I bought a dress online more than two years ago from Ann Taylor for several reasons: 1) I had a gift card, 2) it was on sale, and 3) I didn’t have a little black dress in my closet. When I received the dress and put it on, it was clear that it was a size too big, but my mom said that it was easily altered, so I kept it, fully intending to seek out my local seamstress and get the job done.
Cut to almost three weeks ago.
I suddenly remembered that I had to be at a wedding soon, and I intended to wear this dress, but I had never gotten it altered. I went so far as to find a seamstress’s name and number, drive to her house, and try on the dress only to find out that it didn’t need to be altered. In other words, in two years’ time, I had gone up one dress size. In the short-term, it’s not a huge deal because the dress fits. Heaven help me if it had been too small. But if I extrapolate to ten years down the road, I do not want to have gone up five dress sizes. Something clearly had to change.
I’ve taken up what I hesitate to call a routine of working out, because it’s very modest. Three days a week, I walk about a mile and a half around my neighborhood, and the other two mornings feature about 40 minutes of yoga from a set of DVDs. I do a variety of crunches, push-ups, and wall-sits, too. I’m giving myself the weekends off for now, even though I’m sure that doesn’t jive with any known fitness plans. I’ve been eating a bowl of cereal and drinking a glass of orange juice everyday, which is probably the biggest adjustment for a longtime non-breakfaster. I’m trying to drink more water, eat more fruit, get consistent sleep, and refrain from snacking. Even though I miss it, I stopped putting root beer on the shopping list, and I haven’t had dessert in quite a while.
I should mention here that I don’t own a scale, so I have no idea if I’ve lost any weight. That’s not really the goal here; instead, I want to feel like I have some semblance of stamina and I’m doing something to stay in shape. I know there will come a time when my metabolism pulls the bus cord and says, “Well, this is my stop." If I don’t have good habits already, it'll be a very unpleasant surprise, and anyone who knows me knows that I do not like surprises. At all.
So far, I’m doing well with this set-up. The variation makes it interesting enough from day to day, and I enjoy the fresh air I get on my walks. I’ve found that it has helped me focus more at work because I’ve had about an hour to be awake and alone, and I’m confident that I’m doing something that’s good for me. As demoralizing as that moment was when my black dress unexpectedly fit me, it was the wake-up call I needed. I'm glad to report that I felt pretty okay about myself in that dress this past weekend, and I’m doing to do my darndest to keep up with this routine.