Sunday, August 10, 2008

151.0 - Cleaning the garage is like weight loss

(151.0 was Saturday's weight--I didn't weigh in this morning because I just forgot and had a bunch of coffee first thing at 6 a.m. Don't drink and weigh, is my credo, ha.)

Saturday was intense. DH had planned a last minute trip to San Diego to visit his cousin Brett who he hasn't seen in two years. He left by 12:30 p.m., and since the kids had spent the night with my mom, I was on my own.

Did I go to the pool & lounge around? Did I play all day on my favorite blogs? Well, I played for a little bit.

But there was no rest for the wicked here. I did something productive. I decided to clean out the garage. I haven't cleaned the garage since I was pregnant with Luke (very pregnant, like 8 months along--that whole nesting thing really kicks in during the 3rd trimester), which was almost 3 years ago. So it was a pit. We could park both cars in, but it was tough to walk into the house carrying groceries or children, because there was so little room between car & crap.

I gave myself 2 hours because I really could have spent 12 in there if I wanted to completely clean it up. And I got a ton done in 2 hours. Half of the garage is now respectable looking. It took a 3rd hour, but I took a full SUV load to Goodwill (back, back seat, and passenger seat crammed full), and another full load to the trash (we had cardboard boxes from at least two years ago still out there--really, it was ridiculous).

While I was cleaning, I kept thinking of two things.

I was in zero pain and felt really strong, while lifting, bending, and hauling. I kept my abs in tight to protect my back anytime I put something on the shelf above my head or bent over to pick up something heavy. This morning I'm not achy at all. In the past when I've cleaned like that, my low back would be killing me just a few hours later.

I also kept thinking how cleaning the garage is a lot like weight loss. The mess in the garage has been driving me nuts for years. And I look at it every day, and it bothers me every day. I finally decided yesterday to do something about it. No more excuses, no more "I'd rather be doing X." I had the time & energy, and I tackled it. Weight loss was exactly the same for me. My overweight body bothered me for over a decade. Finally, I had the time & energy to focus on cleaning up my body. And, like the garage, I still have more to do--it's not finished yet. And, like the garage, keeping it clean will take continued effort. I have to be careful not to let random stuff just pile up out there. And I have to be careful not to let the pounds pile on, which they can so easily do if I'm not vigilant and paying attention.

It's funny (not haha funny; ironic funny). So many years of frustration were knocked out by 3 hours worth of focused effort. So many years of being overweight, of missing out on many of life's activities and of unhappiness and guilt, were knocked out in 9 months of paying attention to my food intake and learning to love exercise.

You know those 9 months weren't perfect. I backslid. I faced obstacles. But I was fortunate that the time was right and my mind was right. I was persistent. I didn't let the "I can't"s stand in my way.

And maintenance for the past 8 months has sure been interesting. I've learned that eating like a "normal person in America" will cause me to gain weight. I have defined a new normal for myself. And I've learned that running truly is my greatest motivation now. It's not the size of my clothes or the number on the scale (although those are certainly important to me). I want to run faster. I want to run longer. To do both, I need to drop more pounds. Imagine running while carrying a 20 pound weight, then taking it off. You'd be lighter and faster. That's what getting to 135 pounds will be like for me.

Whether or not I can get to 135 remains to be seen. My next goal is 145 by the time the Evansville Half Marathon gets here on October 12th. And then by my 40th birthday in April 2010, I want to run a full marathon (where? somewhere gorgeous & where they have great swag--suggestions?) and I want to be in the best shape of my life.

Maybe I can even get my garage completely cleaned out by then, too.

P.S. I also got in my long run--6 miles. They were s.l.o.w. Running a long distance after cleaning the garage is not a good idea. Lesson learned.


MCM Mama said...

Good job getting the garage cleaned and the run done. Sounds like a productive day.

I turn 40 in 2010 as well. Maybe we can meet up somewhere (although I'll be doing a half, this fall will be my only marathon).

Running Knitter said...

Cleaning is cross training to me. Nice job on your long run!

Cindy154 said...

Cleaning the garage is like weight loss, I agree. I need to clean mine. I also want to get to 145 - I was very close. I admire your resolve, and your garage cleaning!!!

MizFit said...

weight training and running on a sunday?


the garage is totally functional fitness.

Um, and mine is still a mess...wanna come over?

Vickie said...

I think that the lifestyle that leads to the clutter thing and the $$$ thing are totally related to lifestyles that lead to unhealthy bodies.

For anyone reading your posting that can't bear to think about one big push to clean out the garage - two summers ago (at least I think it was two summers ago) - I did the 10 items a day thing until it was clean.

I took care of ten things in the garage every day - recycling, organized/put away, donate, garbage.

In a week - that is 70 things - in two weeks that is 140 things. It took me several weeks. Then I scrubbed the floor.

We have kept up with it ever since - it has never gotten that bad again.

Now when it "needs cleaned" it is a bit here and a bit there - not the overwhelming mess that it once was.

Jill said...

OMGosh Laura, posts like this make me want to put on my shoes and go work out - too bad I'm stuck in my office for the next 8 hours! =(

Such a great post and I know exactly what you mean. Whenever I finally can't stand the mess anymore, that's when I do something about it. That's how it happened with my weight loss too.

Do you feel like you have crossed a bridge mentally in regards to weight loss/maintenance?

And you are so right, eating like a normal person will totally make a gal gain weight - I'm living proof!!

And this? "So many years of being overweight, of missing out on many of life's activities and of unhappiness and guilt, were knocked out in 9 months of paying attention to my food intake and learning to love exercise." Makes me want to weep - I spent 10 years hating myself and my body because I felt like such a failure, but now in the last 6 months I have felt more successful, not just in weight loss, but in lots of things. Knowing I can do it is a great motivator to do other things I have been missing out on.

You are awesome Laura and still my favorite blogger!!

L.G. said...

Great job! I'm pretty impressed with how much you threw away and took to Goodwill. It is like weight loss -- slow and steady in some ways but you do need that mental push to get started.

You are really working out and I'm glad you could see the benefits in moving, lifting and stuff. (It helps that the last time you did this you were 8.5 months pregnant. Hee hee)

debby said...

Great thoughts! Have you heard or read the guy (he was on Oprah, and then wrote a book) about how living in clutter can make you fat?? I keep thinking about this, since I tend to have a lot of clutter.

Yah, I love doing stuff like that, and then realizing afterward that I didn't have to sit down and rest every 10 minutes while I was working on it.

I think too about how much lighter I would feel if I lost 20-30 more pounds. I'm not convinced that is going to happen for me. But I will keep working on it!

Amy said...

Hmm, I always blame entropy for the clutter that piles up, and I also go on those big cleaning binges. I wonder if I can blame the tendency to keep on eatin' on entropy too??