Week 4: shiny penny syndrome and PANIC

What went well week 4?

  • Breakfast, still eating yogurt & fruit and avoiding McDonalds. This seems like it’s an autopilot. I briefly considered allowing McDonalds once a month, but decided to take an all or nothing approach to breakfast right now.
  • I did some kind of workout for 2.5 hours. I am gonna count this as a win
  • I reduced the number of times where I overate or made bad choices later in the day. I think my willpower muscle is getting stronger and my I Deserve thinking is fading a bit.

What didn’t go well?

I have shiny penny syndrome. When something new and shiny came along, as an alternate to cardio, I jumped all over it.

A friend of my sister runs a personal trainer business and gave me a few times last week. So, instead of doing cardio, I did 2 sessions of 1 hour strength training. Not the worst trade, but I believe I should still figure out the cardio thing.

I can’t stress enough, I loathe doing cardio.

I always avoid doing things I hate. I have this chronic affliction in all aspects of my life. It takes some sort of PANIC trigger before I will do something I hate doing.

  • Expense reports at work…Takes at least the third emailed alert of dire consequences and maybe even my boss telling me to get it done, before I even think of doing it.
  • Bathrooms… I just do the bare minimum cleaning until guests are coming over.
  • Dentist appointments…I am a bad bad person, who frequently reschedules until the toothache gets too bad, and by then I have way more problems.

Even though I know I should do the things I hate, I just can’t!!!! I don’t know why!

The problem with cardio is, there is no PANIC stage where I am forced to do it.

At least with bathrooms, the PANIC sets in before my guests arrives.

What is the PANIC trigger for cardio?

Not gonna give up on cardio, I need to figure this out for week five.

crawlers (NO) cardio (YES)

Not only did I avoid the donuts, bagels, and other assorted baked sugary goodness offered to me at this morning’s meeting, I also did cardio today.

Now, I only did 20 minutes…but I’m gonna count this as a win and move on.

I have training at work for the next two days. So, I did some extra planning for some healthy snacks. Because I know they will be offering a smorgasbord of chips, cookies, candy, etc. to bribe us to pay attention.

We’ll see how we do. Gonna be hard to want to do cardio after sitting all day in training.

One day at a time.

Week 3: cardio…what cardio?

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

No cardio happened.

The most “cardio” I did was wandering Home Depot and the flooring store on Saturday.

I kept saying to myself “I’ll do it tomorrow” and then ran out of tomorrows.

Kinda felt like I was trying to jump onto a moving carousel. Go NOW, ok wait a second…try it now…hang on. One day, I even got dressed in workout clothes with ever intention to workout, but ended up sitting in the kitchen talking to my husband.

So, huh?

I think the quantity target messes with my mind. Knowing I aimed to do 3 days meant I could wait 4 days before I “had” to do it.

How about aim for each day and hope for 3? Dunno, let’s try that mindset and see what we get.

why lose weight?

I believe a person can be overweight and healthy.

I don’t believe being 100lbs overweight is healthy for me.

It’s laughable to me when I go to my doctor and she hesitates to mention my weight. As if I don’t already know I’m overweight and she’s breaking the bad news to me. Yeah, I know if I lost a little weight I might be able to lower my blood pressure, or my knees would hurt less, or might sleep better or live longer. Thanks Dr. Obvious.

I know if I lose weight, become healthier and in better physical shape, I could live longer and not die prematurely.

Death is just not a tangible thing. Death is a thing far off in the distance…over there.

Ask me if I want to live long enough to see my boys get married and have grandchildren? Of course I do.

Am I convinced that eating a donut is gonna prevent that from happening? Of course I’m not convinced. I won’t drop dead from just one jelly donut.

Fear of death is not a motivator. Having a better quality of life, not just a longer one, should be the real motivation.

When I thought of the tangible reasons to lose weight, big and small, I focused on what would make me happier, a better person, and allow me to have a better quality of life.

Here’s just 20 of the reasons I came up with, to lose weight and be healthier:

  1. I could get on the ground and get off of the ground easier
  2. Airplane seats would be more comfortable
  3. I’m convinced I would sweat less
  4. I could take long walks again
  5. Future grandkids (way way way into the future boys!)
  6. Feel physically stronger
  7. I could take the stairs without feeling like I’m dying
  8. No more snarky remarks from my mother…well, maybe fewer snarky remarks?
  9. More energy
  10. More sex from being happier naked
  11. Happier husband from the more sex
  12. Hike (not take the bus) up to Machu Picchu
  13. Enjoy a long retirement
  14. Future weddings of my boys (no pressure boys, but I hope you find someone!)
  15. Kayaking
  16. My weight would be one less thing to worry about
  17. No fear of fitting in the roller coaster seat
  18. Learn Muay Thai and be a bad ass
  19. I believe I’d feel more like myself, the way I used to be
  20. Experience comfort while wearing shorts

fat and happy

My 100lb problem flourished when I became a happy person.

