The elephant in the room is me
DigressionsThe human body was not meant to lead a sedentary lifestyle. I learned as much while taking an anatomy and physiology course last year. I also found out that the anatomical name for fat is adipose tissue.
Published: November 27, 2010
Published: November 27, 2010
The adipose cells (adipocytes), which look a bit like chicken wire under a microscope, store fat in our bodies for future energy consumption. The good news is that I have plenty of energy on reserve as well as a built-in insulated barrier should Florida ever be hit with a major blizzard. The bad news is that I have more energy stored than I could ever possibly need and it doesn't look like the Sunshine State is due for snow this year.
I didn't used to be this way. In fact, I was quite thin in my early 20s, but then I got pregnant with my son and those gestational culinary desires forced me to consume McDonald's for breakfast on a daily basis which resulted in 50 extra pounds of adipose energy stores.
Thinking that my old body would jump out of my pregnant body once the baby was out, I was more than a little disappointed to discover that I had to continue wearing my maternity clothes for an extended period of time. My doctor was saying things like, "You carry your weight well," as I stared at her prominently placed obesity measurement chart advising me of the ideal weight for my height and I began to think that I may have an issue with my weight.
I managed to ignore the obvious for a few more years before it dawned on me that working at a desk job in a sitting position for eight hours a day was having the effect of sprinkling Miracle Gro on my butt. When I stepped on the scale last June to see a number staring back at me that matched my full pregnancy weight, I decided it was well past time to start seriously hitting the gym.
My friend, Michele, happens to have a membership that allows her to bring a guest so I piggybacked on her dime and started working out. The first class she introduced me to was a high-energy Latin dance aerobics called Zumba. At the time, I thought that it had been designed solely for the purpose of making people like me look absolutely silly in front of a bunch of strangers, but after a couple more visits, I began to really enjoy the sweaty, exhausting workout it provided.
Michele and I became addicts looking for the next fitness fix and started attending two classes a night; everything from lifting weights to core exercising on a medieval torture device called a Bosu.
In another class, the instructor had us run in circles around the room. If I were to write a book on my experience with running it would be titled "Running and Me: A Tale of Two Strangers", so you can probably imagine how that went. Running does make you feel parts of your body that you forgot you had and thoroughly jiggles adipose tissue all over the place.
I've managed to lose 15 pounds, but now I'm faced with the ultimate challenge: the holidays. This is the time of year I simultaneously dread and love. My body's use of heartburn and acid reflux tells me it is time to stop eating, but the abundance of the three C's (chocolate, cheese and carbs) conspire against my better judgment. That being said, I'm determined to enter January with no more than five extra pounds to show for my festive gluttony. Failure is no longer an option.