25 by 32

The title of this post is kind of funny, and kind of sad. You may or may not have been reading C&Q long enough to remember when I used to have another blog named Thirty by Thirty, where I talked about my goal of losing 30 lbs by my 30th birthday. I failed, and the blog is no more. Which brings me to the point of today’s post…

I’m going to be 32 in just a little over two months. While I’m extremely far from being one of those people who places a great deal of importance on age or growing older (aside from knowing that I’ve finally gotten to the age, professionally, where people have started to listen to me), I have to admit that I’m disappointed with where I am right now, on a personal level.

First and foremost, my health. I’m overweight, and have been for years. True, by typical American standards, I’m thin. At 5’7″ and hovering around 160 lbs most days, with an hourglass figure, I don’t have to be ashamed to climb into something slinky and head out to a party. But I am. I am because I know that my body fat percentage is currently at the insane level of 30%. I’m also terrified that if and when I finally have kids, any chance of having a decent figure will be gone forever. And that day isn’t so far off. At best I have five years before I’ll have to figure out the spare tire.

I also know that the reason I’m bigger than I should be is all because I haven’t ever been able to get off my ass and change my lifestyle. Sure, I’ll eke out week-long stretches of exercise and healthy-eating, but I’ve yet to be able to make it stick. If I were a movie star, I’d hire an assistant to poke me with a cattle prod every morning at 5:30 and follow me around with a timer to make sure I stayed on schedule, a personal trainer to force me through two hours of intense workouts, another assistant to follow me around and slap snacks out of my grubby little paws and to do all of my grocery shopping for me (it’s best if I stay away from packaged food in all incarnations), and a nutritionist and chef to collaborate and create everything I’m to put into my greedy face. But I’m not rich, and no one’s going to force me to be better than I am now, other than ME.

So what am I going to do between now and November? I need to make a plan and stick to it. I’ve tried GymPact and StickK before, and ended up happily paying the price for not going to the gym, so they aren’t necessarily the best ideas for forcing myself into going. Maybe instead of fearing having to pay for my insubordination, I should be working out ways to be treated when I get things right? But what do I want besides money, new clothes, a new car, a kitten, and a house on the waterfront? And which of those could I buy with exercise? Lol.

You’re right, of course, I’m probably looking at this all wrong. The “treat” in question should be within me already. Maybe a healthy body will be accented by a healthier mind, or less stress, or a clearer world vision. The problem with this line of thinking is that when it comes down to the fight between being lazy and being healthy, sitting on the couch wins every time.

Waking up in the morning isn’t suddenly easy because I realize it will make me a happier, more productive person. Sleepy me doesn’t care. Sleepy me gets up, turns off all five alarm clocks (violently), then goes back to bed. Likewise, happy, TV-watching me doesn’t give a flying flip that in order to wake up with enough sleep, I’ll have to go to bed at a decent hour. TV-watching me will drink another glass of garnacha and watch another episode of Mad Men if she damn well pleases, thankyouverymuch. And bitchy, mid-afternoon me WILL eat a chocolate bar, and will gladly pass up an opportunity to go to yoga in exchange for a chance to sit on the couch and fold another origami box. That’s just how it is.

So how to make it how it isn’t?

Here are the facts:

  • Two weeks until my next photo shoot (modeling for a friend).
  • One month until my college reunion – where I REALLY need to look great to make old college flames jealous.
  • Two months until my birthday & super awesome yoga retreat, as well as a potential run-in with another old college flame that I also would love to impress with my general awesomeness.
  • All of my clothes are just a leetle too tight.
  • That really doesn’t matter because I hate most of my clothes right now, anyway.
  • I desperately want to get back in the Bikram groove.
  • I also desperately want to be a long distance runner again.
  • I want to dance more – Tango & anything else I can get my feet involved with 🙂
  • As soon as it gets a little cooler, I should also start going on training hikes to get ready for my pilgrimage next year.

See all that motivation I’ve got? And what are my tools?

  • Apps – I’ve downloaded GymPact, Nexercise, and Fitocracy. I already have and use LoseIt and RunKeeper.
  • Gadgets – My FitBit Flex would come in handy if I actually paid attention to any of the information it provides. I wear it everysingleday, and have only managed to hit the optimum activity level a handful of times since getting it a few months ago.
  • Fitness Gear – yoga mat, yoga towels, plenty of workout clothes, weight lifting gloves, an iPhone, a cool water bottle…the basics.
  • Fitness Memberships – Bikram yoga membership and also regular gym membership, with a personal trainer who wants to help me for free. I just keep skipping our sessions because I’m a lazy, horrible person.
  • Other – I took a couple of Tango lessons, and have the opportunity to dance once a week if I’d like. There’s also a dance school that I could go to to do more fitness-oriented dancing if I decide to put down more cash on it.
  • Health – Bi-weekly massage and weekly acupuncture, both of which help with stress and could potentially help with my weight. Also, I just ordered yet another lifestyle & nutrition guide, Thrive, by Ironman & all-around awesome guy Brendan Brazier.

