Loyalty vs. critical thinking: making the right choice for you

I’m a very loyal person.

Maybe it’s the Virgo in me.  Or perhaps simply because it’s a safe place to be – pick your team, support ’em, make it work. Be happy with your choice and be exclusive, no exceptions. Show everyone you are committed.

Well.  Perhaps loyalty can be slightly misguided.

I grew up with two kinds of pop (Coke or Pepsi), two kinds of toothpaste (Crest or Colgate), two kinds of gum (Dentyne or Trident), two teen hearthrobs (Leif Garrett or Scott Baio)…you get the picture.  When I was a kid, you staunchly defended one or the other. Never did you jump ship to the other side. (I still feel guilty that I like Pepsi now when I was a Coke girl all my life).  Now, I can stand for 20 minutes in front of a gum rack at the grocery store and still not know which one I want.  So many options.

Let’s take fitness: I want to believe that there’s one “right” way to get in shape, feel better and trim the fat. I like knowing I made the “right” choice, am following the plan and will get results. But that’s so far from the truth that I’m feeling a little foolish.  Not only is there NOT one way for everyone, there’s not even a single way for ME.

I suppose it’s all in perspective. I have to shift my thinking that I’m not cheating on running with yoga, but instead they’re both doing different, positive things for my body. That switching from one trainer to another will continue to build my strength and to try new things is probably good for me on a bunch of different levels. Just because I tried something and it didn’t work, the “failure” is a learning experience, not a reflection of a crappy choice.

Being practical, and thinking critically are habits I need to develop.  I want to be loyal. But I shouldn’t confuse loyalty with laziness (lazy to try, lazy to change, waiting for ideas to be handed to you….).  I have to face the fact that just because the marketing is good, or the concept worked for someone else, that certain fitness plans won’t always be the be-all, end-all solutions, and I need to be SMART about my choices.

I am here to be the best I can be.  So, I’ll continue to share my adventures… like trying out DietBet or Weight Watchers… this week I bought a new skipping rope and have been inspired to practice headstands.  Stay tuned.




Finding what fits

Today I had a Fresca. In celebration of the end of the month, and that I have a mini-holiday next week!

It’s the first pop I’ve bought in a month, and in reality, probably close to two months. And it’s also the first Fresca I’ve had without vodka.

The story goes like this: a few years back I signed up with Weight Watchers*. I joined because I was overweight and thought that a weekly meeting would be the way to hold myself accountable and that I would become remarkably fit after several weeks of paying my dues and following a program.

The challenge was that I didn’t really didn’t fit in.  The program itself was fine – assigning point values to foods and eating my allotted amount.

But the weekly meetings were filled with middle-aged women (whom I was not ready to be kin with even though I kinda am one) who were obsessed with sharing information about putting snacks in baggies, getting individual-sized pre-portioned cheese bites, and how to be in control when someone brought cupcakes to the office.

It was all – obsessively – about food. Nobody exercised.

Week after week, it began to crawl under my skin. Weighing in, getting a booklet, receiving a common sense lecture, talking about food. I just wanted to work out, push myself, be crazy strong and learn how to balance food and fitness. But the room was occupied by people I didn’t want to be like.

I always sat in the back row. I never participated. I certainly never shared snacking information or where to find the latest plastic diet food in a box.

Until one week, I decided to crack a Fresca, pour off about a third, and top it off with as much vodka as I could get into that damn bottle.

Boy, oh, boy the WW meeting was A LOT MORE FUN after that!

I weighed in and lost 5 lbs that week! My hand shot up when questions were asked, I had shit to say, blah blah blah… I probably even hugged someone or high-fived them. I don’t remember. All I know, it was the best WW meeting I’d ever gone to.

That, however, was the beginning of the end. I knew WW wasn’t for me after that. I mean, SURE, I could get tanked and go pay $16 every week, but I reallllly didn’t see the sustainability in that.

Moral of the story: Surround yourself with people that share your motivations.  Find a weight-loss regime that works for you and your goals.   OR ELSE you’ll be a girl-drink-drunk on Fresca and vodka.

The End.

*Not trying to bash WW – there are some good folks out there.  Just not my cup o’tea.