Friday, February 5, 2010

I Never Listen to Nike

What's going on with me that I make every excuse in the world not to exercise? Why is that?

The jury's in about the benefit of exercising. I've found that going to Curves works for me. The clientele is like me--female, older and, for the most part, out of shape. It's a great comfort to me that the place isn't filled with young hard bodies, firm, lithe and nubile.

When I do Curves' half-hour circuit and post-workout stretches, I do it full-bore and actually work up a sweat. I can pop in whenever it's convenient (provided the urge to exercise coincides with their hours of operation). It's a wham, bam, thank you, Ma'am/no muss, no fuss kinda exercise program.

I always feel better afterwards! The endorphines kick in and, psychologically, I feel I've done something good for myself. When I do Curves two or three times a week for a couple of months, the shape of my body tightens and improves noticeably. There's no longer a need to lie down on the bed to zip the jeans, or wear the long, cover-the-bulges tops. I can even grab items of clothing from the thinner side of the closet!

The latest derailment of my body began right about the time the wheels started coming off the relationship. That was late summer. It's clear to me that emotions trigger what I eat, and how I treat my body. I see the pattern. I wasn't getting naked for anyone anymore, so why bother?

So, time heals, but before I knew it, the holidays were here and I became too busy. After the holidays, I was too tired, it was too cold, too dark, too wet, it was too much to ask of someone who has the luxury of telecommuting to venture out to exercise, a person who isn't required to leave her home to work, who never has to wear anything with a waistband.

What triggered this self-flaggelation, you ask? Why, the visit to the new doctor, of course! I had to get on the scale and the thing-a-majiggy was slid to the maximum of my allowable range. Urgh. Once in the examining room, the doctor began asking all the questions on the checklist (any history of liver problems, kidney problems, etc.) My responses were automatic, until the one came about how frequently I exercise. I'm sure my face resembled Wiley Coyote's after he's run off the cliff and looks downward. Err...umm...sputter-sputter... I can't recall what I mumbled as an excuse, or lack of one. He told me to walk. Just walk. I live in a walking neighborhood, so just walk.

The doctor appointment was on Monday. It's now Friday. Have I walked? Have I seen the inside of the local Curves. NAH. The thing is, no matter what my good intentions, the minute I begin to think about not going to exercise for whatever reason, it's over. I'm not going to do it.

What I'm hoping is that my writing about it will be another catharsis, spurring me into action. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Caffeine Dependent Curmudgeon-ess

This week, I went to a new doctor here in my almost-new town. After giving me a surprisingly enjoyable introductory exam, he sent me away with a lab order for perfunctory blood work and urinalysis. Dr. L said the lab was located just two driveways from his office and no appointment was necessary; however, pre-test fasting was required.

Urgh! This fasting mandate was going to require some planning.

I placed a call to the lab immediately upon returning home to determine what time they were open for business. I was delighted to learn of the 7:30am start. Still, I would be required to get up, brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed, get into my car, drive across town, and interact with people BEFORE HAVING COFFEE! It was, therefore, imperative that I be conscious for the briefest amount of time before the bodily fluids were to be taken.

Last night, after much internal deliberation, I set the alarm for 6:45am, even then fearing that I'd given myself too much time to get to the lab. (6:45am is considered "sleeping in." My alarm is usually set for 6:12am on workdays, 6/12 being my birthdate--self-centered to the core, but, hey!, not everyone can set their alarms using their birthdate!)

Wouldn't you know it, I woke before the alarm this morning, at 5:05am! I couldn't let my mind click on, but it did. I couldn't remain conscious without coffee until 6:45am! I decided that if I read as if I were going to bed the night before, it might induce sleep. I clicked on the lamp, snatched up the novel, and began reading. That did it, thank God, and next thing I knew, the radio was blaring.

Urgh! I felt as if I were moving through thick, sticky molasses on my way to the kitchen. I prepared the coffeemaker, all but flipping the switch to begin brewing. I somehow managed to do everything required to get out the door, and I have absolutely NO recollection of my drive across town, a disconcerting realization.

Being new to the lab, I was required to fill out paperwork and sign acknowledgement forms. I resented every minute of the time it kept me away from my first sip of coffee. As soon as I turned in the completed forms, the burglar alarm began screeching, loudly! All of the lab technicians came out to the front, alarmed about the alarm, trying to determine if it was theirs to shut off. I muttered under my breath, "Just forget about it, pleeeeease call me in and draw my damn blood!" The alarm went silent as mysteriously as it had begun and I was called in. Once in the lab, the whole process took no more than five minutes! Before I knew it, I was on my way home to the awaiting coffeemaker!

I've been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 21 years. I was going to self-righteously proclaim that I've had no alcohol or mood-altering chemicals in my body for all those years! But after this morning, I realize such a statement would not be true. I have a replacement drug: Caffeine. Damn it! I am a caffeine-dependent curmudgeon-ess!

Am I going to quit drinking coffee? No bleeping* way!
(*I felt guilty after giving my 89-year old uncle the URL to my blog...)