Wednesday, September 5, 2007

In training for vacation.

So far I'm on track for the 5x a week at the gym goal, though of course, now that I made an insane vow like that, my social life has kicked into overdrive. This has left me with zero days with nothing to do when I come home in the evening. This isn't a bad thing.

I am training for vacation in Asheville, NC, or as Caroline aptly calls it, the land to which all true Floridians wish to emigrate (and it appears that Caroline, too, has de-assed herself from South Florida, hmmm?) I am in training for vacation not just because my current fat jeans are threadbare and I'll be damned if I'll buy another pair in size 12, but also because I am thinking back to last year, and the day Boy took me hiking at Graveyard Fields, which really is an easy hike, six year olds in pink Barbie sneakers can do it, it's not seriously outdoorsy stuff, and between the altitude and the fact that I had been neglecting myself, it was harder than it should have been. Looking back, I was probably walking it with that little time bomb percolating in my brain. Not that it was the reason the walk was harder than it should have been, that was because I was out of shape - but what a thought, that a "bubble" in a blood vessel was probably there all along and getting weak enough to blow, and I'm puffing like the Pudgy Little Middle Aged Engine that Couldn't along the trail, with my blood pressure up to God Only Knows.

This time I am spending six weeks in training, walking wicked inclines on fancy treadmills, lifting weights, etc., and South Beach Dieting on the days that I don't have social events booked. (Last night I had wings and beer, and I do not feel guilty.) My legs will be stronger, my stamina will be much better, and I will not be gaspy and sweaty on moderate trails, and I plan to hike in size 10 jeans, if not 8s.

Which leads me to The Wisdom of the Girlchild. I don't remember if I mentioned this, but when I went back to the gym in the spring, post brain thang, Girl re-upped and went too. Not with me, because we live in the same house but in different time zones, but she went too, and watched her diet much better than I did. I'd lost 11 pounds in the hospital and somehow felt I'd been issued a License to Eat Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats, which I made on a semi-daily basis. Don't ask me why, but when I first came home from the hospital, I lived on them. (At first I was so weak I couldn't stir them and put them in the pan and had to yell for help.) So I've put back 3 of those pounds, even though I really intended to lose 20 more so I could Be a Skinny Bitch too. Because my daughter lost around 17 pounds, and she is now officially a Skinny Bitch. 5'9" and size 8s are loose on her. She looks fantastic, feels great, and is inspired to tone the few teensy bits of flab left to sheer perfection, so between her class and her job, she squeezes in the gym.

And in doing this, she learned something I used to know and had forgotten - after you lose weight via serious exercise and healthy diet, none of the thin clothes you had worn before will fit right. Because she owns clothes from the last time the scale said what it says now, and those clothes fit funny now, because yes, it really is about the exercise, and lifting weights, and that's what really changes your body. She has to start over with a whole new wardrobe, spending her hard-earned cash. A whole new, cute wardrobe of tiny things that look fabulous on her. (All together now: Awww, poor BABY! How AWFUL for you!)

And I am looking at my own large walk-in closet, which still looks very full, even though my actual, functional wardrobe consists of about five pairs of slacks and three skirts and two dresses and a couple of random jackets and four sweaters and maybe, um, a dozen tops, tops, that I actually wear, among the Ghosts of Clothing Past that hang near them. The rest of that stuff? Even if the Skinny Fairy whacked me with her wand in the night, I'm not sure that stuff would still fit right or be appropriate for my life now. Because I've changed since the last time my ass was in a size 8, and my style has changed, and my needs have changed. So I think I'm going to follow Girl's lead and purge the contents of my closet, all but that which fits now and I wear now. Thank God I didn't invest much money in the stuff in the closet now, it's a combination of cheap and functional and cheap impulses, nothing worth putting on consignment, most of it isn't even worthy of Goodwill.

And I'm getting to the point of tying this to knitting - because I went through something similar with my yarn stash. I purged that which no longer had any appeal to me, gave it away, donated to groups knitting for charity, and I realize that my stash is an extension of my wardrobe, in a weird way. It has to suit me, and suit who I am now. Being On Sale Is Not Enough. Being Useful Is Not Enough. Being Practical - hell, that's my worst failing, I am so damn good at Being Practical, I neglect Being Special and Being Worth It. And I think this, rather than any other motive, has broken my stash habit for good. I don't need to have a stash full of things that suited me five or more years ago, just things I can enjoy now.


Bess said...

Hey gal - congratulations about the training. Nothing so lowering than a gasping walk with your son.

And yes to having only the wardrobe you really wear. I've gotten slack with that this past couple of years. The next cool weekend I have at home I'm gonna Do The DeStash there. I kept all these darling things from the 1980's and when I'd WW'd back down into them - UGH! - I would never wear them now and when I'm 70 and puffy shoulder pads are all the rage again I won't be wearing suits. I better not be, anyway.

5 weeks to vacation!

Amy in StL said...

I read with great interest the part about your "skinny clothes" not fitting right when you finally lose weight the right way. I've been working out with a trainer twice a week and going to classes twice a week and I've found that the last time I was this size, I was still kind of flabby and round. Now, I'm fitting into the skinny cut jeans which is weird because I've worn the plus sizes and husky sizes since childhood. They're still size 12s but they're a different cut.

As for not having time, I find that I have to schedule time to work out before anything else. I've even had to use an hour of vacation time here and there just to make it work some weeks. If I'm paying for a trainer, I'm going - because I pay anyway. $350 a month is draining on my saving for a house fund, but my health is more important, right?

Catherine said...

Amy, that's exactly what happened with my daughter - she lost the weight and pulled out some things that she had since before she'd gained the weight and they didn't fit. She had to go to different, more fitted styles too. $350 a month for a trainer? Yikes, that's incentive to go, for sure. And there really is no substitute for honest exercise.

Catherine said...

Bess - I moved several times between the late 80s and moving in here in '96, so I weeded out a lot of shoulder pads, but I still had a lot of things that I kept thinking I'd still want to wear someday. I spent last night reviewing, and filled another Goodwill bag, but I am keeping some things, because, yeah, I may still wear them. But the closet is now half empty.

zippiknits said...

For me it is parting with sewing patterns first, then the clothes, as destashing is sort of scary.

And yes, you are Special and So Worth it. So buy that damn expensive yarn you want.

Martha said...

Miz C,
Yes to the closet purging & de-stashing. A couple of years ago when I lost the 20+ lbs. & the 20 inches, my wardrobe changed in a profound way. Thank heavens for the Salvation Army, consignment shops & thrift shops - plus a couple of friends who gave me some clothing items - as I needed almost everything.
And yes to the yarn-destashing for yarns that no longer fit you. When cotton became impossible for me to knit, I gave it all away. When I realized that the wool acrylic blends were not me either, I gave those away too. Frankly now I wish I had some of those but what the hell, I can just use all the 100% wool I have.
And I will be de-stashing that a bit more before the KR Retreat.
Will you be there? Would be terrific to see you. And if not then, at MD in 2008 I hope.

Catherine said...

I will not be at the retreat. I had to choose between a weekend KR retreat and a week in Asheville, and I'm sorry, KR lost again. Between the airfare, the rental car and all the associated stress that is air travel these days (I haven't tested the screws in my head - will they set off a metal detector and get me strip-searched? Air travel is such a pleasure now!) and the cost of the retreat itself, vs. gas money to Asheville and whatever I spend there in restaurants and such, it's a no-brainer. But MD next spring is looking good.