I have just discovered something about myself.
I don’t like schedules, at least not very rigid ones. That’s why I don’t like the nine-to-five routine and why I have struggled against that cubicle life for so long. One of my favorite things about life in academia is that there is so much variety.
No two semesters are the same. You don’t teach the same courses two semesters in a row. Even if you did, you don’t get the same students, so it’s still a difference course. There are always new theories to read about, and ways for you to contribute to those conversations if you’re felling so inclined. And you can always create a brand new course that doesn’t exist in your organization’s curricula, addressing a gap that you are uniquely qualified to fill.
This is not something new, either. I have never appreciated routine, especially if it is extremely rigid routine. Variety has always been the spice of my life.
And yet … and yet, every now and then, I discover that stability is good for me.
When we last left our intrepid #fitgirl wannabe, she was celebrating both scalar and non-scalar victories and feeling like a million dollars.
And then … dun, dun, dunnnn … it happened. [screaming sound effect] The year-end holidays arrived.
Yes, it’s all very well for you to make fun, Dawn, but …
I know. And I’m not really making fun. It’s just that I have read so many blog posts lately about how the year-end holidays just destroyed everything we were doing to get fit and take off those extra pounds, that it’s been kind of disconcerting.
Last year, I decided to skip the standard annual retrospective and opted instead for predicting what I was going to be talking about this year. As matters evolved, I was right. I predicted that I was going to be talking about my fitness journey and about my career journey. Go me!
This year, I’ve decided to do a certain special take on the year-end retrospective. Austin, the fun loving, deeply thinking, sweetly romantic Modern Philosopher who rocks his toga at his online home here, challenged us all during his final Friday Night Think Tank of the year with this question:
Did you kick ass in 2016?
Under normal circumstances, I have to stop and think hard about this one and the answer is usually a mixed bag.
Not this year.
In spite of the fact that the American voters have elected the anti-Christ to be the leader of the free world, so that we might be staring the end of the world in the face, I personally have had an amazing year.
My daughter Gina, who was trained as a sports medicine professional, has told me on many occasions that the real key to weight loss is not to be found in any gym.
Now, what was that saying? “Eighty percent of weight loss happens in the kitchen.”
After all, it is possible to lose weight without any exercise at all. All you have to do is reduce your calories so that you are taking in fewer calories than you burn on a day to day basis. The sedentary lifestyle is a problem for weight loss because it burns so few calories but it can be done.
Getting into a workout routine does a lot more for you than helping you to lose weight:
- If you have any gastrointestinal difficulties at all (constipation, for example), working out will help get rid of it.
- I used to get boils fairly regularly but they stopped when I started working out.
- Toned muscle looks a lot better than flabby muscle, which you can have even if you are at your target weight of svelteness.
- Working out gets you more energy to work with as you go through your day.
- Working out gets you those endorphins, which are cheaper than heroin and won’t land you in jail or in the hospital.
- Working out is fun (once you have been doing it long enough not to have to worry about form or just being able to execute the moves — it’s important to find a type of working out that you enjoy. Otherwise, you won’t do it).
This is an incomplete list of things I get out of working out and you will note that losing weight is nowhere on the list. So, if we want to talk about losing weight, then let’s talk about food.