I wrote this in a blog entry six months ago
Lastly on the fitness front, I’ve been swimming at least three days a week at 1000 to 1200 yards a session for six weeks now. My weight now hovers around 189 to 191 pounds. The swimming is so effective that I have not bothered to go to the weight room in order to pump iron.
189 pounds. I was rather proud of that. It had been years since I had dropped that low. I dropped a bit lower in the summer of 2007 when I was working at a local amusement park while waiting for my first adjunct teaching slots to come through. Otherwise, I’ve been between 196 to 205 for most of the last decade.
So I got on the scale today.
Twenty pounds, folks. Five of those were packed on in the last two weeks.
What happened? What happened to the swimmer who was pounding through 1200 yard workout sessions without a rest? What happened to concerns that I’d have to get tighter fitting trousers? What happened to all of that new energy I picked up?
I know part of what happened. First, the pool at Longview needed to be patched so it was shut down for a week while they did the repair work. This threw me off a fairly well established routine. Then Trinity’s car blew out again, which sent me back to the land of Mad Cab Driver, chewing up hours of what had been swim time. Finally, and again attributed to Mad Cab Driver land, I started to slide in Spanish 101.
I picked up ten pounds in three months as a result. That was manageable, I figured.
Then I picked up another five over the next two and a half months. Winter rolled in and even though it has been a mild one it was still difficult to find the energy to go do the workouts. My new teaching schedule for this semester had me getting out of the classroom at lunchtime leaving me tired, hungry and cranky. There was the stress of our dire financial situation made worse by the loss of two of the four classes I was slated for.
Too much food, drink and stress combined with the lack of exercise, cold weather and depression did the rest.
I’ve found a solution for getting the weight off by working as a lifeguard during the summertime. The heat, the sun, a restricted diet (I have to watch what I eat in case I jump into the water) and the regular lap swims carved a lot of that weight off of me.
Now I need to find a solution for the other three seasons of the year. It seems I can maintain momentum to a point during the Fall so long as I stay in the habit of swimming at a pool. I had a plan for the winter semester break by purchasing a pool pass at a local facility. Thing is, it was a bit on the cold side in that pool and folks, I really do not like the cold at all.
It is something to ponder on. In the meantime, starting this week, I’m going to try yet again to get into the pool three times a week minimum, five times optimal. I made a good start on that today with 700 yards in the pool, the most I’ve done in awhile. Granted, I did it in three sets of 200 followed by a final set of 100 yards. I tried to breathe water during that last 100 which told me it was time to throw in the towel for that session.
It will help that fresh fruit that I can stomach will be readily available over the coming weeks, particularly apples, which are helpful in managing my GERD. The fiber and the natural sugars are preferable to the processed crap I normally eat.
If I lost the weight once as a lifeguard, I am relatively confident that I can lose the weight again. Granted, I suspect I will be serving in a different role this summer (more on that after this coming Friday) but that shouldn’t matter too much.
I’m frustrated with finding myself in this situation again. I know I eat to compensate for a lot of things and I know I do this in particular during the winter months when I am vulnerable to a number of ailments. Knowing is one thing though.
What I need are workable solutions.
So it goes.
Steven Francis Murphy
Author of The Limb Knitter and Tearing Down Tuesday
Kansas City, Missouri