The Long Walk Back To Me

When I turned forty-two (ouch) last November, I made four simple but clear goals for myself for the year (click here to read that entire post):

1. Lose thirty pounds
2. Move/exercise more often
3. Get my book published
4. Get organized

At that time, I had no idea that number three would not only become a reality sooner than expected, but also that it would completely paralyze my progress on numbers one and two. (Number four? Piece of cake; did that in December.) The fact that not only have I made absolutely no progress on those first two goals since November, but that I’ve even GONE BACKWARDS is more disappointing to me than you can imagine.

Due to the stresses, activities, and time-consuming tasks related to my book being released, I had to cut my workouts almost completely out of my schedule, especially the closer it got to my publication date. The month of May was especially brutal: I took my beloved Zumba class only twice, taught my spin class three times out of four because of a family activity conflict one night, and walked my dog TWICE. (We even bought a great treadmill when our tax refund arrived, and I have only used it a few times so far!) Years ago, I would’ve worked out that much in a week. On the weight front? I have had horrible eating habits (Why, oh why can’t I be one of those people who has trouble eating when stressed??? I never seem to have trouble eating. Pfft.). I have gained about five pounds in the past six weeks or so, which wouldn’t be bad if I were of a normal weight for me, but since I set that goal to try and lose thirty, the news of five more stubborn stowaways is extremely disconcerting. (I am taking vitamins now though, so I’m giving myself some bonus points there. Thanks, Andrea Metcalf!) Overall, my body doesn’t feel good. *I* don’t feel good. The deadly combination of not moving plus shameful eating habits has made me feel, for lack of a better word, icky.

So let’s review. I’m disappointed, disconcerted, frustrated, and feeling icky. That’s the bad news.

The good news? I know what I need to do to fix it. After a few months of neglecting myself, I’m ready to repair the damage. I even have a plan.

Though my work (on the book, writing, my blog) will never truly be finished (if I’m lucky!), the big stuff is complete for the time being. I’m no longer stressing about the launch activities surrounding my book, and most of my press releases have been sent. I have a manageable work load, and I can breathe again, which is probably a really excellent first step to taking care of myself. Breathing is pretty important.

I know that moving is what’s going to make me feel better, even more than my diet, so I have a strategy there. Now that I have more time again (Yay!), I’m going back to Zumba, a minimum of two classes per week. I will be, when the weather allows, riding my bike the seven-ish miles each way to class. I will, of course, be teaching my spin class every Wednesday night. I’m going to work in some boxing in my basement. The biggest piece of my fitness puzzle at the moment, though, is walking. I want to wear my treadmill out. The latest studies say that a person needs to take 10,000 steps per day, which is about five miles, and watch the diet to lose weight. I watch the Today Show every single morning; now I will just be watching it while walking. This morning I walked 8,000 steps–4 miles–and was thrilled. It took me 70 minutes and was challenging, but I could’ve and would’ve walked more had I not needed to get ready for work. I will attempt to do the treadmill as many days during the week as possible, and I’ll be adding time or steps every week, which will get me to 10,000 steps in no time, really.

The diet? Sigh. We have some portion-control problems in this house, and we have some meal-planning problems too. The food part has always been a challenge for me, I can’t lie. I usually keep myself so busy that I don’t think about taking the time to plan our meals OR shop for the right foods. This is something I will be earnestly working on; I want to maximize the effect of all of the new steps I’ll be taking!

Making myself a priority is difficult, but I’ve gone back and forth weight-wise and fitness-wise enough times over the course of my life to know that it’s not only possible, but also VERY important to take care of myself. And honestly, the weight loss is not my first priority: feeling good (and healthy) is. The weight loss will hopefully tag along for the ride.

I’m hoping that with my new strategy–and a lot of patience–I will be successful in developing and maintaining some habits that are great, for ME. Wish me luck!


  • Cincy

    Good luck! I’m in much the same boat (minus all that pesky work success!) and I need to get moving! New pics on fb of our recent Florida vacation are my latest motivator. UGH. We can do it! ( Right? Please tell me I’m right?!) I just wish I LIKED to exercise, which, it sounds like you do.

    • Melisa

      YOU ARE RIGHT!!! 🙂

      You may not have found the “right” workout yet. I know lots of people who “hate” exercising until they find an activity they really enjoy doing…keep searching! 🙂

    • Melisa

      I know, I know. My change in strategy requires that I practice what I preach to others: you don’t “find” the time, you MAKE IT.

  • megryansmom

    Stupid 40! I lost a pound this week. One stinkin pound! At this rate I should hit my ideal weight in 2 years, just in time for 50 and some other stupid problem.

    • Melisa

      Gah. Don’t even tell me that.
      Also? You don’t look anywhere near your age, so at least you have that going on for you. 🙂

  • Heather

    I’m so proud of you for taking the steps to take care of you! I’m here if you need an ear about healthy food choices/meal planning! I have some great ideas that you can take (even as a non Bariatric patient!)


  • Patty

    This is a fabulous post! You have had a whirlwind year already so it’s great that you are reaffirming your goal. Hey we are half way through the year so its a great time to do it! Congrats on the strong start on the treadmill…impressive. I also love that you mentioned that feeling good & being healthy is your priority, not weight loss. I recently accepted that philosophy and have found peace within myself…the weight loss will come. I went to a session at FitBloggin about Intuitive Eating that really reinforces this way of thinking. There is a recap on their website or I can email you the link its worth reading 🙂 Best of luck to you.

    P.S. We should squeeze in some Zumba in San Diego!

    • Melisa

      I started researching where we can find a Zumba class…whee!

      And I’ll look for the Intuitive Eating website. Thanks, Patty!

  • Margaret

    Bikes bikes bikes! I’m so glad for you. Man, that ride home, after you’ve done more than enough exercise and you just float home on the bike….love that.

    Good for you! YAY!