The Academic Redneck Fitness Challenge: Update 4

Previous Weight Loss (November 28, 2016-October 2, 2017): 34.4 pounds
Weight Loss October 2-November 6: 0 pounds (No Change)
Total Weight Loss (November 28, 2016-November 6, 2017): 34.4 pounds
Remaining to 2017 Goal: 15.6 pounds

Well, gentle readers, old DZ here hates to ‘fess up and say she let the entire month of October come and go with no weight loss, but there it is. Last week, I was telling one of my friends and colleagues that I dreaded writing this column, but she was positive and supportive. She said, “Sometimes your body just goes into ‘Holy Shit!’ mode and simply refuses to let go of the weight.”

I laughed out loud at her kind encouragement. She moved into our office ‘hood at the beginning of fall semester, so we’ve have tons of fun. She went to Italy earlier in the semester, leaving delicious candy and snacks in her office, so my colleagues and I hungrily consumed them in her absence. We were like those bears you hear about on the news that break into a doughnut shop in the middle of the night and eat the inventory, except in this case Yogi, Bubu, and her other “bear” friends have master keys. We even staged her office to look as though someone had been living in there. We threw an old pizza box and empty soda cans on the floor and left the candy wrappers from our raids lying around. When she got back, she really enjoyed the joke (and made us clean up our mess).

I think she’s right that I was in “Holy Shit!” mode for most of October, but I can’t blame it on my body. I’ve taught twelve of my fifteen-credit-hour-load online this semester, so I’ve been alone regularly in the office wing while my colleagues are off in face-to-face classes. I’m usually thinking, “Holy shit, there are mini Snickers in her office!” and “Holy shit, she also has those little mint candies in there!” I don’t just eat one and savor the flavor. I come away with a handful—several times each day. Truth be told, I’m probably lucky that I’ve maintained instead of gaining weight in October. My colleague needs to set a mousetrap.

My willpower has been pretty much zilch for the entire month. I’ve had a lot going on. As I write this, I am, once again, in Alabama sitting by my mother’s bedside. She is very ill.  She was supposed to have surgery today to clear the blockage in the femoral artery in her left leg. However, she came down with shingles, so the nursing home staff recommended the procedure be postponed. She is so weak that they feared she might not survive it. She refused to eat yesterday and drinks very little. Ironically, I inherited my healthy appetite from her—and also my lack of willpower. She never watched her diet in middle age and ignored her diabetes. She ate copious quantities of everything. Now she doesn’t want anything. Most of her health problems were largely preventable and causally connected to her poor diet and exercise habits.

Still, despite my lack of willpower and my mother’s sad situation, I’ll keep trying. I have lost almost 35 pounds in about a year. Plus, I have now exercised for 217 straight days and 307 of the 309 days of 2017. Perhaps the exercise is the reason I’ve maintained the weight I’ve lost, even though I’m struggling with food right now.

On a positive note, I have a lot of wonderful friends who are cheering me on, including a goofy, happy dog who loves to walk and won’t let my husband or me backslide on our evening exercise. With a face like his to brighten my day, how can I fail?

Next Update: December 4.