Sunday, December 29, 2013

Kicking Bad Habits

In March of this year, Funny Delightful Son signed up for track, wanting to have something to do that included some exercise as well as being with his friends. He's never been a runner, so he went for the field events: shot put and discus. At the time, he was weighing in at around 225 pounds, which helps when throwing shot put and discus. However, Funny Delightful Son was unhappy with his weight and had been unhappy with his weight for several years. As a fourth grader, he stood a head taller than his classmates, and he outweighed them by quite a bit. Where his classmates were the typical thin pre-teen boys, he wasn't, and he got teased by it. The teasing spurred him to constantly round his shoulders as if he was trying to minimize how much space he took up. He started to wear t-shirts beneath button-down shirts or sweatshirts to hide his shape. I regularly encouraged him to stand tall, put his shoulders back, but he seemed only to sink further into himself. I hated seeing this happen to him, and the only thing I could do was continue to tell him that one day his metabolism would kick in, do what it was supposed to do.

And it did. And it has. Where in March Funny Delightful Son was weighing in at 225 pounds, now he is around 165, maybe 170 tops. He has gone from having a 36 inch waist to a 31 inch waist. Initially I was very concerned with the rapid weight loss, nearly 40 pounds between March and June. While he was working out with the track team, he wasn't doing extensive cardio or lifting that would promote this kind of loss. What I didn't know at the time was he had stopped eating sweets. No cookies. No candy. No cake. Nothing sweet crossed his lips. Still, he won't eat anything remotely sweet. Including soda. He gave up the soda not long after giving up the sweets. Now, Funny Delightful Son stands tall. Now, Funny Delightful Son smiles and laughs all the time. Now, Funny Delightful Son loves to go shopping for clothes. He even joined the swim team, not at all intimidated by allowing people see him in just a swimsuit.

His dedication to giving up sweets has been inspirational to me. I love chocolate cake with white icing. I love oatmeal raisin cookies. Thinking of not eating these makes me so sad. And soda? What? An ice cold cola on a hot day is akin to heaven for me. But after seeing all the health benefits Funny Delightful Son is experiencing after committing to not consuming these, I've decided to follow suit. I knew I had to do it in steps, though, or I was going to fail. My plan was to start with caffeine, which meant I had to give up not only coffee but also colas. I went cold turkey with that in October. I was still drinking sodas, just not any with caffeine. A little over a month into no caffeine, I gave up all sodas. After reading about the amount of sugar in one can of soda (8 teaspoons), I said enough. Now that I'm almost a month into no sodas, I'm ready to nix the rest of the sweets. I've created the foundation, and now it's time to build upon it. Slowly. With determination. And it's definitely entertaining having Funny Delightful Son supporting me in kicking my bad habits.

With steps one and two well underway, I started step three last week: exercise. When Funny Delightful Son took up swimming (only to be put on the diving team), he found running stairs, planks, and lots of sit-ups were part of the deal. Now he's seeing muscle definition happening, especially in the abs. Every day I'm subjected to him pulling his shirt up and rubbing his abs, a smirk gracing his face. I thought since he's seeing such awesome results with the whole no sugar combined with regular exercise, I might, too (wishful thinking for a nearly 50, menopausal woman!). So I set up the bike on the trainer last week and have begun spinning. I'm only going a half hour right now, but it's a start. Something is better than nothing, right? I have no goals in mind other than to just spin each day for at least a half hour.

Where I used to be the only one in the house who worried about consuming bad-for-me foods, I now have an ally who is supportive and encouraging. It's way more fun giving things up with someone than it is alone.


Randall Brison said...

Thanks again, JK, for your blog. I appreciate you sharing.

Like you, I'm inspired by Delightful Son's changes. I've known for a long time sugar is a big deal -- especially in a family with a history of diabetes -- and I too have been cutting back.

Same too with television, which can be the mental equivalent of sugar. My love also likes the tube, and that has become our default way of hanging out together. It's a tricky subject to negotiate. I pray the reductions goes well for both of us.

And yes, half an hour spinning is better than nothing. It's probably better than 90% of Americans. Go for it! I may have to look into one of those trainers, but right now I go to a gym which gives teachers a great monthly rate. When the weather gets better -- and the days are longer -- I hope to get back to my routine of riding to work.

Keep inspiring all us readers, JK. Be blessed, my friend.

JK said...

Thank you, Randy, for the kind words. I wish you and yours all the best for 2014 and beyond.

Your comment about the TV being the default way for you two to hang out together is the same for us. My fear is if I reduce the amount I watch like I hope to, we won't be hanging out much at all. Maybe we'll figure out another way to hang out together. Hopefully.

Randall Brison said...

I pray so. It's sort of like steering a big ship, isn't it? Course changes don't usually happen quickly, but they start with making small corrections. May God keep you close.