Let’s all share a good virtual laugh after reading that title.
If you are the kind of person who says “I forgot to eat today” or “I was hungry, but too tired, so I just went to bed without eating” then this blog post is not for you. I have never, and will never, ever, forget to eat. And the idea of being too tired to eat is an unfamiliar concept to me. This blog post is also not for people like my mom who say things like “I can’t find belts small enough for my waist!” and have somehow never been beat up. My mom, who as you know if you have seen her, was part of a rare, top-secret government program where babies were partially implanted with hummingbird genes, thus resulting in full-grown adults who are somehow able to sustain for 12 hour stretches on half a piece of toast, flitting from task to task, and saying things that don’t make any sense like, “Isn’t that too much Nutella?” Recently my mom got poison ivy so bad it covered up half her face and swelled one of her eyes shut. She looked insane, like a farmer/boxer hybrid, and we gently coaxed her to see another doctor since the poison ivy was clearly spreading. When she pulled up her shirt to show me the rash, I gasped. Not at the red blisters, but at how thin she was. In a pinch, you could probably use her protruding hip bones as bottle openers.
If you are the kind of person who scoffs when people say “Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry” because A.) that is obviously the best time to shop since it is the only time you let yourself buy so many Pop Tarts, and B.) you are never not hungry, then this blog post is for you. If you’ve ever exercised in preparation for date night, not so you look good but because you want to be ready for that meal you are going to eat, this blog post is for you. When you do work out and find yourself thinking, “why am I spending time doing this? I might only live for 50 more years,” this blog post is for you. If you only enter 5Ks that end at breweries, this blog post is for you.
When I exercise, I try not to think about all the other things I could be doing/eating. Over the years I have tried to talk myself into thinking that I like exercising, but I don’t. I just like being done exercising. It’s a great feeling, and I’m not talking about that supposed “high” one feels from super-excited muscles, blood flow, etc. I don’t know what that is, probably because I don’t actually work out hard enough. I just like the feeling that I don’t have to exercise for another 24 hours, that it is finally over with, and I can go do something else.
The reality I have forced myself to accept is that I have to exercise. It is good for me. The only way I have come to feel better about it is to not spend a lot of money on it. No cool shoes, machines, memberships, or pants inspired by Kate Hudson. I only buy things that can’t break, like a few dumb bells, toning balls, wrist weights. You know, equipment that can be easily stored so I can’t see the dust collect on it. I put in my earbuds and listen to memoirs by stand up comediennes to try and make me forget how many reverse crunches I’m doing. I avoid programs that have the word “dance” in them. I have found that any program that promises to “dance away the inches” also promises to make you look ridiculous while you do so. And it doesn’t matter how backwards my hat is, I am never going to be able to move like the instructor.
I have had moderate success using weights, heavier weights than I thought I could ever lift. If you’re a woman, don’t listen when someone tells you weights will make you bulky and masculine. Listen to me, a faceless woman on the Internet, writing quickly before her baby wakes up. I can promise you, though, that weights are good for you, they work, and you can work your way up to heavier and heavier amounts. Lifting weights is one of the few things in my exercise regime that actually make me feel accomplished. I like how…numerical they are. They are also inexpensive, travel easily, don’t require maintenance, and allow for a multitude of uses. This is good because I get bored with exercise programs almost instantaneously. My attention span is essentially that of a toddler’s when it comes to working out.
What goes against all of this is my goddamn Fitbit that I bought 14 months ago. I know what day I got it in the mail, precisely, because it is the day I went into labor. Back then I had idiotic dreams of running up and down flights of stairs. I do this now, but I’m usually wearing Todd’s sweatpants from his high school basketball days, carrying laundry, screaming for Mae to stop chewing on the vaccuum hose. Probably won’t be filming this scene for a Nike commercial anytime soon, but you get the idea. I mainly continue to wear my Fitbit because A.) it was expensive, and B.) so many people have told me about the “high failure rate”.
When Meryl Streep was on Fresh Air with Terry Gross a few years ago, she said that when she was younger, she was obsessed with how fat she was. Obviously, she knows now, that was foolish. I have written very few blog posts in total, and this is the second one to talk about weight. How can I not think about it? After you have a baby, the desire to fit into your old clothes is a powerful one. But then I think about Meryl Streep, and all the things we have in common, and it’s not so bad.