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Today is the beginning of week 6 of the weight loss competition I entered at the Y.
It’s also the beginning of week 8 of my marathon training program. 9 weeks from today I will be running the Boston Marathon.
People often ask me how I have time to exercise.
It’s definitely not easy.
I have to plan.
Fail to plan, plan to fail.
But even when you have a plan, other things can get in your way.
Like the weather.
Today, according to my training plan, I was supposed to do a two and a half hour run.
But it was three degrees out, and while I consider myself to be pretty tough, I’m not that tough. So I had to switch things around. I moved things to the treadmill.
I hate the treadmill.
The longest I’ve ever lasted on a treadmill is an hour and fifteen minutes. There’s no way I’d make it for two and a half hours.
But there is also no way even if I could make it that long that I could do a two+ hour run on the treadmill with all the kids home from school.
I had to switch things around and I had to get a little bit creative.
As my college swim coach used to say, improvise, adapt, and overcome.
I’ll do the long run on Wednesday when the weather is supposed to be a little better.
So today I did the hour run I’m supposed to do on Wednesday.
And this is what it looked like for most of the time:
Me running on the treadmill and the kids jumping on a mattress right next to me for a good part of the time.
The rest of the time they were bothering me with questions and fighting with each other and doing shit to piss each other off.
It was less than ideal.
But if you are going to commit to anything, conditions will never be 100% ideal.
Conditions last year at the Boston Marathon were less than ideal. It was cold and rainy and miserable.
Conditions in my life are always less than ideal.
Nothing is ever always ideal.
I could come up with plenty of excuses not to exercise.
Most people would tell me they are justifiable excuses.
But what I try to focus on is how I’ll feel at the end of the day.
Tonight when I go to bed, I’ll feel really good about myself. I managed to run with all the kids home bugging the crap out of me and each other.
If I had blown it off, no matter how many reasons I had to rationalize my decision, I would have been disappointed in myself.
So that’s how I manage to get exercise in when I really don’t want to.
I think of how I want to feel at the end of the day.
When you are trying to lose weight, though, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise if you have no discipline in the food department.
So last week I made the decision to commit to that. To sitting down to eat my lunch and dinner rather than eating dinner on the couch at 10 or 11 after all the kids were in bed.
And I stuck to it!
Every day last week I ate lunch and dinner at the dining room table.
There were days I wasn’t going to do it. That habit of lounging on the couch and eating while I watch Friday Night Lights is very enticing.
But that’s how lots of habits are. Easy and undisciplined and unhealthy.
Plus, I had set a goal for myself and I really wanted to achieve it. And now I feel good about myself, and that habit of sitting at the table to eat and being much more mindful of what I’m putting into my body is starting to stick.
Now this week I’m cutting out sugar.
Not forever. But for at least the next two weeks.
No white or brown sugar, no chocolate, no honey, no cookies, no muffins.
And I’m pretty much cutting out bread.
Right now, if I eat one piece of bread (or one torta roll from Costco — damn you Costco torta rolls!) I’m a goner.
So I need to reset that clock.
I’m going to start right now by planning out and prepping my meals for the week.
Which means I better get my butt away from the computer and into the kitchen.
Before I go, I want you to know this discipline thing is not fun. It’s not something that comes particularly easy for me.
Not until it’s a habit.
It has taken me a good three years to get to the point where working out is a habit that comes easily and that I look forward to.
The food part is the struggle now.
But I have made some pretty big steps in the last couple years.
Three years ago I drank two liters of Diet Coke a day. And now it’s been over two years since I’ve had any soda or artificial sweeteners at all.
I haven’t had sugar in my coffee in over a year. That one was HUGE. Because if you had told me that I would be drinking coffee with no sugar three years ago, I’d have burst out laughing and spewed my sugared-up coffee in your face.
A couple weeks ago I got a coffee from Dunkin Donuts and they mistakenly put sugar in it.
I took one sip and almost spit it out.
It was undrinkable.
I was pissed that they fucked up my coffee, but I was so impressed at the change in my palate!
That’s a pretty big change.
There are still plenty of healthy habits I’d like to solidify, but bit by bit, replacing one bad habit with one good one at a time, I’m getting there!