Magical thinking doesn’t make my pants fit: Developing a fitness plan

I sent this sad face to Mr. T when he said
I couldn’t buy Magnum ice cream anymore. My
fitness problems are his fitness problems.
Marriage is about sharing, right?

Stepping onto the two-inch white plastic platform, I held my breath as if it would help. Peering down at my blue lacquered toes, I waited for the long black needle to pause and render the verdict. No way, I thought, jumping from the box as if it were burning the soles of my feet and not just my spirit. I crept back up. No freaking way. This scale LIES.

I’m not a woman who cares much for numbers. Just ask anyone who’s watched me attempt* basic math. In the weight realm, I run heavy** so I don’t typically care what the scale says, but more how my clothes fit and how I feel. I’ve made a couple references in this forum about pants not fitting lately (usually nestled in a recipe which is not lost on me). Coupled with the spiteful scale results, I’m concerned.

What’s worse, this worry has plagued me for several months now, so much so that I wondered what else might be going on with my body. I took stock in May. Stress? Certainly. No grad student is without it at end of term. Travel? Definitely. I packed in five extra trips around the country this spring for a research project and there is little worse for the waistline than a steady diet of flight delays and airport/hotel food. Hormones? Insidious hormones could absolutely wreak havoc. Rather than face the likely reality of stress + travel – exercise, I jumped on the hormone band wagon for a moment, rushed to the drug store, peed on a stick. Nope, not preggers just overweight. Damn. 


Now in July and confronted with my mom’s must-be-lying scale, I figured it couldn’t be my gym boycott and cooking rampage causing problems. Had to be a technical error. So I bought my own scale. Re-read the first paragraph subbing in a silver electronic model and adding a horrified Mr. T. (Truly, I stepped on the scale in front of him and the guy couldn’t even manage a proper poker face.) When all is said and done, I have a good 15-20 pounds to drop without exaggeration.

Facing calamity like a true Type A, I’m developing a plan and recommitting to fitness. (Sounds better than a diet, don’t you think?) The grand plan:

1. Remember: Calories in, calories out. Must get back to keeping track of these things. As a snacker, I know I’m neglecting to take into account all of the morsels that make it to my mouth throughout the day. I’m even contemplating reviving my Bodybugg subscription (because it was such a cute accessory you know).

2. Exercise MORE. I have a suspicion that the last seven months working from home have majorly contributed to weight gain. Less distance to walk, easy access to the kitchen. Must build in the steps I’ve always taken for granted and oh yeah, end that gym boycott.

3. Bracket the food blogs. Yeah, Pioneer Woman, I’m talking to you. I get my best ideas from writers who’ve recently posted about berry butter, French toast brulee and luscious linguine. Not helpful! It’s back to Cooking Light for me!

4. Portion control. When reviewing what T and I actually eat, the content isn’t typically terrible, it’s the quantity. The new plan is to simplify, measure portions and eat slower. Oh and increase veggies and decrease superfluous carbs. (Bye bye for now French bread.)

5. Curb the indulgence. In Cactus Land, it was cheesy goodness with my girlfriends. At home, it’s been oh-so-addicting Magnum triple-chocolate dipped ice cream bars, homemade treats and dining out. I don’t believe in deprivation, so I’m suggesting to myself that curbing indulgence is a good idea. Decadent dessert just once a week maybe. Lighter choices in restaurants. The occasional splurge.

6. Schedule some ass-kicking. Cute trainer dude Jared, expect a call soon. I’m working through a month pass of Bikram yoga (still love it, by the way!) and once it’s done, I’m going to pick up some training sessions to jumpstart the streamlining. Nothing helps me meet my fitness goals more than guilt and swinging iron. ha!

7. Smart snacking. I do best with several small meals throughout the day to avoid bottoming out on energy/blood sugar and binging on junk. But lately I haven’t kept a lot of good snack options in the house. Ta ta tortilla chips and hello hummus. We’ll see how it goes.

In the mean time, I’d love advice, particularly healthy snack/meal suggestions. Although I’m definitely concerned about the pants fitting (too cheap to buy new ones, remember?), I’m most committed to being healthy and fit.


* Truly, I hate math and it hates me. The relationship is most fun in the classroom when I try to do basic sums on the board and get taunted by my students. Thankfully, there isn’t much multiplication in my classroom!

** I cling to the “muscles weigh more than fat” mantra

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