Recently, I’ve decided to start exercising. I’ll bet you already know where this story is headed.
Oh sure, I’ve been on this rusty hamster wheel before…always running, running, chasing the elusive weight loss dream. It’s been an embarrassing amount of time (years?) since I rolled off the couch, but that hasn’t stopped me from setting some insurmountable goals for myself, blasting out of the gate at full speed, and then emotionally pummeling myself for not achieving any of it.
I call it The Wheel of Disappointment, and it goes like this:
I am always somewhere on this cycle. Never mind that the Cookie Dough Phase lasted about a decade once. Not important. Anyway, I am fat and I am 50, which makes me the un-proud owner of a variety of fat-related, pharmaceutically treated conditions; thus, the exercise decision. Just this week, I entered the “attack goals with overly passionate vigor” phase.
I dusted off my cobwebby treadmill and decided to go running (ok, walking) on it for the first time in a thousand buckets of Blue Bell. Was that enough for my Type A personality? Oh hell naw. If I’m going to attack a goal, then why not overdo it? This is how I think. So I borrowed an ancient copy of the “P90” exercise video, circa year 2000, from my fit and exercise-y brother. I thought I saw a smirk when he handed over the box of DVDs. If you know anything about the P90 or P90X series, you know that these DVDs were not made for pansy-ass, whiney-butt, 40-hour a week in an office chair, sedentary couch-lovers.
So it probably will not surprise you to learn that I injured myself during my Attack Phase, but it certainly shocked the shit out of me. I learned some very important lessons about starting a new workout program:
- Exercise does not like to be attacked with full force after years of total inactivity.
- Exercise does not appreciate being neglected.
- Exercise will cut you.
As a result of my dangerously enthusiastic attempt at turning my living room into a gym, I probably pulled every muscle in my body as it rose up in Holy Protest to high-five me in the face with pain. And I didn’t even mention that I started this program with a previous foot injury, which is a hilarious sidenote, and by hilarious I mean incredibly stupid. Back in late November, all my college kids were home for the holidays, and to celebrate I was baking – you’ll never guess what – CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. I pulled the hot stoneware cookie pan out of the oven and promptly dropped it on my foot. Smart, right? Now it feels like I’m walking on broken glass.
I got tired of waiting for it to heal, since it’s February already, man, so I decided to ignore it and start this exercise program anyway. P90? Hey, sure, let’s do it! Which brings me to the three phases of Pain. Pain is a stab-happy bastard and he will punch you in your saggy lady gut until you give him the attention he deserves.
- Phase 1: “Oh hey, that hurts. I wish it would stop. Surely it will stop soon. I’ll take a few Tylenol.”
- Phase 2: “OMIGAHHHH! Stab. Stab. This is never going away. I’ll probably need amputation. I can’t go the doctor because he will immediately cut off my limb right there in his office. I can’t afford a prosthetic foot, or a wheelchair, so I will probably have to go straight into Hospice and wait for Sweet Death to overtake me.”
- Phase 3: “Ok, I’ll just have to live with it.” And then you promptly forget what not having an injury feels like and you settle into an uncomfortable but hopefully not forever friendship. And maybe even start an exercise program.
The good thing is that my husband and my teenagers, and even their boyfriends, are very supportive of my new home gym, and even join me in the P90 torture. They barely even break a sweat. Meanwhile, I turn into a pre-menopausal angry sweat machine who just wants to cry, punch the perky boob lady on the DVD in her smug face and eat cookies on the couch.
This is going to be a very long journey, guys, wish me luck but do NOT bake me any cookies.