The reality of my situation is that none of this is going to get better until I get a handle on my nutrition and my schedule. Diet is 80% of weight loss, and making time to cook and exercise is paramount to getting it all done. Making a plan and telling people about it is also important, though honestly for me, it’s never worked (yes, I’ve worked this all out and made my intentions known quite a few times in the past). That’s why I’m telling you guys about this. I want to change. I need to change. I am sincere in my wish to change. It’s just the changing part that’s got me stumped.

So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to set some goals, and we’re going to stick to them, even if they hurt. Goals like:

  • Run every day. It doesn’t matter how far for now, just any amount of running will do.
  • Go to the gym every day. Bike there (it’s only about 3 miles away).
  • Start a 60-day Bikram challenge that will end before my birthday.
  • Get my photographer friend to agree to document the next two months of physical changes.
  • Apologize to my personal trainer for being an asshat, and show him that I can regularly get to the gym.
  • Put a hiatus on the TV-watching, and work out, read & cook instead.
  • Beat the 5 lights on my FitBit Flex every day.
  • Get to bed by 10:30pm.
  • Keep track of my progress here, with measurements, weight, and photos.
  • Keep the goal in mind – 135 lbs and 18% to 20% body fat by my birthday.

And a couple of others that involve YOU, dearest readers. Like:

  • Follow my progress and support me on StickK, where I’ve pledged to get down to 135 lbs by my birthday.
  • If you’re on FitBit, RunKeeper, LoseIt, or Fitocracy, let me know and let’s get connected on there to help each other out!
  • Also, as I keep track on here, please leave comments and share your story, too. I’ve loved using C&Q to get closer to all of you, and this will be a great way to do that, as well.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. boredlandia says:

    I love your method of motivation. I should try it. What goals do I want to accomplish and things I want to do. I love this! Thanks for sharing, you’ve given me inspiration!

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks for commenting! Also, good luck with the daily trampolining 🙂

  2. Emma Newman says:

    Personally I think rewarding yourself with a kitten is the best idea I’ve ever heard!! I support that reward system completely.

    I’m worried though, getting down to 135 in just over two months…that’s a lot of weight to lose so fast. You really shouldn’t be losing more than about 2.5 pounds a week. Also, I want to mention how important it is so have ‘off days’, where you don’t exercise so your body has a chance to heal. You should be working on slowly building your strength and fitness before you dive head first into any 60 day challenges or ‘every day I’ll do this’ promises. The trick is to set incremental and achievable goals – weekly goals or something. That way you wont feel so bogged down with the pressure of your final end goal that it all becomes to intimidating and you ditch the plan altogether. (Something I have done many-a-time). Focusing on making some healthy food changes is a great place to start, you really seem to know what you’re doing in terms of making changes in the kitchen!

    Good luck and I’m looking forward to following your progress!!

  3. Anna says:

    Hey Emma, thanks for dropping by! I just did the math again to make sure, but it’s actually 11.5 weeks between now and my birthday, putting the loss at just a little over 2.17 lbs a week, so we’re good. Not only is it unhealthy to lose more than 2.5 lbs a week, honestly I just don’t tend to lose much more than about a lb and a half per week if I’m eating healthy and working out (and I have no intention of either working TOO hard or starving myself – neither of those things is fun, and as I might have mentioned, I’m lazy :-)). I do know from previous experience that the first 10 lbs tends to fall off after about two weeks of taking care of myself, though, so that should work out just about right.

    As for the 60 day challenge, I’ve been doing Bikram for years, and go a few times a week, so it’s not really difficult physically – it’s all mental. And really that’s my biggest problem. I’m mostly concerned with tackling the mental aspects of being fit much more than the physical ones. Glad I found Nexercise – I think working my way towards an Amazon gift card will be a HUGE incentive (shoes and books and beauty supplies – yay!)

    I wish I could get a kitten to make it easier, but I guess my cats will have to fill the void. Maybe I could reward myself with a trip to the vet to play with their adoptables once a week, hmmm. Every day is another step closer to being a true cat lady. So exciting, lol!

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