tastebuds into finicky connoisseurs who no longer enjoy red meat, cheese and deep fried taters, but if I said that I'd be a big fat liar.

The fries were good. So good that I secretly wanted to take that basket of fries, find a quiet corner of the WOW Zone (the "family entertainment center" our team was using to kill time between games) and really just go for it.

The beer was really good, too. I guess the silver lining of the burger/fries debacle was the fact that after my mad-crazy lovemaking session with the fries, I could only eat half of my burger. And just 6 weeks ago, I would have had zero problems getting that whole thing down the hatch. I would have probably ordered dessert back then, too. Or at least another beer. So that's a positive, I guess.

Monday was Valentine's Day, and instead of loving myself and going to the gym I stayed home for the morning and did eBay stuff. And then, as a way of showing my kids how much I love them (ha), I ordered heart shaped pizzas for dinner. I ate 3 pieces of the pepperoni heart. Plus 2 pieces of Davanni's sick and wrong garlic cheese bread.

By bedtime last night I was feeling awful. Not a belly ache or anything like that. I felt guilty, I felt sad, I felt defeated. I recalled countless other times I had dropped the "healthy" ball and fallen back into old, self-destructive habits.

Then something came over me. I don't know if it was New and Improved Jenny trying to avoid drowning in the grease I'd eaten, or the spirit of my Wellness Coach (would she kill me if I called her Ms. Miyagi? Fat on, fat off...) or the sight of my favorite skinny jeans looking at me with disgust (I have them hanging on the front of one of my closet doors, just to remind me exactly how good I can look)..but I snapped out of it.

I got my workout stuff ready (thankfully it was still folded nice and neat from the hockey weekend), set my alarm and told myself that tomorrow would be Payback day.

And it was Payback day. I went to BodyPump and added weights on every set we did. I focused extra hard on doing every single move right. I didn't let myself quit during the evil and cruel lunges set like I always do. After the gym I came home and took Walter for a very fast paced 4 1/2 mile walk.

The weather was beautiful here today. Beautiful for February in Minnesota. 40-ish degrees, sunny, no wind. The snow is melting, the trails were mostly clear. Walter and I enjoyed the silence and with every step I took I felt my guilt melt away. I thought about how hard we are on ourselves, and how that awful self-sabotaging crap has discouraged me and so many others trying to live healthier lives.

I think I finally saw, very clearly, the tricks that people like me play on themselves. People like me who use food as a medication, as a comfort, as a filler for whatever holes we have in our souls.

Not working out for a few days isn't going to undermine 5 1/2 weeks of hard, sweaty effort.

A few french fries and some pizza isn't going to negate 5 1/2 weeks of healthier food choices.

But you know what will undermine and negate all of this hard work? Not being able to forgive yourself for being human.

This world will always contain pizza and burgers and tall beers and comfortable beds and room darkening shades. There will always be days that we can't make it to the gym or even outside for a quick walk. That's called real life.

However, there will always be tomorrow. There will always be the next day, when you wake up with a clean slate and enough time to work out or walk around the block. The key is to not get tripped up by the guilt and shame and everything else that some of us have attached to food and eating.

Did I start this out by saying it was the worst week so far? I guess I was wrong. This may have been the week I learned the most.

Stay well, friends.


  1. Great work Jenny. You are absolutely right. In hindsight, you will look back on this week as a huge week of progress--probably more so than the weeks when you got to the gym more and ate healthier. If it was always easy (or relatively easy), you wouldn't learn how to manage cravings, guilt, etc and get yourself back on track. Everyone hits roadblocks and you managed to navigate this one and get right back on the path to wellness. Well done!

  2. Yes. You SHOULD call her Ms Miyagi....just to make me laugh again :)

  3. Wow! Cool! This is some good advice from both you and Faith.


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