54 at 54 Weekly Update – Week 8


First, and most importantly, today I am wearing a pair of jeans that, two weeks ago, were incredibly uncomfortable.  So much so that I had to wear a big flowing top and do the “rubber band trick” on the button.  (You know what that is right?  It’s when you loop a rubber band through the button-hole of your pants and then around the button itself.  Depending on the rubber band it can give you an extra 1/2″ to 1″.  Those rubber bands that come on broccoli at the supermarket are perfect for this.)  Today they are not only comfortable but a little baggy.  Yesterday I had to tighten my belt twice because the pants I was wearing were threatening to leave my body – and not in a good way.

I’ve also started working out in…wait for it…the morning.  GASP!  I know…I’ve tried before and given up but the fact that this treadmill is right in my bedroom and that basically all I have to do is put on a bra and shoes is definitely a bonus.  Plus, I just get home too late at night to do the nightly workout that’s been my staple all of my adult life.

But things change.

When I was 16 I wanted to take off some weight (well – since puberty I’ve wanted to “take off some weight”) so I bought a record album of exercises that came with a wall chart so you could see how to do them (yes…I’m old…don’t judge).  I fell in love with it.  Over the years that morphed into gyms and aerobics classes (Jazzercise anyone?) and personal trainers and lots and lots of VHS tapes and then later, DVD’s.  My library was extensive and for a while I belonged to a kind of “club” where you could trade videos you’d grown tired of or that were not a good fit for you.  Working out at home to videos with Kathy Smith, Karen Voight and Petra Kolber (to name a few) became my fitness routine and lasted for about 20 years.

After I got sober and started thinking about getting back into shape (one other than the one I’m currently in) I dusted off those old tapes and DVD’s and got to work.  The problem was that where they once energized me and made me happy, they now bored me and made me feel bad about myself.  So I stopped using them and started my search for my next fitness path.

One thing that has never changed in all my life is that I love to walk.  I will walk anywhere for ridiculous amounts of time.  My normal gait is at about 2.7 mph (yeah…it’s hard for people to keep up) but I’ve been known to walk as fast as 4.2 mph if I’m really pushing it.  I prefer walking outside but when I’m out there I tend to walk slower and just enjoy the outdoors.  I can listen to some “beat” music and match the pace – but for me, having earbuds in takes the joy out of my walk.  (Plus if I’m in an unfamiliar city it’s dangerous because I need to be aware of my surroundings at all times…you can take the girl out of the hood but you can’t take the hood out of the girl.)

Which is why this treadmill is such a godsend.  Last weekend, after my run-in with my compassionate boss (yes…that WAS sarcasm) I feeling pretty low so I did what I love to do – I walked.  First on the treadmill and then outside with the dogs.  Saturday and Sunday I exercised self-care and just…walked.  I didn’t try to run or match any pace or even care if I sweat.  I just moved my feet.

And it was glorious.

So this week I’ve been getting up early and walking first thing in the morning which sets the “pace” (HA!) for my day.  I’ve decided that if I never learn to run that’s okay…I can walk.  If I never run another race (5K, 4-miler, half marathon) that’s okay…I can walk it.  If I never fire up my c25K app again that’s okay…I can walk while binge watching TV series and let the iFit application on my treadmill do the work (and make ME work in the process).

I’m happy with this program.  I logged food all week and did pretty damn well I think.  I walked and walked and walked…with my own unique brand of quiet determination.

And that is perfectly imperfect…and just enough.

Stats:  74, 442 steps for 30.9 miles – 10,635 daily average steps – 4.41 daily average miles.



17 thoughts on “54 at 54 Weekly Update – Week 8

  1. There’s some guys I know who are doing a men’s weight loss challenge and they asked me to join in. I declined, and I’m glad I did, because all they’re doing is starving themselves like a bunch of high-school wrestlers. It’s funny and really sad at the same time. I’m so glad that you’re approaching your health from a positive and holistic place.

    Here’s a couple websites that you might enjoy. They approach fitness and health as holistically as you do.

  2. that’s great Sherry, its that grit and determination and level of self care that has given you the ability to also stay sober. very awesome indeed. (never heard of the rubber band thing, that is certainly interesting!!!)

    1. Someone taught it to me when I was pregnant and didn’t want to move into maternity clothes yet. Unfortunately I’ve used it a lot since then. Hopefully never again.

      Thanks Lisa.


  3. That rubber band trick is unnecessary if all you wear is yoga pants, but I digress 😉

    What a great, amazing attitude, and I love it. I was doing something very similar this week, in terms of focusing on the positive and letting the progress take place in baby steps (read premature infant steps). That shift in thinking really had me in a better place mentally.

    Now, I still have work to do, particularly in terms of food intake, but I am hopeful that if I just continue to creep forward, I’m going to get there. Because it’s too important to give up on.

    And I really, REALLY want to binge watch shows on a treadmill! The only treadmill I have access to does not have a tv or wifi around it, and now I really want one in my bedroom. Maybe I can come to your house?

    Thanks, as always, for inspiring me to keep moving forward. And I am in absolute awe of the pants success. Who needs the damned scale when you’ve got that kind of motivation?

    PS… I still hate your boss.

    1. The more crap you have, the bigger your house payment has to be, and the more you have to clean!What’s very useful to me is to remember how I lived when I was poor as a churchmouse and then make a mental list of the things I have now that I couldn’t afford back then. This is how I distinguish between “wants” and &##202;needs,&88221; and it makes me really appreciate the “wants” that I have.

  4. Dear Sherry,
    I think walking is the best! It’s like mediation.
    When it gets hot in summer, I like using my treadmill, to!
    Have fun!

  5. Great stuff, Sherry!

    As people like to point out to me when I whinge about my running – you’re lapping the people who are sitting on the couch! Motivation comes in many guises, and in the end you’re doing it. And believe me, those folks who go mad in their running / training and seem like robots / machines, etc. all have their motivation issues too. Believe me! You’re not alone. The many runners / athletes that I mingle with online all have their days. The hardest step is the first one out the door (or on the treddie).

    Some great thoughts / benefits of walking:


  6. You make me laugh!! I have never heard of the rubber band trick, but quite ingenious, I must say!
    I am so happy you have found your groove. Thinking of you in just a bra and sneakers on the treadmill had me laughing out loud…no pants?? or does that go without saying? LOL! (I highly recommend pants when walking outside!)
    Keep up the great work!

    1. I know my friend. I was hilarious! My husband is still teasing me about it. Just the THOUGHT of me working out like that has us cracking up! Thank you for the LOL.


  7. Love this post, Sherry. It sounds so self-compassionate and downright healthy. I see so many fit, happy people walking and wonder why I run sometimes. I see running (okay, jogging) as a phase and see walking as a more long-term, healthier and sustainable exercise. Variety is good though. Whatever keeps me interested and motivated is what works in that moment. I never had the coordination for aerobics or zumba or whatever they call it now.

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