Progress As Promised – A Few Ditches and Fresh Pavement

A true sign of summer around Kansas City (okay, not just Kansas City) is the abundance of orange cones and signs jazzing drivers up for new and improved infrastructure. Of course, the new and improved roads come at the cost of the process of tearing up current pavement, uprooting growth, and generally clawing the Earth to shit for 1 – 12 months. (sometimes shorter, sometimes longer! ohh la la) You start with something that’s okay, it functions, but maybe just barely. Ideally, you end up with something lovely, where traffic flows freely and quickly.

It’s here that you must understand how much I love analogies. I have been clawing at my life, trying to free myself of bad habits, clawing to rise up, clawing to have a body and life that flows freely and quickly. Not just a body, but a life.

And believe it or not, I am making progress. I started this blog a year ago. In that year, I’ve been up and down. It really took my 30th birthday this year to keep solid momentum toward my goals. My highest reading on the scale this year was 246. Today, I’m 229. I’ve decreased my BMI by 7% and I’m 13% to my overall weight loss goal.

I look like this (I’m in the middle):

LBC Reunion in St. Louis
With two of my very best friends from college, Gentri (left) and Carrie (right), at Anheuser Busch in St. Louis prior to our tour and FREE BEER!

One Foot

Today, I ran. It might sound like a small thing, but to me it’s huge. I ran. I ran and I didn’t feel like I wanted to die. I didn’t feel like I was flapping around awkwardly. I felt my feet coming off the treadmill, my heart pumping, and my breath coming out in metered beats. I ran.

I really have to thank 2 people: Jillian Michaels and myself. I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred at home which focuses on 3 minutes of strength exercise (using compound movements to upper and lower body), 2 minutes of cardio (I do loathe the jumping jacks), and 1 minute of abs. The workout is short but intense and focuses on the entire body. It makes me work everything – not just the stuff that’s easy for me. I sweat through push ups and try to zone out during the dreaded jumping jacks. But what I get most is complete training. I get to improve the weak stuff. At the gym I gravitate to the exercises that are most comfortable for me – either because I’m familiar with them, or because they are the easiest for me. That is just cheating myself out of true breakthroughs. The week before last all of the treadmills were in use and my only option was the elliptical. I hate the elliptical. But, it’s what was open so I said “fuck it – let’s do this.” And the next time I went to the gym, I chose the elliptical. The challenge was on.

I can’t negate my own force in this. I am making choices. I choose to eat properly. I choose to push myself to workout.

Five years ago, I used to run. I ran on treadmills, tracks, and at parks. I wasn’t great, but I did it anyway. It made me feel accomplished, strong, and confident. I remember the first time I kicked the treadmill up over 4.0 back then and ran. I wasn’t expecting my abs to be sore, but they were.

I made choices that kept me from running and keeping fit. When I started my current job I let it consume me. I changed. My boss thinks that my position has outgrown me, but really, I’ve just changed my focus. I was giving almost all of myself – everything I had – to my job, my clients, my coworkers.  And they let me. Work was almost my entire world. It was not healthy. That struggle between the expectations and demands of my career and those of my LIFE have caused conflict, depression, guilt, and anger over the last 9 months.

This head, heart, and body are going to be with me no matter where I am – so I better take care of them.