How I’m Not Letting 10 lbs. Keep Me from Enjoying Summer

woman pool hat

Summer weather has finally graced the northern tundra!  A couple of weeks ago, I eagerly pulled out my small bin of summer clothes, ready for my first day of wearing shorts.  I have a relatively limited wardrobe, so I was thankful to have inherited a few, timeless golf skorts from my aunt last year, which fit well and are very comfortable (no, I don’t play golf, but my fantasy self wishes I did).  I selected one and put it on, only there was something wrong: it didn’t fit anymore.  Neither did any of my other shorts, save two pairs with adjustable waists (they’re not just for kids, you know). 🙂

What happened?! We don’t own a scale, so I had to go to the gym to find out. Somewhere between October and May, I packed on an extra ten pounds (and it’s all around my middle)!  How did I not notice that while wearing my winter clothes?  Well, whatever the case, this is a real problem.  Because I am an aspiring minimalist, and stores are a trap for me, I am not going out to buy new shorts.  No, sir.  I am fixing this the hard way, with exercise . . . and better food choices.

The truth is, I indulged myself for six months.  I ate candy and treats from Halloween to Easter, and never gave it a second thought.  I also nearly dropped off the map at the gym. It’s hard to convince one’s self to climb out of bed and drive to the gym in the frigid cold at 5:30am, so I didn’t bother most mornings.

(No, this is not me; I wish!)
(No, this is not me; I wish!)

I haven’t quite got the eating part under control yet, but I have been to the gym four times this week.  Isn’t it funny how we expect to see instant results?  I mean, I lifted weights, I walked two miles, I planked for 30 seconds!  Let me race home to flex in the bathroom mirror and see if I have muscles yet, or if my stomach has shrunk.  Nope, nothing.

Most days, when I look at myself, it feels pretty hopeless.  I mean, between the metabolism shift that comes with being 40+ years old, and the damage that six months of hibernation did, I don’t know how I’ll ever get my body back in shape again (I use the expression “back into shape” loosely, as I don’t know if I’ve ever truly been “in shape” to begin with). I tell myself in these moments, “This didn’t happen in one day; it’s not going to change overnight.”

Oddly, despite the disappointing view in the mirror, I also have this unusual sense of optimism about being able to fit back into my summer clothes.  I am determined to work hard and be consistent about going to the gym.  I’m gearing up for some healthier eating habits, too, but that extra unused bag of Swedish Fish I bought for my son’s colonial fair and the leftover ice cream from the end of the season soccer party we hosted have been too tempting for me.  I think the real kicker, though, was the ridiculous sale on M&M’s at Costco last month ($6.97 for a 56 oz bag- unheard of!)  We plowed through the peanut M&M’s in one week, and making homemade trail mix with the regular M&M’s was just an excuse to eat those, too.  Oh dear.

Our local pool, courtesy of
Our local pool, courtesy of

Anyway, my goal is to pull my body back from the brink in June, so I don’t have to dread every trip to the pool this summer.  I bought the Super Pass this year, which gives our family access to every pool in our county.  So great!  Now, everyone in Ozaukee County can see how out of shape I really am. Ugh.

The truth is, I’m not technically overweight, even with the extra 10 lbs. Two years ago, I had the unexpected “blessing” of dropping 10 pounds (from a horrible stomach bug and some anxiety issues) which have miraculously stayed off.  Now that it’s back, it’s still easy to hide my more unattractive features under clothing, but swimsuits don’t afford us that same luxury, do they?

It doesn’t matter much whether I am at an ideal weight if I have no stamina, strength, or svelte-ness about me (just had to keep with the alliteration).  I’m not looking to become a weight lifter or supermodel; I just want to be the best, normal version of me I can be.  Consistency and maintenance is my new mantra.  Who’s with me?

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