How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? ~Dr. Seuss
Where has the time gone? Only moments ago I was reflecting on the end of the year and the looking forward to the possibilities that reside in every new year. It is now mid-year. The days will soon begin getting shorter, the nights longer, and while summer begins, the year is steadily marching toward December.For now, it is summer and summer, for me, means days of keeping my own schedule, filling it with things that I choose (or that my children choose for me). Summer is a time when I can focus more on the things that seems to get pushed aside during the school year when schedules for us all are far more demanding and much less flexible. Things like getting rid of all the weight I gained over the winter and getting out on my bike more often and for longer periods of time. The whole fitness thing really got pushed aside this last school year.
Never mind the reasons why. There are always reasons why. It doesn’t do any good to consider the reasons why (read excuses) unless one considers a strategic plan to avoid making the same mistakes again. Which I fully intend to do. Later, before the fall schedule overwhelms me again, and this upcoming fall contains all the potential of the most stressful and overwhelming schedule I’ve encountered to date. I need to be ready.
In order to be ready, I need to be in shape. In order to get in shape, I need to lose some weight. A lot of weight. Ugh. This winter was great. I had a lot of fun. Way too much fun. Every week was a celebration, every evening returning home from work was a joy. All this happiness was celebrated with food and drink. Not horrible, really, because my eating habits have changed for the better. There’s far more green stuff and fruit in my diet now and far less fat and pasta than before. I managed to make it the entire school year without having to rely on running to the fast food restaurant down the road or the horrible school lunches because I forgot to plan and prepare my lunch the night before. The big problem: I only worked out maybe three times the entire winter. This combination of celebratory consumption without a counter-attack of consistent exercise is the death knell for a female post-45 physique. My physique died somewhere between February and March when I realized I was either going to have to get to the gym or buy clothing in larger sizes.
Last week was the “official” start of the summer schedule for me. Sure, I had two remaining days of work, but for me, I mentally started summer last Sunday, June 12, and I took action. I have one primary summer goal and that is to make a huge permanent dent in this weight that somehow affixed itself to my thighs, belly backside and underarms. In order to do this, I have to face facts: I must eat less, I must exercise more, and I must curtail the intake of alcoholic beverages drastically.
In an effort to begin my journey of a thousand lost pounds, I started out last Sunday deciding to ride at least 10 miles a day, at least 6 days a week, with an average pace on my Ariel Elite of 10 miles an hour. Goals are good. Determination is good. The combination of the two is terrific. Not having to report to work so I can dial in this workout thing is heaven. In my first week, I logged 92 miles, 6 rides, an average pace of 11 mph on my last ride and nothing less than 10 mph on the others. I’ve lost six pounds. I had to tighten up the cinch on my fanny pack, but I’m not sure that’s really because I lost weight or because the fanny pack cinch just loosens up over time. I’d say I had a pretty good week, even though I was sore most of the time, stiff the rest of the time and it is more of a struggle on the bike now than it was last fall when I first purchased the bike. Never mind all that noise, I’m on my way. The hardest part of beginning is over.
Today begins week two. I have new goals. This week I’m striving for 100 miles on the bike, at least 6 rides, I’m going to add in three weight sessions, and I’m dropping the calorie allowance from 1100 to 1,085 while maintaining the great eating pattern started last week. Goal to lose 4 pounds. I also need to remember to drink more water.
I’ve heard that the best exercise is the kind you enjoy doing and while I do like going to the club and doing weights and the elliptical thing, there is just nothing that revives my spirits like a ride on the bike. There isn’t a gin and tonic in the world that tastes as good as that feels.
And now, I’m off to start those 100 miles.