In January, I made my annual resolution: lose weight. Yeah, I know, real original. Generally, this resolution lasts until about January 2nd, give or take a day. This year, however, I’ve stuck with it. Or maybe I haven’t exactly stuck with it, but I haven’t completely given up on it either. I’ve been making careful food decisions, choosing vegetables over cookies, fruit over pasta, sawdust bars over chocolate. Despite that, the weight has been coming off pretty slowly so I finally came to terms with the fact that I can no longer count brushing my teeth and fastening my sandals as exercise. I need to add actual exercise — the kind that makes you sweat and scream in pain — to my repertoire.
I’m doing this for myself. I’ve neglected myself a lot over the years. Having six kids kinda does that to you. The past couple years especially have been tough. I know the kids have had a rough time dealing with the divorce and the way their dad has changed. I know they’ve had a difficult time adjusting to the move. I’ve been dedicated to ensuring their well-being at all costs. Every moment, every decision I make, everything I do is spent with their best interest in mind. If I have a spare moment, it’s given to my kids, whether it’s helping them with homework, talking to them, teaching them life skills, or even working so I can make enough money to pay for football sign-up or a dress for the dance, etc.
I don’t regret any of those choices. I’ve done what needed to be done and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. But now that we’re all developing a new sense of normal and getting into a good groove and adjusting pretty well, I feel the need to take some time for myself. I’m pushing the selfish feelings I have aside and, much like the airline safety video states, I’m putting on my own oxygen mask so I can better assist others.
I have a plan. I’ve named it the Supermodel Plan. By the end of summer, I will look like a supermodel, or I’ll at least look good enough that no one will try to push me back in the ocean when I’m lying on the beach.
How hard could it be, right? I mean, when I look at the dating profiles of all these guys, I see so many of them state they like working out. They even include pictures of themselves at the gym. They’re smiling in the pictures, and they look like they enjoy working out. If all those guys can do it, I can totally do it too, I convinced myself.
Today, I opted to go for a walk. I dug out my tennis shoes and found a pair of socks. Clay took one look at me and asked, “What’s on your feet?” That’s how often I wear shoes. My own son was confused and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t barefoot or clad in flip flops. I walked outside, popped in my earbuds, fired up my iPod and started down the street at a fast clip. Heck, I was practically jogging I was going so fast. I got to the end of the street, rounded the corner, and slowed down because my feet were hot. I considered ditching my shoes and continuing barefoot, but thought it would probably be bad if I stepped on something sharp. I walked on toward the lake.
A couple weeks ago, I tried walking around the track at school, but after two laps, I got tired and quit. By walking to the lake, it’s tough luck if I get tired because I still have to walk back home. I’m pretty sure this method has been deemed torture by Amnesty International and the Geneva Convention, but I force myself to do it anyway.
As I walked on, I became aware of the fact that I could no longer breathe like a normal human. I gasped and panted and groaned (and not in a good way either). I think I may have started wheezing at some point, but the blood pounding in my ears made me deaf to my breathing and moaning. Soon after I became oxygen-deprived, I got a cramp in my side. I stopped for a moment, bent over, held my side, and gasped like a fish out of water. I thought about knocking on the door of the nearest house and asking them for a ride home, but let’s face it — if someone looking like me showed up at my door, I’d call the police, not offer them a ride home. I straightened and kept going.
By this time, I was dripping wet. As I arrived at the lake, I remembered being told once that “pigs sweat, men perspire, and women glow.” I gave a little snort to myself as my glowing-ness dripped into my eyes, down my back, between my boobs. I thought about jumping in the polluted lake to cool off before heading home. I saw an alligator which surprisingly didn’t deter me, but made me want to jump in even more simply because I figured an alligator bite equaled an ambulance ride home.
I don’t remember anything from the time I reached the lake to when I walked in my front door, but I think I may have crawled part of the way. I stumbled inside, ripped off my shoes and socks, and collapsed on the floor amid a chorus of insults from my kids. “Mom, did you just take a shower? You smell like outside. Why is your face so red? Are you dead?”
In order to attract all sorts of younger men who are physically fit, I think I’ll add this photo to my online dating profile with the caption — “I’m sexy and I know it. I work out!” What man wouldn’t find a woman who can’t walk three miles without turning beet red, going into cardiac arrest, and sweating enough to look like she’d just come out of the shower attractive, right?
I’ve made a slight adjustment to the Supermodel Plan. It’s now called the Lie Around Like a Slug All Summer Plan. I’m okay with that.