Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Eleven Months

It has now been eleven months since I decided to change my life and lose weight, and last month kind of ended on a cliffhanger. After the depressing month when I didn't lose any weight something worse happened, and in the tenth month I gained ten pounds and then swore to lose them again. I vowed to get back on the horse, not let it be a permanent setback, and to stay the course.

And I lost five pounds.

I now weigh 225 pounds.

I'm not celebrating, but I will acknowledge my achievement. I returned to my routine, stayed mostly on diet, made my step goals, and lost five pounds, but I'm not really in the mood to congratulate myself because I lost those five pounds already. I'm still mad at myself for spending a month making poor choices and then justifying and rationalizing those poor choices. It's not like I didn't know that I could put weight back on, as there are obvious, logical reasons why I weighed 295 pounds in the first place.

I'm not mad that I backslid. I'm disappointed in myself, yes, but what I'm mad about is the wasted effort. I spent the month losing five pounds that I already lost to get back to where I was two months ago. If I can lose five more pounds this month, then I will be back to where I was in February, but I could have spent those two months moving forward instead. I could have been two months closer to being overweight instead of obese. I could have been two months closer to Venice, but instead I will spend four months making the same progress, and that depresses and disappoints me. I made bad choices, and I have to accept responsibility for them and deal with the fallout, but I'm not happy about it. I'm not happy that I lost five pounds, because I shouldn't have gained ten pounds to begin with.

I cheated myself out of two months of progress.

But hey, I lost five pounds.

I also lost my treadmill.

Yes, in addition to the shoes I've worn down, the shoes I bought to replace them (which I am also about to replace), and dozens of outfits, I've now managed to outwalk my treadmill, too. I guess if one of us was going to break, I'm glad it was the treadmill rather than, you know, me.

I had a feeling this was coming, honestly. A couple of months ago I was finishing up a walk on the treadmill and when I got off I noticed a little plastic wheel on the floor next to the treadmill.

Oh, I thought, picking it up. That's not good.

I didn't see any obvious places that the little wheel fell out of, though, and the treadmill seemed to work fine without it, so I put it out of my mind and continued my routine. Then, a few weeks later, I noticed another little plastic wheel next to the treadmill, but on the other side. Again, the treadmill continued working, so I tried not to worry about it. I did examine it much more closely, and figured out that the little wheels helped the treadmill raise and lower the deck if you want to change the incline. Fortunately, I never walk on an incline, so the loss of the little wheels didn't seem that important. They were a warning, though, a sign that my aging treadmill might not be up to almost a year of steady usage. I chose to ignore the signs, and then the treadmill died.

The other night I turned it on and started walking, or, rather, tried to start walking. As soon as I stepped on the deck, the belt stopped turning. At first I thought, "It's broken. Better throw it away," but then I thought, "Wait... maybe I can fix it." I started consulting the internet, and was offered a range of possible solutions.

Did I need to tighten the belt? No, belt was fine.

Did I need to lubricate the belt? No, that seemed fine, too.

Was the other belt inside the casing that turns the bigger belt that I walk on broken? No, that was fine, too.

My treadmill's engine has given out. It no longer has the power to turn the little belt or the big belt, which probably explains why the treadmill has seemed slower than it says it's moving lately and why it sometimes made a random grinding noise.

The treadmill is dead, and I will have to figure out a day when I have time to move it out to the porch and then have friends come over for a minute to help me get it down the steps and into the dumpster. I'm sure my friends will line up and volunteer for this, because my friends are kind, generous, giving people, the kind of people who might have some upper body strength and might be willing to use it to help send my poor, suffering treadmill off to a farm in the country where it has room to run around and frolic in the sun and has lots of other treadmills to play with. My treadmill is going to a better place, everybody.

I, on the other hand, have been going to the fitness center in my apartment complex.

This situation is not ideal, but it is workable. I don't like the place where my Kindle fits on the fitness center treadmills, because it doesn't cover up the clock and I have to force myself not to look at the terribly slow moving numbers. More importantly, I don't know how I feel about interacting with my neighbors. I'm not used to talking to them, or being in close proximity to them, or wondering if I've been on the treadmill for too long and am supposed to share it with one of them. I don't know these unspoken rules to using a fitness facility, like if you have to bring a towel or if people will tell you when they want to use the machine you're on and if you're supposed to make small talk and who gets to be in charge of the television and what channel it's on.

I guess I'm going to learn them.

Or I'm going to last about a month, and then buy a new treadmill.


lee woo said...

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Marcheline said...

I was going to say something profound about keeping your eye on the goal, not beating yourself up over something that's already happened, you can't turn back time but you can make the best of the time you have today, blah blah blah... but lee woo's comment completely took it out of me. I suddenly feel like drinking green tea and meditating on the universe.

But seriously, as far as the fitness facility is concerned, it should be "first come, first served" - especially with a treadmill. The treadmill is a machine that you don't just hop on for a few seconds - most people use it for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Don't worry about who wants to use it next, just do your thing. When you're done, if you've sweated on it, clean it off for the next person.

What is rude is when people are sitting on a weight machine, not lifting weights, talking on their phone or to another gym member, when someone else is waiting to use that machine. This would not be the case with the treadmill, as you would obviously be walking the entire time you're on it.

If someone comes in and looks longingly at the treadmill while you're on it, just say "I've got fifteen minutes left" - or however much time you've got to go, so that they can go use another machine or plan their workout accordingly.

Or just tell them "there is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf". They'll probably let you have the whole gym to yourself.

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