I ANTICIPATE AN AMUSING scene tomorrow at the gym I attend. Before all the soccer moms and muscleheads clot the highways of my corner of New Jersey this Black Friday, many of them will remember that they have gym memberships. In a fit of guilt, they will stretch on suddenly snug T-shirts and Spandex shorts, dig to the nether reaches of their closets for the $250 cross-trainers they snagged at Sports Authority in a fit of optimism-via-credit card debt, empty them of any resident mice, shiver their way to the car, and pull up to the gym, effulgent in their desire to drop the 4,000 calories they consumed during the Lions and Cowboys games with but a mere 15 minutes on the elliptical trainer.
Well, if nothing else, it'll bring out the chicks.
Okay, okay, stop throwing the eggs. I will join them tomorrow, but I don't feel an ounce (har) of guilt about my Thanksgiving dinner today. I got to spend the day eating homecooked food with the two people most important to me. That's a benefit no stack of iron or Stairmaster is going to bestow.
This is because my underlying eating plan has been working. I have indeed been eating better. True, I have occasionally eaten things in the past 2 weeks that aren't exactly nutrient packed. I did have some potato chips on Tuesday night, which due to the holiday became "Thursday" poker night. They tasted exceptionally salty. I largely have avoided processed foods and especially bagged snacks, so the salt and pseudo-flavors in the chips were brash and brassy.
I put on one of my older belts today prior to heading out to my parents' place. I noticed that I had to cinch it all the way to the end of the holes. I took it off and examined the notches, then re-cinched it to represent my fattest weight (probably from this summer). I had a good couple of fingers' worth of play between the belt and my actual pants. Not bad. All of this was from not eating crap. No entire bags of Doritos, or late-afternoon treks to the bakery across the street for a hunka hunka burning crumb cake. I haven't been lifting or even doing cardio every day. When I do get past this beginner workout and into a more active phase, which could even be 20 minutes of cardio on days when I am not lifting, I should continue to see results.
Over the course of the two past weeks, I have concluded that poor nutrition sabotaged any true efforts to lose weight I made in the past 5 years. I began going to a gym regularly in 2000. Well, as regularly as my motivation and depression over failing to get anywhere with it would allow. During none of this time did I give any deep thought to how I should be eating. I am trying not to feel like I have wasted all of that time and money, but the best antidote for that sort of regret is to enact a plan that I know will work.
So that's where I will be tomorrow, getting myself in tune for a more dedicated program, taking things slowly but not without attention to detail and care for my beginner's body — for I am really a beginner in light of the past 5 years — and realizing that one dinner with my parents will not upset a carefully laid and enacted plan of attack.