On the (Exercise) Road, Again!

Weight loss.  Depending on who you ask, it’s either a very popular or very unpopular subject.  I’ve shared a bit on this blog about my past struggle with weight, how I basically didn’t eat for several years.  I’ve shied away from sharing too much about it, partially because it’s personal and partially because I don’t think it needs to be shared.  Most people know the standard characteristics of an eating disorder.

Since getting married I’ve gained weight.  I would lose some, but usually gained back more than I lost.  Finally, I’d had enough.  When we moved to Massachusetts I went in to see my doctor, and he told me that unless I started losing weight, I could guarantee on having health problems.  I talked with Chris and we decided to buy a treadmill through Craigslist.  Chris was skeptical about my sticking to it (hmph!), but I vowed that my treadmill would not turn into a clothing rack, and stuck with my promise.  I used that thing 5 days a week.

At first, all I did was walk.  Talk about humbling.  I used to run all. the. time.  Rain, snow, sleet, ice – didn’t matter.  If it was -15 degrees and cars were sliding into ditches, you could bet that I would be out there, gingerly hopping around ice patches, eyelashes freezing together, huffing and puffing till my scarf was frozen stiff from condensation.  Summer time would come around and I’d be on the road, drenched and limp as a noodle, making my way around my circuit.  I ran on flat land, hills, trails… I was a runner.  And yet there I was, on a treadmill, barely able to move!  It’s true that if you don’t use, you lose it.

But I kept pushing through, building up my stamina bit by bit.  I added in Jillian Michael’s “30 Day Shred”, and it worked.  I lost over 30 pounds, and I’m proud to say that 3 months later I’ve kept it off.  All of that hard work was worth it!

I’m not through losing weight yet, though.  I still have some pounds that I want to shed, and since moving to South Bend my workout routine has gone down the toilet.  Working 12 1/2 hour nights 4 days a week is hard.  I kept telling myself that once my schedule settled down, I’d find a new exercise routine.  Well, here it is, 3 months later.  My schedule is still nuts, and I’ve realized that this is my new routine.  I need to find a way to make this work.

I’ve come to the conclusion that exercising on days that I have to be at the hospital isn’t an option.  I need to sleep for at least 7 hours, and in order to do that I have to be in bed within an hour and a half of getting off work.  When I get up, it takes another hour and a half to get ready.  Combine that with driving time, getting to work early for report, and the usual things that need to be taken care of, and my day is shot.  Just do the math: 12.5 hours of work, 7 hours of sleep, 1.5 hours to get ready, 30 minutes to get to work and be there early, roughly another 30 minutes to get home, and that alone is 22 hours of the day.  Add in 2 hours for things around the house (e.g., laundry, dishes, cleaning, walking the dog, taking care of bills and budget, and don’t forget that for at least 1 of those 2 hours I’m trying to decompress and get ready for bed), and there’s no time left.

When I signed on to this job, I thought, “Great!  Three 12 hour nights a week means I’ll have four days off!”  That hasn’t always been the case.  When I first started, I was so exhausted on my days off that I would sleep for 14 hours solid.  Then I would get up and try to cram in all of the laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking that needed to be done for when I was at work.  I would be awake at night on my “days” off, but jogging on the treadmill at 2am is not at all appealing to me (and I don’t think that my neighbors would care for it, either, although it would be nice payback for having to hear all of their screaming matches!).  Oh, and I’ve been working a lot of overtime.  I kept telling myself that I would get around to establishing a workout schedule, but never did.

Well, that’s going to change.  Starting today, Thursday, I’m getting back on the treadmill.  Chris and I are going out to dinner tonight, but before we do that, I’ll be running.  I’m a little leery as to how I’ll do, seeing as how it’s been awhile since I’ve been jogging, but you’ve got to start somewhere.  I’m hoping to keep you all updated on my progress and give you a mini-review each week.  I have to work four 12s in a row starting Friday, but I’ll be off on Tuesday and plan to jog again, then.  Wish me luck!

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8 comments

  1. Little Miss Dreamer says:

    Good for you! Losing weight and keeping it off is such a great accomplishment. Plus, I admire anyone that braves the cold weather to work out! Good luck getting back into routine. I hate that work and other responsibilities get in the way of a good workout sometimes. But hey, life keeps moving.

  2. Pam says:

    Good luck with that new schedule. It is hard to do exercise while working long hours. I know. I’ve had several years of 60+ hour weeks over my career. I finally have a commitment that I never had before and it’s all because of the symbiotic relationship with the dog. If I feel like exercising, she is great company on my walk (and now after 8 months, I can say on my run) and if I don’t feel like it, I do it for her. Find something that works for you Jenn. It’s worth it as you know. Hey my I reduced my total LDL+HDL from 270 (yikes) to 185! Just one great perk along with going down 2 sizes on pants.

  3. Jane says:

    Woohoo! So while you’re not joining in the hideosity that my blog is about to become … you’re still joining in! 🙂

    Can we have an update on New Zealand? Maybe just a pretty picture update? I can’t wait for you to get there so we can hear fun stories …

    Good luck the next 4 nights. Ouch.

  4. The Happy Dash says:

    Good luck! I know it’s a hard train to stay on constantly thanks to “life” 🙂 I received my book – I’m going to save it for our a good read during our ski vacation (read: I ski a little bit, but mainly cozy up to the fire and read all week!). Thanks!

  5. Anonymous Prep says:

    Good luck! Starting a new job always throws off my routine and I have an 8 to 5. I cannot imagine having to adapt to working nights. When I jumped back on the train, I gave myself small goals, like 3 hours of cardio over 6 days, which helped me keep from getting discouraged on days when I couldn’t get in a long workout.

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