Sunday, February 7, 2010

Busting my ass...for what?

Twenty years ago, I buried my mother. I was 15.

She suffered an ugly fight with colo-rectal cancer.

She lost.

She spent her 51 years eating poorly, not exercising (due to numerous back and neck injuries) and smoking. In fact, I honestly don't remember my mother ever "feeling good." In the last twenty years, I've learned more about the things that led to her cancer. Some would argue that you can't prevent cancer - its genetic or predisposed. I call bullshit.

I don't smoke (okay, so I may have one cigar a year when the mood strikes me). I've also made a conscientious effort to change the way I eat. I struggle, but I'm SO much better off than I was a year ago. I've also begun exercising..and not in that wimpy I'm-too-busy-to-really-do-much-so-I'll-just-mall-walk-and-pretend-to-break-a-sweat way. I bust my ass regularly at the gym. My heart rate races. I sweat. I hurt. I ache afterward.


Because I don't want my children to have to be at my funeral instead of their third period math class.

I will NOT orphan my children. I will not make them watch me get sick. I refuse to leave them wondering what they could've done differently like I did when my mother got sick. I won't put that burden on them. And I know I don't have to. I'm making healthier choices every day to ensure their childhood won't include a hospital bed in their living room or hearing the words "we lost her."

So when somebody says, "Aww, take a day off. You've worked hard enough," I want you to understand why I can't.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Damn groundhog!

Ok, so I can't totally blame the groundhog for the entire winter, but you can bet I'm kickin' his ass about the next six weeks. Rat bastard.

I detest winter.

I don't mind being a little cool, in fact, anybody who's been in my house in the summer would swear I'm pumping freon through my walls. I can't stand feeling sweaty. But it's like Mother Nature has jammed five months of winter into two and I'm done. Just done. Since the beginning of December we've had over 45" of snowfall. Some has melted (or rather been pelted into submission by a couple of warmer days filled with rain and sleet), but the majority of it is still here. It's cold. It's white. It's fucking miserable.

For me, this makes it even tougher to draw the motivation to go to the gym. It's a pain in the ass to let the car warm up for 10 mins every time I want to go anywhere and that just adds time to my trip.  I hate getting all bundled up, driving the 20 mins to the gym, working out and then bundling back up to come home (waiting another 10 mins to warm the car back up, of course).

And let's just talk about winter food, shall we? Soups and stews are my favorite winter food and let's face it, the majority of my favorites aren't low-cal or low-fat. Now, if I were making regular trips to the gym, this wouldn't be a problem, but you read the last paragraph, you already know not only am I sitting on my ass most of the time and now you know that I'm eating shitty, too.

But things are looking up. The motivation that kept me going in July is back. I was fortunate enough to stumble into a video chat with Danny Wood tonight and told him about my weight loss in July when I met him for the first time and how I've added another 15lbs to that total loss. He congratulated me and told me to keep it up. (GAH!!) With two trips planned this summer to see NKOTB in concert, I absolutely REFUSE to let myself balloon back up. It's not that I'm foolish enough to think that Danny would recognize me, but if I do get the chance to talk to him, I want to be able to say "I lost another 20/30/40lbs" or even better yet, "I'm at my goal weight and it's all because of you!" He's saved my life and he needs to know that.

And I mean that sincerely - although sometimes fueled  by vanity, my health is the core issue and Danny truly has saved my life. I had something very scary happen in October that made me realize just how close I am to being a diabetic. I REFUSE that diagnosis. Period. I will not be a hostage to a testing kit, much less insulin injections. Heart disease also runs in my family. Again, I refuse to be bound to medication to keep my health under control. I KNOW what I need to do. Some days I just forget that I need to do it. I've still got that stupid "oh, I've got a hundred years left to get that figured out" mentality and it has to stop. My sister was my age when she was diagnosed with diabetes and she had her first heart-related "episode" around the age of 40, which is not too far around the corner for me. My health is in my control. I know what I can eat, what I need to do fitness-wise, what balances I need to maintain and I have to remember that I don't have a hundred years. I have now.


This is it.

And I'm taking the bull by the horns. No more bitching about the weather or the cold. The ground is a helluva lot colder when I'm buried under it than driving around above it. I have to keep that in perspective.

So once again, thank you Danny Wood for being there when I needed you. I hope someday you'll know how much you've done for me.


  1. Gym: 4 days a week. 2 days doing HIIT, 2 days doing weight training
  2. Cutting pop and sweetened tea COMPLETELY from my diet (limiting is not working)
  3. Minimizing fried foods more strictly
  4. Fewer carbs, more fresh foods