Wednesday, March 02, 2005

...and stay off!

I was thinking about this today and thought I'd share it with my loyal readers.

All right, so when I entered seminary 3 1/2 years ago, I weighed 175 pounds. This was actually the weight at which I graduated college minus 10 because I had just come off a summer as a camp counselor where a good chunk of every day was spent hiking around in the hot sun. So I gained that 10 back with little effort at all.

Anyway, the next two years were spent (as were the previous 4) making late night trips to fast food places of various sorts. I didn't think much of it because it had been the norm for me before. But on top of late night snack runs I began to substitute meals with this 'food.' Wouldn't you know, soon I had cleared 200 pounds, getting closer to 210. Luckily I was beginning to really notice that this was a bad thing, so I tried jogging. Jogging lasted about a week. Then I tried taking walks every day. I lapsed on that pretty quick. Eden students got free memberships to the Webster University gym, so I got one of those. At first I would work out and then reward myself with--what else?--a McChicken sandwich and fries. Stalemate.

So in January of 2004 I made up my mind that I was going to weigh 190 by graduation. Gone were ALL fast food runs, gone was ALL regular soda, and hello to salads. Lots of salads. And if I needed to, I would crawl or be dragged to that gym 3-4 times a week.

After a month there was a little more room in my waistline. After two months I was fitting more comfortably into pants I had given up wearing altogether. And by May of 2004 I was down to 190 pounds. Somewhere in there I picked up diet soda and a strong relationship with the eliptical machine. This past summer while I filled in at my home church, part of my responsibility while staying in the parsonage was to walk the pastor's dog. A 30-minute walk almost every day for 2 months took me down almost to 180.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I don't have a normal workout routine right now. We have a few aerobic tapes and for whatever reason I can't stay dedicated to them. It was one thing for me to walk to the gym, get on a machine for 45 minutes, come home and get on with my day. For some reason I can't get into the same routine with these people with smiley faces wanting to 'hear me breathing.' It's probably just that I've had such a long layoff that I need to get back into the habit, but people on workout tapes just bother me. And an eliptical machine just doesn't fit in our budget that well. I've been walking around the church cemetery, but since it's been minus 317 degrees the past few weeks, I haven't really wanted to do that very often. A gym membership? Almost as hard on the budget as the stupid eliptical machine.

Most of this is making excuses, and I realize that. It's just that those workout tapes drive me nuts. But that's the best option right now if I'm serious about it.

Guess I'll go pop one in. Rats.

4 comments:

diane said...

Jeff,

Congrats on losing all that weight. I can sympathize with you. I found out i had diabetes last spring and had to do something about my weight. I started on a diet( no more fast food) and walking 3 miles a day. By fall i had lost 50 pounds but with these cold, snowy winters in ohio i put 10 back on and need to take it back off and get back on the losing trend.
I worry about gaining it back when i go to seminary in the fall. With all the reading, studying and papers to write it would be easy to return to couch potato status. Glad to know there is a gym available for Eden students but i still worry some about managing my time to include exercise and not allowing the stress of returning to academia to trigger comfort eating.
You look great! Ever try " Dancing with the Oldies"? LOL j/k Good luck keeping it off and losing even more. Enjoyed meeting you at EOA workshop.

diane

Jeff said...

Hi Diane! Thanks for stopping by!

It was very easy to return to couch potato status at Eden. There was ALWAYS more to read, more to write, field education, oh yeah, and classes.

Basically I found that if one wants to find the time, the time is there. It's more a matter of dedication, even stamping it in to your schedule. After all, one can only stare at a computer screen or a book for so long before the brain shuts down. Students have to care for themselves and that means taking breaks.

It also helps if you find one or two people to go with you. It helps keep you accountable and it's really just more fun.

Enjoyed meeting you, too!:)

Songbird said...

Jeff,
We recently bought a Nordic Track elliptical and really love it. I am feeling so much better after only a few weeks of using it.
Ministry will kill you if you don't take care of yourself. I look around my church and count up the people with diabetes, and think about the predecessor whose 20+ years there ended in diabetes and clinical depression, and it helps me get on that machine!
Most gym memberships are rip-offs, unfortunately. We found the money when a distant cousin died without a will(I kid you not), and her lawyer insisted on searching out all the relatives to a certain degree. The expected $100 legacy turned out to be $723, and the elliptical was $709 including tax and warranty. I think it was worth every penny (as long as it doesn't morph into a clothes rack).
It's never to early to make a stand with yourself, as well as your parishioners, on self-care.

Liddy said...

I've put on ten pounds since starting seminary. I never would have thought that chasing after sixth graders and bounding through my classroom hollering about the wonders of the nouns was keeping me skinny, but apparently that was so. I'd been trying to exercise for Lent (we get cheap gym memberships at a local university too) but midterms are getting the best of me. I'd better figure out some way to get back in shape, since on a seminarian's budget, I can't afford new pants!! :-)