Let me explain.

There was a time when I was unhappy and situationally depressed. Felt like nothing was going well and every part of existence seemed to be a struggle. I convinced myself that if only I got a better job, more money, a bigger house, lost the weight and just THINGS – then I could be happy.

As I do in my life, I read many books and philosophies about happiness to try to learn how to be happy.

The only idea that really resonated with me was that happiness can’t be contingent on a thing or a situation. If happiness is tied to a job or a house, what happens if those things go away? And even if I got a bigger house or a better job, would I eventually become unhappy again, since there’s always an even bigger house or even better job?

A few years ago I traveled a lot for work. I would travel to countries where people had very little as far as material items. These people struggled…for real struggled. I remember eating dinner late one evening at my hotel, and chatting with the waiter. He mentioned he lived nearby, but he was vague on the exact location. I knew that likely meant he lived in nearby slums that had homes built out of corrugated steel and tarps, with no running water or electricity. He spoke of his children and asked about mine. He beamed with pride and spoke with joy about his life. And he seemed to be a happy person.

I would experience this a lot over the years as I traveled the world and it made me wonder…what the fuck was wrong with me?

Why couldn’t I be happy? Being free of clinical depression or any mental illness, I could not understand why I couldn’t be happy.

So, I decided to be happy. It was not easy and it took a lot of work. I decoupled the things and the job, the weight and the house from my idea of happiness. I had to try to be happy and grateful no matter what. And over the years, it became easier to live my life that way.

I began to just be happy with who I was and whatever situation I was in. And I accepted myself being overweight.

Because I became a happy person and had no fucks to give about being overweight, I never truly wanted to lose weight. Why would I?

I mean, there are benefits to being overweight.

  • I don’t have to exercise
  • I eat what I want, when I want.
  • I get out of doing strenuous labor around the house.
  • I’m in that sweet spot of lady clothing sizes where I still have plenty of choices.
  • My husband claims it doesn’t bother him.

So, why lose the weight?

To convince myself to do the work, I have to identify the reasons why I want to solve my 100lb problem. And I have to accept that trying to lose the weight doesn’t mean I am not happy with myself or that I don’t accept myself. Simply a way to improve myself.

I may have been fat and happy all these years. I would really like to try healthy, fit and happy.

I HATE cardio – what shall I do for 30 minutes?

Here’s the reasons I hate cardio.  If I’m gonna do cardio, I’ll need to reduce the level of hatred from these items as much as possible.

1.       Boredom

2.       Sweatiness

3.       Excessive eating afterwards

4.       I hate walking / running

#1 Boredom & #4 I hate walking/running

Feels like I’ve tried every walking / running app out there to motivate me and combat boredom.  Zombie Runs!, the NPR podcast for walkers, joining online forums for walkers/runners, etc…just didn’t work for me and I would STILL get bored.

Plus, I hate to walk or run as exercise.

Treadmill exercise is out, I’m NOT buying another treadmill.  And I’m not willing to walk outside.  Between the weather, speeding cars, and the fear of actually having to interact with my neighbors – just not something I’m gonna do.  And it hurts the bottom of my feet.

I had mild success at using a spin bike.  I already own a spin bike that I added a Wahoo cadence and speed sensor.  I was trying to make a poor-man’s Peloton, just like I saw in this article.

By the way, why does my spin bike have reflectors on the back of the peddles?


For $15 a month, I can use the Peloton app even if I don’t own a Peloton bike.  It offers on demand rides and live sessions, durations from 15 minutes and longer.

The instructors are high energy and engaging.  So, maybe that will help me stay engaged and not get bored?

#2 Sweatiness

Well, this one seems straight forward.  While I would always feel awkward walking the neighborhood with a towel sling across my shoulders, I can easily use a towel in my house to mop off the buckets of sweat that I create.

#3 Excessive eating afterwards

This one is gonna be hard.  I know it happens.  It happens every time.  It’s a combination of being truly hungry after exertion AND the I Deserve phenomenom.

I did cardio, so I DESERVE ice cream.

Water will be key.  I’ll need lots of water to keep myself hydrated and to fill my stomach.

I will have to eat something.  I’ll try to do cardio just before dinner, but I’ll still have to avoid overeating at dinner and not just rely on willpower.

So, can I just add more dinner?  Maybe more vegetables or a salad?  I know I’m just working on cardio these next two weeks, but I have to counterbalance the risk of overeating.

I’ll allow myself to eat a bit more dinner, as long as it’s the healthy part of my dinner.

Did I mention I hate Cardio?