typically my running schedule goes like this:
1. spend three weeks defining myself as the official treadmill clomper. leave the staff questioning where one purchases concrete insoles.
2. really get into that post-run boyish flush. stare at the outline reflection of my movement as it dances behind the closed captioning of ever-present ESPN.
3. begin referring to myself in third person as "the olympic hopeful."
4. take a month off under the guise of "healing."
5. reluctantly, and sheepishly, return to the ymca for two days of disappointing runs.
6. take two months off.
this time i wrote a simple goal on an index card. back when i still recorded thoughts on things like "paper" and hand-crafted loopy designs called "letters" with an actual "pen" i lost 30 pounds by keeping very detailed notes about my running on index cards. this also involved naked poloroids: front and side shots, so i could monitor my overhang without resorting to the cruel pranks of a common bathroom scale.
for some reason, in all of these photos, i'm wearing just white slouchy socks. these are the least-sexy photos that i will ever auction off on ebay.
while my main reason for running is that i simply enjoy running, i assumed that it would be scientifically impossible to run five days a week for the rest of my life and not lose any weight. this is me using bleach water to wipe 2,000-2,500 calories off a treadmill per week and more as i get more comfortable and segue into "the olympic hopeful."
the first week i put in a modest amount of effort. my goal was just to show up five days a week and see what happened.
the second week i made an actual goal-goal and hit it. this meant that every time i walked past a mirror, i lifted up my shirt and pounded like a chimp on my belly and growled a victory growl in something that sounded like french.
the third week i hit my goal again, and i can only assume it is because i hadn't made any sort of grand proclamations on the internet like "LOOK AT THE OLYMPIC HOPEFUL GOOOOOOO!"
other healthy decisions have cropped up during this time: we already eat a lot of meals found in nature, but we upped the ante a bit and found places to cram extra carrots. [tee hee.] trying to get to the Y five times a week meant that i didn't have time for my regularly scheduled friday night makeout fest with a bottle of reisling. so aside from one bloody mary with brunch -- which i paired with coffee for an unsettling buzz made popular by pec-a-saurus polo-shirt wearing frat boyz who consider red bull a mixer -- i didn't drink alcohol.
for those who naturally understand math, that is approximately 800-1,500 hundred calories a week. not to mention the absense of gas station burritos, potato oles, and other such elixirs.
last week i strutted over to a scale and mounted it like i was mary lou retton and it was about to vault me toward a gold medal.
i'd lost a half a pound.
the shift on the scale was barely perceptible. when i say half a pound, i'm probably exaggerating.
now it was on like donkey kong. while i was still operating under the "running for fun" mentality, my competitive inner scientist wracked it's pea brain to find out how this was even possible. so i added lifting to the regimine. blah-blah-muscle-burns-fat-blah-over-30-must-lift-weights-blah-blah-blah-i-read-women's-health-blah-polar-fleece. fannie stepped in an provided a week's worth of dietary analysis that she crunched with a weight-watchers calculator. three things happened:
negative: i learned that cheese adds up.
negative: fannie almost drove to duluth and stuck protein into each of my orifaces.
negative: i started rationing out corn chips at lunch so she didn't think i was a gluttonous mess.
negative: when i told her i ate yogurt, she asked why.
negative: on a rare busy day i added a last-ditch waffle to the menu so she didn't think i was anorexic.
my new year's resolution to not get fatter is going really well.