Gym Nauseam

Last January, I think it was about two weeks into 2017, I took several deep breaths, sucked in my gut and walked into the gym:

Looking back at this picture, I am cringing over all the dog hair on the pants. I'm kinda cringing at the pants themselves (mesh panels aren't typically my thing but clearance racks are so, yeah). Cringing one more time over the dog hair.

I'm also proud. Proud of myself and proud of my son the gym rat who never, ever gave up asking me if I wanted to come with him.

Ten months later and it's a regular thing. Four or five nights a week, sometimes six, I'm there. Usually with my youngest kid, the aforementioned gym enthusiast, quite often with my daughter, and occasionally all alone. We go later in the evening, after dinner. We all like it when it's less crowded. We usually close it down, the last ones to leave (having worked retail for years, I take pains to ensure we are out promptly at closing time...I don't want to be "those customers" who overstay their welcome).

Ten months...in my mind I'd envisioned a whole new me after ten months of regular, moderate-to-strenuous exercise. I thought the weight would simply fall off, revealing the old Jenny, the taut and toned and lean version.

I guess it did, to some extent. I have lost some weight. Of course the boobs went first, and then the paunch began to dwindle. Pretty sure I lost a chin! I still have an ass the size of a Volkswagen but it is definitely less shelf-like.

But there hasn't been a magical transformation. Nobody has said "Wow! You look like you've lost weight!" The clothes I wore last winter have been dragged out again and they all still fit (roomier than before, for sure, but they are definitely not way too big).

A few years ago, this lack of physical evidence would have been discouraging to the point of giving up. Heck, a year ago even. For some reason, though, this time I don't care. I mean, yeah I am a little disappointed that I'm not a size 4, but it hasn't bummed me out to the point of giving up.

You know why? Because despite the still-bountiful butt, despite the fact that I still have beefy arms, I feel good. I feel better than I did ten months ago. I'm sleeping like a baby, my mood is a thousand times better and I think (hope??) it's easier being around me now.

We had our wellness checkup at work a month ago and while I'm still fat, my other numbers were fantastic. Cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure...all in the super healthy range. My resting heart rate is 59 bpm.

I know what I could do to really see a change in the weight. This ain't my first rodeo. I know that I could reduce my daily caloric intake to something drastic and cut out everything delicious. I also know that life is short and if I die tomorrow I'm going to be happy I had a piece of pumpkin pie last week, a martini on Friday night and some popcorn at the movies with my kids on Saturday afternoon.

I'm at the age where the metabolism slows down. I'm also at the age where I give less of a crap about stuff that bugged me a few years ago.

When I look at that picture, I can recall exactly how I was feeling that night: weighed down with insecurity, self-loathing and oh my gosh so much sadness. I don't feel that way anymore.

The weight may not be falling off, but I've already lost a ton.

*I've decided to challenge myself and do the NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, and write a blog post every single day of November. I figure it's the kick in the ass I need to get writing again. I've made this one with about 1 hours left of November 5th, so you can see how well it's going so far. 

Stay tuned. And thank you for being here.


  1. I love this! I'm going to make it a point to walk tonight after work.

    Single mom walking.

    1. Yes!!! Get you some good music in your ears and it’s almost as good as a therapy session!

  2. Jenny, I am so proud of you! As a long time reader (2011? Maybe 2012?) I think that "putting your oxygen mask on first" is not necessarily in your DNA. So happy that you have kids that love and care for you and knew that their mom needed to do something healthy for herself (of course that included them tagging along as a special bonus!) kudos to William and Molly and most importantly you! As a role model to all of us divorcees, your self depreciating humor and warmth continue to keep all of us on the path to a life (that although rocky at times) is filled with hope! ❤️You!

  3. So happy you are writing again! I look forward to reading your blog every night...it's a highlight of my day! And so happy for you that you have kept going for ten months! I need to figure that out and do it. I need to feel better mentally. Thanks for being you and for giving us all hope.

  4. You're an inspiration! You're motivating me to take my squidginess to the gym. And hey, I thought your leggings rocked. Didn't see the dog hair and I like the mesh.

  5. Yes!!! I thought I noticed a twinkle in yer eye the last time I saw you!!

  6. Go you, girlfriend!!!! I thought you looked like you'd shrunk the last few times I saw you. This is AWESOME. Be very, very proud -- I am proud of you <3

  7. I was going to the Y so very faithfully 10 months ago, and this summer I totally fell off the exercise wagon. Looking in the mirror proves it. Thank you for the kick in the pants to get back there ASAP.

  8. This is awesome! And, yeah, I don't look for any amazing physical changes anymore. Pretty much all my efforts go towards not losing any ground, fitness-wise.


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