04 January 2013

All for Four and Four for All

I don't usually make specific new year resolutions because I know it's impossible for me to pledge to do something EVERY DAY for the next 365 days. I'm more of a one-day-at-a-time gal. This is a good and bad thing. It means I have goals but I'm not so great with the nitty-gritty that helps me attain them. Or, I think of the details but I don't have great follow-through because there are so many other things crowding my brain, like keeping my children alive and in school.

However, inevitably the year comes to a close and I reflect on what I accomplished or, more specifically, what I did not. My failures always elbow their way to the front of the line ahead of my successes, so I mull those over for a few days before crafting a plan to:

- save money (always at the top of the list) so those kids can go to college and I can move to Montana

- lose weight and become more fit, but without actually leaving my house because who has time to drive somewhere and if I pay for a gym wouldn't that be counter-intuitive to the previous goal?

- interact more with the children in a fun, healthy way, which I'm sure would be so much easier if I had a ranch where we would spend loads of time outside in an idyllic electronics-free world

- make the children more independent, even though it takes twice as long to teach them to do something rather than do it myself

-write

- for the love of Mike, write!

I can type these from memory because they're the same goals I have every year. I fail at most of them, some quite spectacularly (ask the Captain to show you the checkbook), others not so much. But this year I may just accomplish one of them despite my own shortcomings.

We were having our annual New Year's Eve party (family comes over, we play games, nieces and nephews spend the night, we feed everyone a big breakfast) and Four sat down on the couch next to me.

"Mom," he said, looking concerned, "I want you to help me."

"With what?"

"I want to be more fit. I want to lose this." He grabbed his ample stomach. "I heard that kids can die from being overweight and having diabetes, so I want to exercise and lose weight."

Now, we've never told Four he's overweight, but it's true. His body has changed dramatically over the past few years, which we believe is a side-effect of the medication he takes to control his impulsivity. We've taken him off the medication a few times with disastrous results, so we always chose his personal safety over the physical consequences. But he's been teased at school and he's become more aware of how he feels, so I guess he was ready to try and do something about it. And even though I haven't been willing to do anything about my own extra poundage, I would gladly wedge myself into spandex and walk across hot coals into Gold's Gym to endure the withering glances of the young and nubile if my Four asked, because he's special and I love him more than Almond Joy.

"Okay, honey," I said, "let's start tomorrow."

He smiled and trotted away and, sure enough, we started the next day. The Captain showed him how to use the elliptical machine and I dusted off an indoor walking DVD. For the past three days we've been walking a fast-paced mile, complete with side-steps, kicks and arm exercises. Yesterday, Nonni/ M.I.L joined us in the living room and I wish I could have simultaneously participated and observed from afar as the three of us tried to maintain the pace and not bump into one another. Have you ever seen that "Saturday Night Live" skit where Frankenstein, Tonto and Tarzan sing Christmas carols? It was like that, but with exercising.

This morning I kissed Four and sent him up the driveway to the bus. I told him to have a great day, and he reminded me that when he gets home we're going to try for two miles.

I resolve to be there.

23 comments:

  1. Do you have any idea what an inspiration you are to me? Because you are.

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    1. Well, thank you very much. I think you're pretty awesome, too!

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  3. *edited to correct multiple typos. yikes.

    :) You Go, Megan. And Four, too.
    Personally, I've given myself the first week off, because starting on Jan 2 is just so cliche, you know? But those workout clothes in the stores look so cute, and I might need some new ones...

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    1. I own some workout clothes from a few years ago--you know, the last time I worked out! I haven't earned new ones yet. Plus I'm saving my pennies for a recumbant bike for the playroom. I might institute a "pedal while you watch" program. Stay tuned!

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  4. This is so awesome! And working out with a buddy has been shown to increase the likelihood that both will stay with the program. Good for both you and Four!

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    1. I'm employing some old tactics from recovery: fake it till you make it is high on the list! I wouldn't have started without him, and I'm basically doing it for him, but the end result will be all good for the both of us.

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  5. Cathy M4.1.13

    What a great thing that Four came to you for help and started what sounds like something you'll all enjoy (eventually) and get a lot of benefit from. And I love your description of three generations of fast moving, high stepping, rock 'em, sock 'em exercisers. I think you need a group name and t-shirts.

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    1. Well, I rolled out of bed this morning a little extra-creaky so I was hoping to take a day off, but then Four came in all excited to continue so another day, another mile! I like the idea of t-shirts! I can definitely be motivated by a cute outfit!

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  6. This is so sweet! But, for the love of Mike, write will ya? How am I supposed to beta an unfinished book?

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    1. I know! I'm working on it! Really.

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  7. The funny thing is - when the time comes you'll do the same things for your gkids. I take mine to their fitness classes. It's our thing. And to encourage them so they don't get resentful that I'm not doing it, I started back at the pool. Now I like the pool and do it more for me.
    And I second Delia - write, woman, write!

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    1. It's funny how much I'll do for them compared to what I do for myself. But it gives me great satisfaction to see him excited to be healthier, and it's rubbing off on me as well. Now I just have to purge my house of all the evil chocolate treats trying to sabotage me! (Get out, Almond Joy!)

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  8. So so spectacular. You are just a great woman. Not just mom, woman. And writer, too. XOXO

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    1. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. As in all sports endeavors, it helps to have cheerleaders!

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  9. Wonderful. I found this so uplifting. I started to search my memory for DVD workout tapes. I know I have some somewhere. Maybe we could Skype. Ha ha.

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    1. That would be so fun! We could face you toward the tv and it would be just like a Zumba class! With enthusiastic, uncoordinated people.

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  10. Holy crap, we got all sporty and shit this year too! There were gifts from Santa that were ALL gym rat garb.

    You have outdone yourself with this one.
    So great, just so damn great.

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    1. Ooo, gym rat garb...pictures? Thanks for the compliment--I hope to catch up to you, because your journey has been so inspirational!

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  11. Love it, love it, love it.

    I decided that I would only ever be motivated to get in shape if it were for my children. Then I decided it was unhealthy to only do things for others. So I've remained unhealthy for myself. ;)

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    1. Why did I never reply to you, my friend Sarah? Perhaps I was in a sugar coma from the Almond Joy, which have lately been replaced by straight up chocolate covered almonds. I think they're healthier ha ha ha ha!

      Oh, my side hurts from laughing. Yeah, I need the exercise.

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  12. Replies
    1. Thank you! Feel free to visit anytime.

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