Jen Jeffrey: Here We Go Again

Monday, February 11, 2013 - by Jen Jeffrey

There is no way to burn all the calories I have taken in over the winter... but I can burn some of the calories I take in as I resolve to be mindful of what benefits my body today. When I reached "my happy place" in the process of changing my career and my whole life, it did not include tackling fitness (unless sporadic, futile attempts). Fitness is something you must be willing to commit to and it must be a priority.

Everyone who does not have that instilled drive in them daily and who must 'work at it' knows what I am talking about -  especially if you 'gave up' and made fitness not only ‘back burner’ but nonexistent.

The thing is - I was happy with my fitness level about three years ago. I was not the size two marathon runner, but I was a size eight, active and happy with my body. Now 12s seem to be getting tight and I cannot ignore it anymore.

The past few years have been emotional ones as life changes took me on a roller coaster ride and I finally just said "forget it" when it came to continued failed fitness attempts.

I knew I had to get my schedule for work in a routine and had to form my own structure. I had to learn the news business and how you are really 'always on' even when you are off.

When a story goes up and you are proofing it to make sure you and the editors didn't miss something, you check with the person in the story and if they need any corrections, you send them to the editors. There is the back and forth with emailing people on interview dates and creating your lineup for the upcoming months and meeting the people you are interviewing at their convenience.

Each week is different and planning a consistent exercise routine is challenging. You are constantly writing in your head or coming up with story ideas... it is just something that you make your whole life until it becomes routine and it “fits”.

At first, with all the other changes in my life that were going on; it was hard to juggle everything - so fitness HAD to be last.

A New Year’s resolution was not good for me because I knew deep down I wasn’t ready. I am ready now. I have a rhythm finally with the other things in my life and now I can take on any endeavor that will take commitment.

Day One – The chubby girl doesn’t want to go to the germy gym during flu season but instead of letting that be an excuse and instead of letting my winter asthma keep me from heading outside on a drizzly, chilly day, I ran non-stop up past the Subway and back. I will have to see how far that was later when I am in my car, but I am guessing it was about a half mile.

Then I brought Kelly Clarkson outside in the driveway and turned her up (she is the only CD I had with that much beat that I needed) and I began doing everything I remember from classes. I just moved my body; it didn’t have to be pretty. I used my car to do push-ups on and I used the porch steps to do calf raises. I used my body to jump, twist and lunge my way to shaping up once again.

I realize it isn’t going to be easy or fast. I didn’t only put on five pounds and let only three months go by – I let three years go by with futile attempts at working out which never lasted.

In my mind, I am not far from enjoying working out and fitness that was a part of my life a few years ago. But in my body – it isn’t at that fun stage yet. Actually, it was kind of fun to be flinging my body around outside in front of God and everybody, but I had to make myself do it. I long for the day where I don’t ‘dread’ getting started. Once I begin, I am always glad I do it. I never regret working out.

After my 11-minute run and my 45-minute workout, I know that ‘day one’ is nothing spectacular for anyone else to witness, but it IS life changing for me. Starting today, I am taking my body back. I am not doing it to ‘win hearts’ … I am not doing it ‘to fit in’….

I am doing it for my health, but also for vanity purposes. I am doing it for how I look and feel in my clothes.

I am a clothes horse and I don’t like how my clothes look on me anymore. Buying bigger sizes is not an option and I know that if I did, bigger sizes may look nicer on a chubby girl, but I would be allowing high cholesterol and high blood pressure and joint issues to creep in as well.

This is the day – it’s time. It may take a few months before me or anyone sees a difference, but that’s not the point.

It is not for anyone to decide if I look good or not or if I am sexy or not. It’s just not about that. I could care less about being thin “so that a man would find me attractive” – that is NOT the man I would ever go for anyway. I thank God for the extra weight to keep those men away from me until I figured out all that I have about ‘the right man’.

The point for me is being happy with myself.

I love my life and how far I have come. I love my family and friends and my work … and I love who I am on the inside; God has made a lot of progress! Now it is time for me to love my “soul holder” but …not for just a few months.

Oh, I did try last year and the year before. I made attempts, but my life was not settled enough to really commit to it. Now it is. I am content with where I am.

It’s time to not dread going somewhere because I only can fit in one pair of pants that used to be baggy. It’s time to be assured of good health and that I am not bringing on problems that can be avoided with proper eating and exercise.

Bad habits of too much coffee and too much diet Coke, which kept me from getting a good night’s rest and having natural energy…  bad habits of eating desert with Mama almost every night (ice cream was our weakness) and bad habits of being at my computer piddling, even if I had completed everything for work…  I decided today to ‘push away’. Push away from the dessert, push away from the computer and push away from my size 12s. Many women look beautiful in size 12, but I am too short for that.

I will always be curvy, but when the curves start showing up in places that you aren’t supposed to have curves – those are pretty much called ‘ripples’.  The ripple right under my bra strap on my back is not supposed to be there. I took a “before” photo to save for the ‘after’ photo and I will keep a blog and record progress on Facebook – as I go; it helps me to be accountable and to see a direction for new goals as I am able to do more each week.

I have had success with the HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) with Balanced Life MD. No side effects or anything unnatural. I have my estrogen level back up and the hot flashes are gone.

I got eyeglasses this year after waiting for about five years to finally make myself – only to feel that I wasted my money. Not only do I hate the ‘putting them on’ and ‘taking them off’ every time I look far or close up… but I like seeing things “all the same”. If it’s a bit fuzzy, it’s okay by me. I will, however, use my glasses for driving – because that could affect others if I don’t see very well far away.

This year, I have been slowly making changes with what I put off for too long. Life has settled enough to pick up those things that I just could not take on even if I tried.

Now, I am no different from anyone else who has tried only to fail and they say, “But this time, I am serious” but I know with how my clothes fit; it has made the decision for me to commit. It is also at a really good time in my life and I am more confident that I can focus on it.

Emotionally, when someone wants to lose weight ‘to feel worthy of someone’ for romance – that is when they fail.

If they want to lose weight to ‘fit in’ and to have more of a social life – they will fail.

When you take baby steps, making changes around you as priorities offer the opportunity, you eventually make room for other changes and make new priorities. So… “here we go again”.

I may not hit the Y tomorrow or be ready to join a Zumba class, but I am ready to begin again. I am ready to be accountable to family, to Facebook friends, to readers and ….to my size eights sitting in my closet.

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