Before the Insanity Began . . .

     I know I probably sound like a broken record for repeatedly bringing up just how hot the summer of 2010 was. But seriously, it was the one of the most miserable summers of my life. And all that I could do was wait for it to be over. The hot weather really sucked for me because I was carrying around all that excess weight and the fact that all of my clothes were getting too tight didn’t help matters.

     I had already made up my mind that I WAS NOT going to just accept this state of affairs anymore.  “As soon as this damn heat is gone, I’m going to do something about this,” I often told myself. “I don’t care how much it hurts or how much the exercises suck. I can deal with all the sweat; that IS why God created running water, right?” I decided that the first of November would be the perfect time to launch my fitness plans again. I picked this date because there were a few more things that I got completely sick of and planned on changing during the hotter months.

     One of those things was my diet. I knew that I would have to make changes to what I ate when I started working out again. Instead of waiting until November and making everything even harder for myself, I would just make the necessary adjustments beforehand. I wanted to make sure that I was used to NOT stuffing my face with nothing but junk food. Making that a reality is what I spent September of 2010 doing.

     The first thing I did was to train myself to eat less: less junk food and less food overall. To kick off the training, I began to bring actual food to with me to work whenever I had to go in for one of those stupid 51/2 hour shifts that appeared on my schedule a lot during that time. Up until then, I had been eating candy bars and potato chips during that one fifteen minute break that I would get. It was one of the many factors contributing to my weight gain.

     On the days I worked a full eight hour shift lunch breaks became all about avoiding something I had heard referred to as the ‘itis’. The ‘itis’ is basically eating a meal and getting really sleepy afterward, especially if that food was chock full of the unholy trinity of food ingredients: fat, salt, and sugar. Once again, I made the effort to eat a little bit less. I also started to incorporate more fruits and healthier snacks into what I ate at work. I even experimented briefly with diet bars. Most of them were awful. Pretty soon, cutting calories became a non issue; I came to hate the way I felt after eating bad foods and started avoiding many of them.

     September of 2010 was also when I was finally able to kick my soda habit. I abruptly and severely reduced the amount of it that I would let myself drink. Through sheer willpower, I forced myself to drink more water more often. It tasted pretty good and quenched my thirst like nothing else could after doing this for two or three weeks. I would actually walk away thirstier on those few occasions when I would have some soda. I was pretty miffed about that. I wondered why I would even bother drinking something that just made me thirstier.  Kinda defeated the purpose of having a beverage in the first place, didn’t it? Soda really is some awful stuff!

     As the month wore on, I started to notice the gradual rewards for all of my efforts. My clothes were slowly loosening and my skin was beginning to clear up. I was amazed at the fact that these things were happening even though I hadn’t even resumed the workouts yet.

     The other thing that I was completely sick of and wanted to change was my room. Before I go into the whole process of how I went about tackling this problem, I would like to share a story.

     *Back in the middle of July, while it was still hot as hell, one of the Wiimotes of my Wii gaming system suddenly died. (Actually the batteries had died but I didn’t realize it at the time.) So I searched everywhere for the other one I kept on hand for just such an emergency. I found myself looking through all sorts of things I didn’t have much use for and it made me angry. “Why am I even holding on to this stuff?!” I kept asking myself as I dug through piles and piles of junk.  I soon realized that it was one of the reasons why I felt so heavy.

     That day, I resolved to carry out a huge purge as soon as the intense heat of summer let up. I set a date for the first of October for two reasons:

  • I’d have a whole month to get everything taken care of before I planned to start exercising again in November and
  • I could put more energy into the workouts with all of that cleaning business out of the way.*

     I didn’t exactly wait for October’s arrival before making preparations for the upcoming deep cleansing. Along with making changes to my diet, I also spent the greater part of September buying and gathering cleaning supplies. I

*swiped a couple of garbage bags

*commandeered a broom and dustpan

*bought a swiffer mop along with a bunch of those mopping pads

*prepared a few rags for dusting purposes

I was serious about this thing here.

     By the time October rolled around, I was ready to get down to work. I began by throwing out A LOT of stuff. Here’s a rather general list of everything I threw out.

  • stuffed animals, most of them donated to Goodwill
  • really old clothes
  • useless papers
  • two chairs
  • a beanbag chair
  • lots of boxes
  • tons of knick-knacks from my dresser drawers

There was a 3 or 4-week period where I would throw out two whole garbage bags of trash per week. I was a machine!

     After getting rid of all that stuff, I switched gears and got down to sweeping, dusting, and mopping down everything. I moved things that I hadn’t moved in years just so I could clean under them and dusted things that hadn’t even been touched for equally as long.

     I remember scheduling my cleaning sessions: every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between the hours of 10AM and 4PM for at least an hour. I arranged everything so that my mother would always be at work whenever I clean−had no intentions of being interrogated about what I was doing and why I was doing it. And after a few weeks of highly dedicated and covert work, I began to see and feel the difference. Not only did my new room look more organized, it felt a lot lighter without all of that junk and dust weighing it down. Deciding to do all of this in October had was a stroke of brilliance on my part because it really was sweaty and I was going to need all of the energy that I could muster for my workouts during the following month.

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