The conversation started out with me announcing to Smilin' Vic that I no longer had 10 lbs. to lose to reach the dreamt of pre-pregnancy weight that has eluded me for the last 9 years.
Smilin' Vic: "That's great news, Babe."
Me: "Noooo, that's not great news. It's now closer to 20. I'm way past the Doha Dozen*. It's depressing. I'm running again, I'm trying to do f#<&ing pilates ... obviously the signals aren't getting through to my butt. This sucks."
Smilin' Vic: "Don't use foul language Babe. It's the wine, hot dogs and s'mores from the RV trip. Oh, and you should stop smoking. You'll see, it'll come off in no time."
I smile sadly as I silently curse Dr. Vic in my head. Why would he think stating the obvious would help?
I turn back to the computer.
Smilin' Vic: "Whatcha doin?"
Me: "I printed out a weekly menu planner. I'm typing out my weekly objectives. Then I'm organizing all my recipes and the shopping list. Tita L. always wants to help me cook, so I've decided I'm finally going to give in and tap into that. I'm relinquishing my control in the kitchen. These are all heart healthy and low-cal. I'm determined to get back into roaring shape by December. Slow and steady wins the race."
Smilin' Vic: "Have you noticed 'Me'? Not bad, eh?" (He flexes an arm and sucks in his abs for effect.)
Me (thinking "that's just the motivation I was looking for"): "Yeah, you look great." In fairness, he's lost about 10 lbs. since getting back from vacation. His approach to losing weight is thinking about it; somehow it works for him.
Smilin' Vic: "Well, I don't know about 'great', but definitely down from last week. I've been working out harrrrrrrd!" (He growls, flexes and calls out "youwaaaa" for emphasis.)
He relaxes and goes on: "You know, if you cut down on the carbs it's a lot easier?"
Me (thinking manicotti sounds like a plan right about now): "Is that the thought that motivates you when you eat 6 peanut butter sandwiches as a 'snack' after work?"
Smillin' Vic doesn't appreciate my sarcasm. "You shouldn't ask for help if you don't want it."
I'm confused... I asked for help?
Objectives # 1, 2, 3 and 4:
- I will run and/or walk at least 20 minutes at least 5 times a week.
- I will do pilates at least 20 minutes at least 5 times a week.
- I will make sure I log at least 20 km running a week.
- I will do a combined run/pilates of more than an hour at least 2 times a week.
I take a break from writing and go run 4 km on the treadmill. 27 minutes. Not bad!
I do 45 minutes of the new pilates "Rip Your Own Abs Out and Feel the PAIN" dvd I just bought.
I still can't do a stupid roll-up without anchoring my feet under something. When I mention this to people, they look at me like I've got four heads. I imagine them sharing this with a spouse or a friend afterward: "Can you believe it? She can't even do a friggin' roll-up! And all this time I thought she was fit!" Cue evil laughter: "Hahahahahahahahaha!"
I always fight the urge to qualify my inability to do a roll-up with a statement about how I was blessed with natural washboard abs 'til I gave birth so there was simply no reason to exercise those muscles and expend unnecessary energy. And even though I'm shallow enough to think that way, I have to wait 'til I lose the "hamburger patty between two buns" abs or else I'll look quite the fool. So I suffer silently.
Objectives # 5, 6 and 7:
- I will allow myself a glass of wine on weekends only.
- I will only eat what is included in my daily menu planner.
- I will log EVERYTHING (foods eaten, activities, cigarettes smoked, wine drunk).
Anyhow, after a decent workout and a shower, I come back downstairs, pour myself a glass of wine, enjoy the piece of pizza Smilin' Vic brings me (I'll log it later, I need to concentrate right now) and re-focus on typing out my low-cal recipes.
Smilin' Vic: "Watcha doin?"
Me: "Preparing recipes for Tita L."
Smilin' Vic: You're just like Michael (the little green monster with one eye from Monsters Inc.) in "Monsters University".
Me: "How so?"
Smilin' Vic: "You have lists for everything. You know, like Michael in the movie ... "arrive at university - check; unpack - check; introduce myself to roommate - check; attend orientation - check; graduate with honors - still working on it. Haha."
