At least seven shades of gray or why I didn’t go to the Y today. Again.

What is in that guys' hand?
What is in that guys’ hand?

When “Fifty Shades of Gray” first came out I was under the impression it was about nasty, steamy senior citizen sex. When I heard it was about some guy seducing a college girl (I think that’s it, right?) and also heard that while inventive, it was very poorly written, I decided to give it a pass.

Nothing like starting a blog post off topic, eh? I just couldn’t resist using the shades of gray phrase in the title, so there you go.

Oh, baby, yeah, baby. Photo from
Oh, baby, yeah, baby. Photo from

Anyhoo, I had almost talked myself into going to the Y this morning to the Aquabata class at 11:15. Aquabata is a version of the high-intensity interval training program Tabata, but in the pool. If you think that makes it kind of wussy, think again. It certainly would be more difficult to do all this stuff on land, but even in the water it’s HARD! You sweat! In the water! You need to keep a water bottle by the side of the pool! It’s freaking HARD!

However, since the class doesn’t start until 11:15, I spent the earlier hours of the morning sitting at my computer with an exceptionally gloomy gray sky staring me down through the window above my desk. It started out kind of mouse-gray, but as the morning progressed, it went from mousy to filing cabinet gray to licorice ice cream gray to Armani charcoal pinstripe suit gray. Then I heard sharp little pebbles of sleet spitting at the window. Oh, and the wind was blowing so hard, the dogs kept jumping up to bark at the front door, imagining some intruder scraping his way across the yard to (no doubt) assault us and steal the squeaky toys.

I mean, really. Would you go outside if you didn’t absolutely have to under those circumstances? I think not.

To be completely honest, I’d never go again if there was some magic machine that could make me healthy and fit without leaving the house (preferably a machine that could work at night, multitasking by providing fitness and sleep requirements simultaneously). Are you with me? How many people, seriously, would “work out” if they didn’t feel they had to?

Sometimes I think the only thing that could get me out the door would be if my mother came over and made me do it. She would have to ignore my whining and excuses and just push me out the door, much like she did 50+ years ago when I wanted to stay in my room and read “Little Women” rather than bundle up in snow pants and mittens and hat and scarf and boots to “play” in the snow in 20 degree weather under gray skies much like today’s.

Play? Really, Mom? I remember crouching in the snow at my friend Carol’s house, shivering as we half-heartedly pretended to have a tea party with scraps of bark and pine branches. Yeah. Good times.

Here’s the thing. While I’ve been coming up with every excuse under the sun to avoid going to the Y, I have been diligent about following a new healthier eating regime. Today is day 17 of giving up all sugars (yes, that includes honey; people who think it’s somehow different have obviously never been to Weight Watchers), white flour and artificial sweeteners. I am aware that the endorphins generated by exercising would no doubt actually ease the pain of this dramatic change in my eating habits, but hey. Why make things easier for myself, not to mention enjoying accelerated weight loss through exercise? Nah. That’s way too logical. Rarely have I made the sensible leap to actually dieting AND exercising simultaneously.

But – I am losing weight and am very grateful for that. I feel better, too. I’m not having that afternoon slump. The boys miss our post-lunch cat nap in the recliner.

Diet Dr Pepper: monkey on my back
Diet Dr Pepper: the monkey on my back

What I miss most is my Caffeine Free Diet Dr Pepper. That’s been my crack for many years. I’m not sure giving up artificial sweeteners was absolutely necessary, but I have such an out-of-control sweet tooth, I thought it would be better if my body (and cupcake brain) stopped expecting ANYTHING sweet to sashay down the old esophagus.

Is it 21 days to break a habit or create a new one? I’m getting close. It’s been tough, but I’m hanging in there.

But exercise? Mmmm. I dunno. Maybe I should save it for when I hit a plateau. Or maybe I can talk Mom into stopping by later this week to kick me out the door for Water Yoga. It’s not a big calorie-burning activity, but at least it would get me back into showing-up-at-the-Y mode.

Mom? How’s your schedule looking for Friday morning?

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