Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Confessing my sins- Or why going home is bad for a healthy life- or Why swimming is no longer fun once you're an adult

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.

I have been avoiding you.  I've been avoiding this blog.  I've been avoiding discussing my weight loss and work out routines because of my sins.

Now, I need to confess, ask for forgiveness, and move on.  And move quickly, to burn some calories.

I fell off the healthy lifestyle wagon for a few weeks.  Well, not some much fell  as took a giant leap into fat-laden, calorie-heaven pure laziness!  It was amazing at the time, but the guilt is overwhelming now.

It all started during the first week of August.  My big brother & I had to head home to Toledo for a long weekend for a number of events including but not limited to: My grandmother's birthday, my Uncle's visit in town, golfing, a friend's wedding, see my Mom's new puppy, allow time for my father to transfer his grandchildren desire onto my hound dog, etc, etc, etc. It was a busy, busy five days.

I left Chicago with the best of intentions. I made sure to stow away gym clothes, running shoes and a bathing suit. I thought of the restaurants I'd be eating at and started thinking of what I would order to stay on track.  I even packed a small cooler of carrots, water, and diet soda to avoid the turnpike cravings.  

My carefully planning began to crack around mile 98 of the Indiana turnpike.  I claimed we needed to stop so Boris Hound could walk.  In my heart I knew it was because this rest stop is the only one on interstate 80/90 that sells my heart's one desire: the frozen coke.  But I was somewhat contained, opting for the 32 oz. over the 48 oz. behemoth that I truly love. Strike 1.

We made it to Ohio, and enjoyed a meal at Ralphie's. Normally I am a sucker for their honey BBQ chicken chunks dipped in ranch.  Instead I opted for a BLT salad with fat-free ranch. Hooray Cari! But then I ordered a half-order of cheese bread- Strike 2. However, upon returning to my dad's, I threw on some work-out clothes, laced up my Nikes and set out for a run. My dad lives off of a golf course, and we've walked through it before in the evenings so I figured I would take that familiar route.  However, once I reached the clubhouse, things were no longer familiar.  I had no sense of direction, just a gist that I may have been heading West, and I needed to move South.  Next thing I know I am running across fairways, trying to remember if my dad was closer to hole 15 or hole 5.  I jogged across the tee boxes, putted across greens, desperate for security to pick me up. They never did, but I finally wound out coming out of the woods about a quarter mile from Dad's, and made it home.

Good thing I ate all that cheesebread or else I never would have had the strength to endure all of that illegal trespassing.

Next day started off solid, big brother & I were planning on playing 9 holes with my Uncle, and we were walking.  I gave a solid performance for me, happy with signs of improvement. My glee was short lived as we headed to Ralphie's again.  I wasn't planning for this!!  I didn't scheme.  Never mind that I planned my Wednesday night meal there and had salad on the brain, I was planning on a Thursday lunch at Tony Packo's, not Ralphie's.  I faltered, and ended up getting my beloved chunks. The glimmer of hope was that I opted for a side salad...but then I smothered it in bleu cheese. Strike 3.

All was not lost for me, however. I had plans to make it to my Mom's to swim laps.  I have every intention of swimming laps up and down that pool until I got a great cardio workout in and could barely breathe or move my limbs.  Little did I know that I would reach the exhaustion in 3 laps. When did swimming become so challenging.  As a child, I remember swimming for hours on end in the summertime, never realizing I was out of breath or feeling tired.  Now- I damn near needed resuscitation.  I was embarrassed at my lack fitness.  My shame was only enhanced at the fact that my Uncle, who is a swim coach, was just inside. I was living in fear that he'd come out and see me huffing and puffing and struggling up and down that pool and inform me that his pre-school team is more efficient.  So I compromised and got out a kick board and a noodle and started doing a water aerobics activity that I read about.  It's irrelevant that I saw it in an AARP magazine and it was for people with limited mobility. 

It was all downhill from there for me for the rest of the weekend.  Overindulgence at Tony Packo's-Check. Pigging out at my Uncle's shop (the chef uncle, not the swim coach uncle) on the best Reuben in Toledo and cake- Check.  Note: I highly, highly suggest you Northwest Ohio readers visit Michael's Cafe & Bakery at the corner of Front & Main on the East Side and get a Reuben, only ask for Betty's dressing instead of Thousand Island.  Top it off with either an eclair or a New York Cheesecake brownie.  It's the closest to God we mortals will ever get.

The pig-out fest only continued.  Steak, lobster, More Ralphie's, lots of beer, some late night Red Baron pizza.  The binge continued, the exercise did not.  As we were returning on the turnpike I could feel my pants getting tighter. So to hell with it, once we made that stop at Rest Stop at mile 98, I said screw the frozen coke and went for a DQ Blizzard.  But it was banana creme, and bananas are healthy, right?  RIGHT?????

I had an amazing time back home, it is always wonderful to see my family and friends, but the bad habits I fell into back in Toledo carried back to Chicago.  I didn't make it to the gym once that following week, although I did go walking and running. I definitely did not get back to my healthy eating.  And I paid for it.  I was at 40 pounds lost pre-Ohio trip, and now I am at 37-pounds gone.  But I am back to it now, determined to hit 50 pounds before I start school next month. And I don't blame Ohio for my weight gain, I blame my lack of discipline.  I developed a lot of my poor habits there, it was all to easy to fall back into them once I was there.  Next time I go home, which is in a month for a very dear friend's wedding, I will succeed and be prepared and make healthy choices, even with chef uncle catering her wedding.

Because I am planning on getting my jaw-wire shut the day before I go.