Day One

(Disclaimer: despite referencing the gym a few times here, this blog is not about to become a fitness, meal prep, or healthy anything. Lol you know me better than that. Carry on.)

i miss you, borneo

Something about being on vacation, indulging for a week, especially if that week is spent mostly in a bikini (to the horror of the very conservative resort guests), makes you come home ready to set some goals, full of plans to get in shape, finish that x y and z on your to do list.

Last week in Borneo did that for me – we did next to nothing for seven days (the hardest decision I made was which level of SPF to apply on which body part for maximum tanning purposes) and I was so, so very chilled at the end of it. But I did look at my calendar and note that I had nine weeks until my next vacation, which would also coincide with my 35th (gasP) birthday. I have a list of goals to complete by then, and while I have made significant progress in these last five years, two seemed both easy and impossible and I thought hey, let’s try to do them together.

So here I am, Day One.

the gym is slightly more difficult than this, the only exercise i did for a week. besides bicep curls. (beer)

I have signed up for a gym challenge for the next eight weeks.

I am also layering that with a goal to blog every day for a month. Which you see here.

So far today, I have accomplished the following:

  • Taking clothes to the laundromat so I will have clothes to wear to work out in.
  • Eating nearly all the Flaming Hot Cheetos to get rid of the temptations in my house.
  • Bought healthy food to meal prep with. Hoping fairies come in overnight to do it all for me. Why do vegetables require so much washing and chopping?
  • Am drinking weight in tea.
  • Oh look! Frosting!

I’ve made various attempts at taking better care of myself over the years, and I’ve made lots of goals for myself, like my thirtyfive by 35 list I am SO close to finishing. But I have never said to the girl in the mirror “hey – what if you did it, and actually followed through with it? What would happen if you didn’t quit?”

the wishing tree for Chinese New Year at school.
i hung a few wishes, myself. :)
one kid wished for a bee.

So I’m saying that to her today. We’re going to run (slowly, but forwards!) and dance and chase down all the dreams I have right now and see what happens. If I don’t quit.

Day Two

I kinda want to quit.

Lol just kidding kinda.

I had a big day at work – staff professional development and I had been working for weeks on a big presentation to share with one large group and one small group. I’m pretty passionate about what I teach, and I don’t get to do as much as I’d like, so it was so nice to be able to work with staff and talk about the difficulties our English learners face. But it is exhausting and two hours and 46 slides and three handouts later, I was wiped. The last thing I wanted to do was go work out. But the thing about paying and booking in advance is that I won’t let myself waste the money.

I was already home and had had a small nap and taken off my bra, usually the signal of the end of the day, but I was determined. So off I went. The trainers were new – one was a super cute Russian guy who was really encouraging and made me smile, and the other was an Asian woman who was in great shape, weighed me and booked me in, and then after the workout, basically told me I might not know what I’m doing and was possibly too out of shape to succeed at this eight week trial.

Now, I might not look it at the moment, but I was really athletic growing up. I played one, if not two, sports year round. There was a time in high school I would wake up in the middle of the night, go downstairs, and eat because I was hungry at three am. And I didn’t feel like it then, but I was in fantastic shape and had an amazing body. It just didn’t look like most of my friends.

I partied like a rockstar in college while also studying and working and had an amazing life and a body I look back on now and wish I had loved better because I’d give my right arm for the miraculous metabolism of my twenties again. But as I got older, devastating things like the sudden losses of my uncle, grandma, a childhood friend, a terrible breakup, etc., made me turn more to food and wine for comfort. A few injuries and a lot of socializing I don’t regret, and a lot of depression I wish I’d found help for sooner, and here we are.

But you know what? ITS STILL IN AN AMAZING BODY. My legs and arms and lungs work, I can hike for hours, and easily carry 22.5kg of luggage up my six flights of stairs by myself every time I come home from traveling. I’m beautiful because I am happy. I want to make some changes, get in better shape, and feel my best going into this next birthday. But don’t you dare tell me that I can’t do something because you’ve put me on a scale for a second and doing four hundred lunges and jump squats in an hour brought out some colorful vocabulary on my part.

But maybe it was the little challenge I needed to really stick with this. Because as she was asking me if I really knew what I was getting into, I was like “uh, yes? I do? I want this.” And as I walked home and did my meal prep for the week, I realize I had asked for it. I do want to find out what will happen if I don’t quit. And there’s no easier way to get me to do something than to tell me I shouldn’t or can’t do it. Ask my mom.

Normally for this challenge, you weigh in every two weeks, but she’s asking me to weigh in next week to see what I’ve managed to do on my own with healthier food choices (and a sad goodbye to my frequent happy hours!). Here’s to my future smirk at next Monday’s weigh in.

Day Three

Well, I went back. I was actually looking forward to it. That trainer’s words had really given me something to think about. You don’t go to a doctor when you’re sick, right? And yeah, there are a lot of good looking people at that gym. WAY better looking than me. In way better shape. I would argue all of them are. But we all start somewhere, and I will not be deterred. I’ve got goals, friend. Not quitting this time.

Fired up and not even minding the chub that hung over my Target-grade workout pants (feast thine eyes, o negative trainer!), I went back. Today was much easier. Much less jumping and much more cute Russian trainer leaning over me and saying “yes, perfect, Rachelle.” I did not mind that at all.

My legs feel a bit like jelly walking down all the stairs. I’ve six flights to climb to my apartment, and eleven flights to work, and eight floors at work! It’s a bit of the old up and down, as they say. But. I will not quit.

I also can’t quit dating apps, apparently. I’m back on Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, and Tinder (sigh). It’s endless entertainment! I’ve started chatting with this guy who is hilarious. But it’s the week of Valentines, so obviously we can’t meet up anytime soon. That is a deathwish.

The last guy that I had met out, the night before another first date, who had disappeared and was perhaps being held hostage by pirates but then suddenly texted and asked me out on a date, turned out to be not the fairy tale ending I was planning on. We met up, and in the broad light of day, he was still handsome, but also older than I remembered. Much older. As in a lot closer to my parents’ age than mine.

We had a really fun afternoon – a slow pub crawl through his neighborhood, new to him as he’d just moved here four months prior. Then a long dinner, full of laughs and good conversation. During which, to solve questions like “which one of us is right about the artist of this obscure song they’re playing in this bar,” he managed to take out his phone several times and use it.

Which makes it REALLY CONFUSING as to why since that night, even after I texted “thanks for the lovely time, so much fun, blah blah blah” he has NEVER texted back.

I obsessively checked my Whatsapp for a week to see if the two check marks had gone blue, indicating he’d read the message. But no. He didn’t even do that. I knew that he was going back to the UK for a funeral that weekend, so maybe . . . but no. Here we go, making excuses and rationalizing poor behavior by men that should know better.

It’s now been two weeks, and even knowing that he was so much older that it wouldn’t have worked out long term, I was still a bit hurt by it. There is so much anxiety that goes into dating, so many text messages to friends for moral support, so much pacing about the house complaining I have nothing to wear with a pre-Marie Kondo closet full of clothes, that you at least want to be acknowledged with “had a nice night, too.”

But NO.

So he can go back to being kidnapped by pirates for all I care. Yo ho yo ho.

Speaking of hos, check out this cat trying to date me on Tinder. I’m into it.