Running (or walking?) for my life

photo by Flickr user d70focus

photo by Flickr user d70focus

Knowing myself as well as I do, I’ve been hesitant to blog about this . . . but I feel the time has officially come. Spurred on by recent success in the weight department, I’m happy to report that . . . I am regularly exercising! Like, every night! Two or three miles! And not in some sissy, Megan-esque way where I pretend like I’m motivated only to spend twenty minutes on the treadmill and forty in a chair, eating Twizzlers and drinking Diet Root Beer.

No, no, no. Those days are gone. This is the new me — the improved me! And not just because I’m losing weight (though that’s a nice bonus, too). I work in an office and spend 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. with one leg curled beneath me, firmly planted in my broken rolling desk chair. Save my daily outings to grab lunch at Panera or Einstein’s or the very short jaunt to the water cooler, I don’t move around much. When I had to park miles away from my classes in college, I didn’t have any problems keeping my weight down . . . but those glorious days are done!

In the two years since I graduated, I know I’ve gotten complacent. The weight came on slowly and, busy with all the little insanities of life, I ignored it. But a month ago, it was literally like a switch went off on my brain . . . not to bemoan the classic cliches, but I was tired of being tired. I had little energy and drank two or three sodas a day. I spent all day in a state of basic inertia, my exercise limited to flexing my fingers on the keyboard or stretching my feet out in heels. Cheered on by my awesome coworkers who are also trying to get in shape, we all decided that now was the time. And I wasn’t going to talk about feeling better anymore — I was just going to do it.

Walking guru Leslie Sansone -- my hero!

Walking guru Leslie Sansone -- my hero!

And I’m doing it. I’ve (almost) completely given up soda — even diet! — and drinking tons of water a day. I’m not dieting (I wouldn’t even know where to begin!), but I am making healthier food choices and trying to cut out all my extra snacks. I’ve walked on the treadmill off and on since last year, but I wasn’t putting my heart into it long enough to make a real difference. So I’ve abandoned that for now in favor of . . . walking DVDs. Leslie Sansone’s walking DVDs, to be exact! And I absolutely love them. Her routines are so easy, fun and really empowering, and just walking to her pace and following her movements lets you “walk away the pounds.” I’m now in week four of my almost-nightly walking regime, and I already feel so much better. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost — we don’t keep a scale in the house — but I’m definitely seeing a difference. I have more energy, I’m sleeping better — even my skin seems clearer. Basically, I’m jazzed!

I only hope that I can keep up my routine as the initial excitement of forming this new behavior and watching some of the weight fall off wears away. I’m tired after walking/jogging three miles a night, but I’m not exhausted. Pretty soon I’ll have to start pushing myself to finish four miles, and the DVD I have — Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home: 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk — guides you through fives miles if you can stand it! I can’t imagine walking five 12-minute miles in a row, but maybe I’ll get there eventually. Feet (and body), don’t fail me now!

Sprinklegate ’08 — or, Meg sells out her sister

Everyone has their vices — those things they just can’t help themselves from doing or loving, whether or not they’re too embarrassed to admit it. Some are a little more destructive than others, of course. Mine? Chai tea lattes, staying up way too late at night, taking macro photos before I eat anything awesome-looking, e-mailing ex-boyfriends when I’m feeling sappy, and obsessively watching ‘The Tudors’… even though Dad and I are now relegated to watching pirated episodes on his laptop (can I even admit that? Am I going to jail?).

Don’t worry — I won’t ask you to cop to yours (unless you want to… might make you feel better!). But I’m totally okay with putting my sister’s on display! Oh, you know — she’s been dealing with my antics since I first held her as a baby, my 3-year-old self proclaming, “SHE’S WIGGLY!”

Yeah, Kate humors me. So what’s my sister’s vice?

Sprinkles. And not just any sprinkles, folks… ohhh, no. Rainbow sprinkles.

It’s like a moth to a flame, I tell you… and I certainly don’t help the situation as I stand in the ice-cream shop, tugging at her elbow and constantly pointing to all rainbow sprinkles and coercing her into getting them scattered all over whatever flavor she’s going to get. I just know how much she likes them! I’m just trying to help!

And all of my “helping” brought us to this moment last summer in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware:

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

The greatest rainbow sprinkled cone in the history of mankind.

And about .25867 seconds after this photo was taken, the epic and awesome rainbow cone basically collapsed in on itself and dissolved into a really gooey, horrifying and utterly colorful mess. Kate was a trooper — she tried to keep that thing from melting all over her hands, arms and shirt. But she failed. And though I’m her big sister, love her dearly and would do anything for her, I was powerless to stop it. In the immortal words of The Fray, “I don’t know how to get you out of this one.”

But at least I got that photo.

Oh, my family has about a million great food stories… in fact, many of my great memories revolve around food! Some will live on only in family lore, undocumented, but Sprinklegate ’08 is one of my favorites — and I have to share the love.

Of course, I love the simple “everyday” sprinkle stories a lot, too. Like this moment from Saturday:


Exhibit B

Same great sister, different dessert… still covered in rainbow sprinkles. And I love that her shirt has rainbow stuff on it, too. We’re just a colorful duo! To Kate, no dessert is complete without a dash of the bright, crunchy stuff. True to my aforementioned vice of constantly snapping macro photos of food, I captured Kate’s latest rainbow treat. She ate all of it. And then we both walked two miles with Leslie Sansone.


Exhibit C

And because I won’t completely sell her out and make it look like she’s the one indulging, please let me assure you — I have absolutely more than my fair share of dessert most of the time! And Kate was so good all through Lent, completely giving up sweets. I’ve since gone on a “path to health” (more to come on that one!) and am trying to get in shape. My plan was to take off the pounds before my trip but, since that’s in three weeks, I’m going to rearrange my goals and just say that I would like to be trimmer at some point very soon. In time to go to the beach in June. Or something. I know moments like this aren’t helping… but ice cream = sheer joy!

Exhibit D... but I prefer the plain variety

Exhibit D... but I prefer the plain variety