Well, after the madness of MLA, I've pretty much crashed for the past 4 days. Well, not actually, though. Really my primary focus has been on my New Year's Resolution, which to get off the ground has taken no small amount of focus. (Note to self: this may be why I've always failed at the fitness resolution in the past: I've never devoted adequate resources to it.)
So anyway, Since the 1st I've been busy with a) daily trips to the gym, b) shopping for a v. detailed menu created on New Year's Eve, c) cooking delicious meals and eating them. In addition, there has been napping, catching up with various folks on the phone, and playtime with the kittens.
Now, lest you think I've totally lost my mind, the daily gym regime is not something that I expect to continue for the rest of my life (or even the rest of the month or year). I think daily gym trips are not likely something that I can sustain. However, in the interest of making going to the gym a "habit" I'm doing the daily thing for the first week, and then I will move over to the schedule that I've created for my real life, which will be four days (scheduled, on a calendar, no excuses other than dire illness will allow me out of that schedule) on which I am committed to go to the gym. There will be no bargaining about "Oh, I'm going to change days" or "Oh, I'll just go three days this week and five next week." The minute I start allowing myself to negotiate with myself, that's the minute that the whole house of cards is in jeopardy.
The other days of the week I am going to do my best to be active, and surely I'll work out if I feel like it, but I am not scheduled to do so, and if I don't, that's just fine. This particular schedule is in place for the month of January, and I will evaluate whether it needs tweaking at the end of the month. Oh, and another part of this schedule is that Thursdays have been set aside for weekly menu planning and grocery list making, and I will not work out on Thursdays. On Fridays, I'll shop for supplies. I decided that scheduling this part of things was necessary as well, if I intend to stay on track with eating well in a way that I can really sustain. Because if I fall into eating boring food, I will very quickly start supplementing the boring food with food that is very, very bad for me. It is my way.
You may note that all of this is very.... regimented. Well, in reflecting on the fact that I'm now the heaviest I've ever been in my life, and how I got there, and what that all means, I realized that part of my problem is that I always figured that the fitness stuff would just somehow do itself if I worked out irregularly or was fairly active and ate basically reasonably. While that was true when I was 20, that is not true now. But as I thought about it, I realized I used to think about writing/research that way, too. Before graduate school, and particularly before the dissertation, writing was something that just somehow did itself. After, I learned that I needed to be very focused and detail-oriented in my planning, that I needed to allow for set-backs, that I needed to approach writing/research like a job - not like something that happened magically. Well, all of that, after 10+ years of working at it, is like second nature. And that sort of very carefully designed structure feels very comfortable to me. So I thought to myself, "self, if you want to be successful at the fitness thing, you need to approach it in the same way that you've approached your research/writing work. You don't need to resolve to do that anymore for work because it's so ingrained that you just do it. The trick - and the challenge - is trying to make the same thing happen with the fitness stuff."
So, today I shall be heading (briefly) to campus and then I shall go to the gym, and then I shall come home to make black bean soup and eat some lunch. I also need to do some crap for the 2011 MLA, respond to some emails, do syllabi for next week (eek! Though seriously there's not much to do beyond changing dates and a couple of tweaks based on some failed experiments this semester), continue thinking about what I want to propose for a summer conference....
Yeah, so I'd better get to all of that :)
1 year ago