23 August 2012


Everyone has moments in their life when one specific event causes a major life change. No matter the size of the event, whether ginormous or miniscule, a life is affected and that event sets in motion a new lifestyle. That event is an awakening.

My most recent awakening happened within the last two weeks. I was running some errands, meeting a friend or two, I honestly do not remember everything I was doing. I do remember, however, the feeling I had in the moment that I realized I needed a change.

I was walking and I suddenly realized my thighs were rubbing together under my dress. I was so hot that they were sticking. The more I walked, the more my thighs began to hurt. What was this?! I am not an overweight person! Why is this happening?

By the time I got home, there was a bit of a rash on the insides of my thigh. That was it. Never in my life have my legs rubbed together, and never before had I experienced irritation like that. If there were a time in my life when I needed a workout, this was definitely the time.

An active child, my mother frequently criticized me for my lack of curves. Even through high school, I retained my skinny figure. “Size zero,” she would yell and later tell her friends. “I wasn’t born a size zero!”

I was a runner in high school and danced constantly. In college, I picked and chose when I wanted to work out but, without a car, I accomplished most of my workouts running from one end of campus to the other. I continued some dance the first two years and spent one season as a cheerleader. I worked out when I had time or had the urge. I specifically remember a point in a nutrition course when we students were required to measure the body fat percentages of our fellow classmates. (O.K, tangent: who thought that was a good idea?) My partner could not get the caliper to grab any skin on my thighs – the instructor had to come over and make a few attempts to pinch my skin (and hurt me) before finally grabbing enough to determine that I had practically no fat on my legs. I won’t lie – that was a pretty proud moment. And a bit painful.

Something happened in the seven or eight years since I graduated college, though. I became a career woman like my mother had always dreamed. I became a dedicated worker who was too exhausted to move when I got home and sometimes slept most of each free Saturday. Every now and then I would run.

I even had a gym membership for a few months AND – for one month – I actively used that membership. I awoke in January at 5:30 to my husband telling me how crazy I was for going to the gym at 5:30 in January. I was at the gym by 6, in the locker room by 7 and was at my desk around 7:30 where my breakfast awaited me. Working out with a personal trainer and separately on my own time, that was the month when I was in the best shape of my life. Then I got lazy again. It happens.

Work piled up, I was working more weekends and I had several excuses to keep me out of that gym. Then I moved to Singapore. Our complex does not have a gym and memberships are not worth either the commute or the services or facilities offered. So I began to run. I was pretty good at motivating myself. I ran in the park, I ran up and down the stairs, I ran around my neighborhood. And then….I got lazy again. And then my legs started rubbing together. So here we are.

Now I have gone back to running – and not just running. I am on a 5k training program that gives me set running plans, conditioning workouts and interval training. When I get done with my workout, I come home and work out some more, stretching, performing a mini yoga session and using a window seat in Paul’s office as a stepping block to tone my butt. My leg muscles are tight and, after my first 5k workout (literally a 5k walk/run), they felt like they weighed 1200 pounds and might have been made out of jello. This means that my 5k training program is working.

I am feeling better already. In seven weeks, I will be 30, and I will be lookin’ good!

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