Monday, September 29, 2014

potato no more!

In general, I want to dislike neatly-packaged "programs" that lead to "results."  For instance:  Dave Ramsey.  He seems so slick.  Almost like some kind of snake-oil salesman.  All the little slogans - it just seemed like groupthink.  But then I read the book, and my previous church started running his program.  And dang it.  It works.  His principles (which are really just the sound personal financial planning that we no longer learn from family or in school) help people get out of lethal debt and manage their finances so they can faithfully give.  I really didn't want it to work.  But it does.  I've used the debt snowball myself to great effect, and currently only owe student loans and my mortgage.

Another program I loved to hate was Couch to 5K.  This is super-straightforward.  It's a program of walking/jogging that promises to get you to running a 5K by the end of nine weeks.  It entails three weekly workouts that take no longer than 30 minutes.  I've seen people talking about it for years.  But I scoffed.  And I seemed to think that somehow, magically, I would just get in shape without having to start somewhere.

For a year after the birth of each of my children, I have taken a drug called domperidone to help me be able to nurse them more fully.  Along with a delightful herbal tea, domperidone has been a lifesaver for me.  But the ugly side effect of domperidone is increased appetite and inability to lose weight.  And boy, did each of those nasty effects hit me like a ton of bricks.

My pattern with both kids has been:  I lose almost all the weight I gained in pregnancy within eight or ten weeks of birth.  Then, because of the domperidone, I gain it all back (and then some) over the course of the baby's first year.  I stop taking the drug after baby's first birthday and realize that I've got some serious work to get back to a healthy size.

So here I am three days after Todd's first birthday:  as big as I have ever been, even fully pregnant with either of my kids.

I realized, looking at that picture, that I needed to get serious - and fast - about getting fit.  I needed to get over my suspicion of a program like Couch to 5K.  So I jumped in.  I started the program.  I mapped the runs into a neat chart so that I could mark off finished workouts.  I breezed through the first week.  The second and third weeks took a little more effort, but I got it done.  I had bad foot and ankle pain that was immediately remedied by getting fitted for new shoes and inserts at our amazing neighborhood running store.  I found a super-duper sweet double jogging stroller on Craigslist for $85 and am now a dedicated Baby Jogger brand snob.  I was feeling really good about my progress, jogging with the kids on weekends, with the dog on my day off, and on our walking track at church during my lunch break.

And then I hit week 5, day 3:  walk 5, jog 20.  Twenty minutes of uninterrupted jogging proved to be really, really difficult for me.  I had to re-attempt probably two or three times before I was successful.  Weeks 7 and 8 really slowed me down.  We are getting into jogging pretty long portions:  25-28 minutes.  I will admit that I still have not finished the program! The final week is three workouts of walking 5 minutes, jogging 30 minutes.  I still can't quite do it.  But I work at it.  I jog 2-3 times per week.  And I feel amazing.

And I've lost a little over 20 pounds, to boot.  This is not the end of my "after" story, because I still have a long way to go.  This is really just the end of the beginning!  It's the beginning of me getting over my pride and my ridiculous objections to simple programs that encourage fitness.  I hope, if you're on the ledge, you can get over it too!

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