Slippery Slope

The weekend storm, and the lack of city initiative, has left the side streets around town a crisscross of random ice rinks. There’s a patch in front of my house that is utterly terrifying. I live at the bottom of a hill, so I’m just waiting for the day someone slides right into the house. Walking the dog takes twice as long as I try to carefully step across the ice to reach a dry spot where, for the next two feet or so, I can once again walk with confidence and not have to worry about falling on my ass. Tony, on the other hand, I will lose track of only to turn around to see him rolling on the ice, or in the snow, or attempting to pry up a piece to chew on. It amazes me how he can slide down the sidewalk and it doesn’t even faze him. He just carries on as if nothing happened, while I’m just trying to make sure I don’t break anything.

There’s another couple rounds of winter arriving throughout the week, so that means I’m going to be limiting my extracurricular activities to things I can do indoors. Like giving myself an ulcer worrying about the drive to and from work. I will also be seeking out classes to take at the gym. I belong to two gyms–that’s right, two. One is the usual fitness gym, one is a crossfit box. (Is that right? I’ve been a member half a year and haven’t been enough to understand the terminology.) Like many sad people with gym memberships they don’t use, I hold onto mine with the belief that one day, I will return and take advantage of what I’ve lost so much money on already.

This week’s potential motivation is brought on by the beginning of a weight loss challenge being held by the regular gym. Having attended the opening class tonight, I now realize that it is actually a six week long advertisement for the group classes and personal training the gym has to offer. I feel a little duped, like I was promised a vacation and ended up with a presentation on owning a timeshare. Whatever. I guess it worked. I’m now actually going to seek out some of the classes and give them a shot. There were about sixty people who showed up tonight for the gym timeshare lecture. Maybe seeing some of my fellow competitors in the classes will make them seem a little less intimidating.

The sucky thing is, I can’t actually complete the challenge–I’ll be on vacation for the final week, so I automatically fail. I knew this going in, but it still kind of sucks all the same.

While waiting in line for our first day measurements, one of women standing next to me started a conversation, asked what makes me happy. First of all, who asks that of a perfect stranger? Isn’t that kind of personal? Second, fuck if I know. That definitely requires some thought on my part, more than I want to spend while waiting in line. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t offended or anything, just a little taken aback. Such an odd question, but maybe that’s just the kind of person she is. She seemed entertaining, and definitely entertained. Maybe she just likes seeing the reaction she can get.

So, how about it? What makes you happy? Can you answer in thirty seconds or less without having to think about it first? Or do we all need to take a moment, define what happiness means to us, and then decide whether or not we have achieved happiness?

Give me a month. Maybe I’ll have an answer.

I’m so confused.

This is possibly why I’ve never set up a website for my business because this is supposed to be one of easiest formats to navigate and I’m just wandering around thinking, “Huh?” I did switch over to my computer with the disappointing hope that it might make things easier to navigate. It really doesn’t. But, the page is up and running, so I guess that’s a start.

Back to my “journey”. Ugh. What a terrible expression. It’s not a journey. A journey is something done by Hobbits and dwarves and elves and the like. It’s got a beginning and an end and a tale to tell and is an adventure. If major lifestyle changes came with ethereally beautiful elves and rugged handsome men, all those diet fads across the world would immediately go bankrupt and I might not be in my fourth decade of starting over. I can’t even consider it to be and adventure. Adventures are more fun. Sure, they have their challenges to overcome and hurdles along the way, and maybe they’re even a bit more grueling than every day life, but you look forward to overcoming all the bad parts of an adventure because you know your goal is just ahead.

Sure, that sounds like the description of a thousand weight loss/fitness/lifestyle ‘journeys’, but here’s the thing–I know what’s ahead. I know all the steps. I’ve been there, done that, and having to start over yet again, especially after once having my goal within my reach, it’s fucking hell. It’s hard work and pain and denial and suffering. There will be tears. Oh yes, there will be tears. Loss of confidence. Frustration. Anger. Self-hate. Self-doubt. Crushing defeat. It’s damn near impossible to to make that sound like an adventure. Sounds to me like a litany of reasons not to even start.

This brings me back to my blog. The title of my blog is “Focus on the Negative”. It comes from the musical Waitress. Great musical, gorgeous music. During the song I take my title from, the lead is waiting for the results of a pregnancy test and her friends are encouraging her to focus on the negative, meaning, to hope for a negative result saying she’s not pregnant. My negative is a little different. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a cynic. I do not have a positive outlook on life. My mind doesn’t go straight to the worst case scenario, but it’s not exactly trying to see the bright side of things. I’m not sure how to do that. I grew up with a negative family. It’s who we are. I’m not sure I can change, but I’m pretty sure I need to try. I don’t think I can do this if I’m always telling myself I’m going to fail.

That seems like a good place to stop, right? Very profound ending. Plus, my dog is getting pissed because he’s trying to sleep and I’m over here making noise on the computer, so I guess it’s time to go.

Till the sun don’t shine. (Also from Waitress. Seriously, amazing musical. Go listen.)

Well, shit.

Consider this an accountability blog. Or a blathering blog. Or a bit of both, really. The point is, I need to figure some shit out, and the best way to do that anymore seems to be on a public forum. This might be where the accountability comes in.

(As far as formatting goes, there’s going to be some trial and error. I’ve never tried anything like this before and trying to set up a site on a tablet is a truly terrible idea, so bear with me while I figure it out.)

Let me begin with the summarized version of my life story. Fat. Always have been. Came close once to coming within sixty pounds of my goal weight, so I was halfway there, then bought a bakery. You can imagine how well that went. So, here I am, starting over. Again.

What’s different this time? As you might have guessed from the tag line, my reluctant goal is to run a marathon. But why stop there. My overall goal is the Dopey Challenge. If you’re unfamiliar with Disney races, and I assume most of you are, they’re races where people throw away a ridiculous amount of money to spend a weekend running through the theme parks. I’ve done this four(?) times now? I’m old, my memory is going. A friend and I always do the Princess weekend, which involves the Fairytale Challenge—the 10k followed by a half marathon the next day. This is how we celebrate our birthdays. Fun, right?

Next year, she turns forty and wants to do the Dopey. The Dopey involves four races over four days—5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon. Fucking crazy. Over the past few years, I’ve done the Princess races with no training and ended up demoralized physically and emotionally, with my confidence eviscerated by my misery. Seriously, I don’t recommend doing anything like this without training. You’ll just hate yourself in the end, and it’s not worth it. She, on the other hand, will be running the Houston marathon for the third time this year, so she’ll be fine. In order not to embarrass myself yet again, I’ve got to get my shit together and start running. I’ve got the gear, I’ve got a training calendar, I’ve got the planner, I’ve got my confidence journal (should really crack that bitch open), I just need to set foot out the door.

Starting next Tuesday.