He makes a circle with his hands in front of his forehead to reproduce Michael's big eye. He's like: "This is so cool. For the rest of our lives, I can make this sign, and you're the only one who'll know what I mean. And we can laugh about it together, and it'll be our thing ..." His exuberance peters off as he realizes I have turned back to the keyboard. I type in ...
Objective # 8:
- Stop trying to figure out how Smilin' Vic can be such an @$$ and so funny at the same time...
I turn back to Smilin' Vic.
"A childhood friend told me my need to write lists stems from watching too much Sesame Street as a child (remember 'The Count'?). Hey, we should start running together again."
Smilin' Vic: "It's kinda hard to tandem on the treadmill."
Me: "No, no, I mean outside, like we used to, at the park."
Smilin' Vic: "The heat index is 55C today. And it's Ramadan. No drinking or eating in public. We'd die one kilometer into the run."
Me: "But we could get up at 3:30 a.m., like when we were prepping for the 10 km run. It would be fun."
Smilin' Vic: "We spent 15,000 QAR on a treadmill so we wouldn't have to wake up at zero dark thirty and listen to piped in 'bird chirping' and get sprayed with raw sewage when the sprinklers kick off, and now you're telling me you want to go back there?"
Me: "It was just a thought ... yeah, you're right. Wanna do pilates with me?"
Smilin' Vic: "Nah, Babe. I don't 'DO' pilates. I work out. I run, I lift weights. That's my thing."
Me: "That was harsh. We just don't work out together like we used to."
Smilin' Vic: "You're the one who suggested we stop going to the compound gym 250m down the road and set up our own upstairs. You're welcome to lift weights with me."
Me: "I don't like weights. They're heavy. Whatever. I'd rather work out alone anyways."
I pour myself another glass of wine. "It's the f*#&ing roll-up. It's my nemesis. It occupies every sleeping, dreaming, waking moment. It will be my undoing, Smilin' Vic. You mark my words. I'll go completely f'in mad and then you'll wish you'd have taken the time to do pilates with me."
Smilin' Vic: "Don't curse Baby. What's is a roll-up anyways? Show me your best."
I lay my wine glass down on the TV stand. I know he's taking me seriously; he's actually paused the UFC match on TV to watch and listen as I flail miserably through what a roll-up should look like. (Note: I raise up to about the second vertebrae, grunting like a stuck pig the whole while, I jerk, my feet lift off the floor, I just barely avoid a toot, and pull up to a sitting position ... very unlike the zen breathing and smooth delivery my instructor walks me through on the 'torn and shredded abs' dvd.)
Smilin' Vic: "Ok, your abs are obviously REALLY weak." He lies down and proceeds to do a perfect and effortless roll-up.
WTF???? I have pretty much lost the will to live. It finally sinks in that I have the abs of a slug.
He instructs me to put my hands under my buttocks, extend my legs, raise them straight up and push up towards the ceiling. "Do those tomorrow and every second day. Do them until your abs are on fire. You'll be doing a roll-up in no time, Babe. Don't give up. Those pilates are awesome. The running's great, but the pilates are what will keep you moving, so we can retire and be like that couple you just discovered on that blog**."
And just like that, he redeems himself. Because in the end, he just 'gets' me.
Objective # 9:
- Stop trying to figure out how Smilin' Vic can be such an @$$ and such an inspiration at the same time...
Thanks, Smilin' Vic. You keep me real.
P.S. Just to make me laugh, Smilin' Vic passed wind on his second roll-up. Keeping it real. Can't help but love him.
* The Doha Dozen is a well-known phenomenon to expatriates living in Qatar. The lack of pedestrian infrastructure, the overall unfriendly attitude towards pedestrians, the heat, the humidity; all of these add up to a sedentary lifestyle that requires a conscious effort to get up and exercise. Wine and lethargy often fill the active-living void, which eventually lead to packing on the pounds.
** Last week I discovered a blog called Honey Did you See That? Youngish, retired, fit, funny Canadian expatriates now living it up in a 5th wheel! Since we've just come off an amazing Canadian RV trip, are Canadian, and consider ourselves funny, Shelley is the newest addition to my "You Might Like" list. She inspired me to go back and give couples dialogue a try for this post (it's not something I do that often). If you didn't enjoy what you read at Gypsy In the ME, check out her blog by clicking on the link below. She is hilarious and will definitely be on The Ellen Show soon. Thanks for dropping by.