The day has come…a day I never in a million years thought would ever happen…I thought this day only happened to other, slightly crazy people…today my husband and I looked at each other and said those fateful words - “do you want to join a gym?”
Now, to the average reader, this might not be a big deal. ‘So what? You joined a gym. Thousands of people do that every single day. (And by the way, it’s about time)’. But for Ron and I, this is a HUGE deal. This is the first step in admitting that we have to get healthier. It is no longer an option. We cannot continue to be the ‘cute chubby couple’ who frequent restaurants and eat whatever we want, unless we can accept the fact that we are going to live drastically shortened lives full of health problems and a burning desire to just lay down all the time.
You may wonder what brought us to this point. Why did Ron and I, after 38 and 36 years respectively, decide that now was the time to get healthy? Well that’s simple – we have started to see the effect that not being healthy is doing to us and to our family. Parents’ having heart attacks and strokes and muscle and joint problems and diabetes…and the list goes on. I, myself, have diabetes. Ron has high blood pressure. We are ticking time bombs. And frankly, we are not ready to say goodbye to each other yet. We still have way too much living to do.
So we have begun to modify our diets (slightly)…and of everything involved in weight loss, this scares me the most. I like food. No, I love food. The idea of subsisting on salads and grilled chicken for the rest of my life seems like a prison sentence. So we’re taking that part a little slower than maybe some would. We still had pizza for dinner last night, but we bought a smaller one than usual, and gave up the extra cheese for an extra veggie. I’m not saying that’s a perfect way to handle this, but it’s our way. In the end, I know that a prison sentence is better than a death sentence. We’ve just chosen a minimum security prison to start…one that still allows a little leeway for good behaviour!
We also joined the aforementioned gym that started all our weight loss talk. And we signed up for a few sessions with a personal trainer to help get us on the right track, because to say we’re exercise rookies would be an understatement. We know how to walk on a treadmill (just don’t ask me to wipe my brow or take a sip of water at the same time), and we know how to use the dreadful elliptical trainer, although I have yet to figure out how to convince my legs to stay moving on it for more than 5 minutes without becoming jelly. Do trainers help with that? But all those other machines, with weights and bars and people grunting and groaning are a little intimidating and are going to require some explanation. They are also going to require a really good cleaning, because grunting people are really sweaty people - just because I’m chubby doesn’t mean I’m not a princess.
Our final, and maybe most important, lifestyle change is this blog. We both know very well that we will need constant motivation for us to keep this up. As much as we want to lose weight, want to feel better, want to be healthier…we also want to sit on our asses eating potato chips and watching television. I will always want that as long as I live. It’s hard to break a habit you’ve had for your entire life. So we are looking to you – whoever you are reading this – to help us. Keep reading…if you see us stop blogging, ask us why…hopefully, it will be because we are spending tons of time at the gym getting buff (ok, getting less marshmallow-like anyways)...but more than likely, it will be because we have convinced ourselves that we deserve a break from diet and exercise. I know us. We will do that.
In turn, we will try to keep this blog entertaining, short and sweet (yes, I will learn to shut up a little), and when I walk into a ‘normal’ clothing store as opposed to a plus-sized one, or Ron takes off his shirt at the beach and struts to the water like the pretty boys do, we will be thinking of all of you, and knowing that we have the best support system any cute chubby couple could ask for.
Well, what can I add to what is sure to be the record of the biggest change that anyone can make? I was never in what most would say was good shape. I grew up with asthma, and it served as a convenient excuse for not having to participate in gym class. I was not a jock, to be sure. I was the kid who spent all his time sitting in front of the only computer in class. And when it broke or started to act funny, I was the one to fix it for the teacher. I am a geek... and a fat, out of shape one to boot.
I had a huge family scare this past winter. My 54 year old mother had a small stroke followed a couple months later with a heart attack! She pulled through, quit smoking, changed her diet, and is now a poster child for how to spin things around after walking that crazy thin line. She has struggled with high pressure for her entire life. This is one of those lovely hereditary gifts that parents sometimes hand down to their children. She, of course, inherited it from her mother, who died of a brain aneurism at the ripe young age of 34! Factoring in my dad being diagnosed with diabetes a few years back, and you can understand why I'm starting to worry about things here.
So with good reason I have been seriously thinking that I need to get real with my health. I am a food junkie, and an emotional eater - and boy do I have emotions to eat away.
Kathy and I both reached this point simultaneously but also independently. It was during our ride home from work that I blurted out that I really wanted to join a gym and start eating better. She replied that she had been thinking the same thing too. So this makes things a lot easier for us. If I had to convince her, or do this without her support, I'm not sure I could keep it up.
So together we are now searching for things to keep us motivated and this blog is one of the biggies. Right now she is the driving force to go to the gym almost daily, and I am looking for ways to modify our eating habits in the least scary way possible. I found us a great iPod App called "Lose it!" that is helping us both keep track of what we are eating and doing all the math for us - it's great!
So for now, we are starting this blog, and counting calories, and trying to figure out how to use the equipment at the gym without looking like fools, or killing ourselves. Oh ya, and for this week, what I miss most from my "before time, in the long long ago" (random South Park reference :) is the 39 cent wing nights at Crabby Joe's.