Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Laugh and the Wold Laughs with You...Right?

We're planning a big family vacation in January, probably the last one we are able to accomplish as a whole family before my kids are grown and gone. It's bittersweet. We're overdue--way overdue--for a fun vacation, and when we get to that point we feel the need to go big. So it's Disneyland, and we're flying. It will be the first plane ride for over half my kids. I'm as excited for that as I am to actually get to CA.

But, if you've been following my life at all you know a few years ago I gained a lot of weight. That was mostly from embracing the sedentary lifestyle of a writer and eating whatever the heck I wanted while trying to numb the overwhelming feelings of failure as a mother and writer and generally as a human being. Yeah, I tend to get pretty hard on myself. But last year I started turning that around and have lost over 80 lbs. Yes, that's like a whole human being I've misplaced. And don't intend to ever find again.

I spent a lot--time, money, energy--on losing the weight and I don't ever want to go back. Now that I'm down to a more rational size I've been working on the second part, the not being sedentary part. I'm not a rock. I'm human and I love food. I'm never going to completely conquer my cravings, and while I've learned tons about my personal food-related triggers I know that I'm going to have the occasional piece of cake, pie, cheesecake, ice cream, brownie, etc. I firmly believe that deprivation (cutting out your favorite things forever even though you know they're bad for you) leads to binging which leads to guilt which leads to more binging and it's an unhealthy pattern. Which is why we need to allow ourselves the freedom to have the things we love, on occasion, and in balanced portions. But calories in/calories out dictates that I need to prepare my body for that so that when it happens my body doesn't go "ooh, extra fat, let's store it!"

So I started walking. In part because a Disneyland vacation entails a LOT of walking, and in part because I've been still for a long time and walking is my second favorite form of exercise. At first walking a mile was the best I could do. Then I upped it to a mile and a half. Then 2 miles. Then 2 and a half. In a little more than 2 months I've gone from not walking at all to walking 3 miles almost every day. It's still Wed morning and I've already walked 6 miles this week. A week or so ago I also added some pilates and a little Wii Fit plus play to my workout. So some days I'm actually exercising for a total of 2 hrs. It's not high impact and it's more a focus on toning and prepping for lots of walking than it is on losing weight. I'm congratulating myself because not only do I like to do the workouts--they make me feel better and that motivates me to continue them--but they aren't too terribly difficult while still challenging me. By the time these workouts become easy I hope to be able to be swimming again, since it is my single favorite workout out there. And in the mean time I can always up my walking game.

But then it hit me today, and here's where the laughing comes in. I've essentially put myself "in training." Not for a marathon, or a breast cancer walk (though that is in my future) but for a VACATION. I've been a computer potato (not a couch potato since I spend more time at the computer) for so long that I've felt it necessary to condition myself for a vacation.

And I don't care who you are, that's funny right there. ;)