For those of you who have followed me on twitter, you know I mention my Man a lot. We’ve been together for almost six years. He’s my best friend in the whole wide world. Love the guy. Yeay Man.
Now, like many out there, we like to watch zombie movies. It started off as being his thing, and then slowly I became the one demanding we watch a terrible zombie flick on a Saturday night with ice cream in our sweats.
I’m not sure what my fascination is with them. Unlike vampires, I don’t find the prospect of being near a zombie in any way alluring or sexual (and please note I only consider “vampires” like that because of all the smutty smut I’ve read—and written—about them over the years). Personally, I’ve had many, many nightmares of being hounded by zombie hordes, unable to escape, stress off the charts.
And yet I still love watching them. Fear the Walking Dead? Yes please. Shaun of the Dead? Always. 28 Weeks Later? Only if I’m not watching it alone. Fast zombies. Slow zombies. Alllll kinds of zombies. They work for me.
Romance zombies? Ehhhh. I guess those are the one kind that I’m meh about.
But anyway. My Man and I like to make zombie apocalypse plans. We know the route we’d take from our apartment building out of the city. We know what we’d pack. We constantly debate what we’d do with our animals—he always pragmatically suggests we eat our rabbits, which usually earns him a smack. One night, our conversation went a little something like this:
“So if we were running from the horde and I fell behind,” I started, “would you leave me behind?”
He was quiet for a few seconds, then laughed and said, “Well, yeah.”
Cue shocked gasp. Cue dramatic jaw dropping and eyes bulging. Yup, he said he’d leave me behind to be eaten by zombies.
“I mean, do we both have to die?” was his reasoning as he tried to calm me.
You know what? I get it. Although I gave him a lot of flak for the answer, I could see where he was coming from. Allow me to paint a picture. Years ago, my Man used to jog. Meanwhile, I’m mostly like:
He goes to the gym three days a week, can bench press a lot, and usually gets asked to watch people squat so he can tell them what they’re doing wrong.
Enter me. I sit most of the day. I eat whole bags of family-sized bags of chips, Salt and Vinegar preferably, and get winded walking up the hill at the mall beside our apartment. I’m not overweight, but I realized the other day I’ve adding a whopping twenty pounds to my body since my surgery last year, and the majority of my clothes don’t fit right anymore.
To be fair, I spent four months of this year on the couch with a fucked up knee, only able to get around if I was on crutches. Add that to my month or two of recovery from surgery at the start of the year and my fitness levels aren’t looking great.
So, in a way, I get it. I’d probably leave me behind too. Sure, adrenaline can get me places. If I was running for my life, I’d be trying my hardest to keep up with the group. But it isn’t just my cardio that’s meh. My body is stiff and awkward after months of sitting and recovery. I noticed it at my new Day Job, where I ref for archery tag games. I’m not limber and flexible. I’m klutzy and bulky, not entirely used to this new body—a body that has never been this big or heavy in my life.
Last month, I decided it was time to make a change. As I’ve mentioned a few times already on social media, my Man is headed home for about a month and a half today. I’m sad to be spending the Christmas holidays alone, but I realized last month that all the alone time is a golden opportunity to start improving on my fitness.
Fun fact: I used to be a huge restrictive eater. It was a whole big thing, went to therapy for it, wrestled with self-esteem, blah, blah, blah. So fun. And super fun for my Man who supported me through it. Once he pointed out a stretch mark on my leg and I cried for a good hour after. Those days are gone, though I certainly have my moments, but body issues have always been a thing for me.
Weight stuff makes me really uncomfortable. Being in a gym setting, especially a busy one, gives me huge anxiety. Hell, doing crunches and squats in front of my Man, who I love unconditionally, kicks off the nervous sweats. It’s a giant mental block that I know I need to work on, but I’m hoping to fight it this month by getting my -100 fitness level to a point where I feel more confident doing physical activity just in general.
And so, the Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Regime was born!
I’m still working on the fine print of everything, but I know the first issue I need to tackle is:
I’m introducing squats, crunches, push-ups, and lunges as a part of my daily routine. Starting small with 3 reps of 3, then steadily increasing the number each day to something that might actually impress people. In two weeks or so, I want to do arm exercises with some of the 10 and 15 lb weights we have lying around.
I’m fortunate enough to have a free gym in my building, so the bike and the treadmill are going to be my new friends. The bike was aces for my knee physio, so I’m just going to crank the intensity up a notch. Now, the treadmill stuff is throwing me. I want to try the walking-running workout where you walk for a certain amount of time, then run, then walk, then run, but really I can barely jog a full minute yet. For now, I’m starting with high intensity walking, and will hopefully integrate some running later on this month.
Now, I’ve learned over my failed attempts at working out before that exercise is only a part of physical fitness and health. Diet is a huuuuge part of getting in shape, and I’m making a vow—on the internet—to improve my eating habits. Less noodles. More quinoa. Less chips. More fish. Less chocolate. More fruit. I have no interest in following fad diets or crash diets (that basically resemble restrictive eating anyway) or detoxes. My overall goal is just to eat healthier and pay more attention to what I’m shoveling into my mouth as I watch reality TV on the couch with my meals.
I’ve tried calorie counting apps before and all they managed to do was make me feel sad when I saw how many calories I’d eaten in a day. Honestly, and I hate this phrase, I don’t need something so triggering in my life. No thanks.
I’m really excited. And nervous. Worried that I’ll fail, of course. I’ve had grand hopes for workout routines in the past that have crashed and burned a week in, so I’m hoping for the best. Although it’s not strictly writing related, I’ll probably post my progress on my blog. In a way, it’s almost like having a sense of accountability for my actions going forward.
Plus I’ll have a chance to see how far I’ve come.
As of right now, my stats:
Weight: 172 lbs
BMI: Fuck you, BMI. You’re an inaccurate measurement of my health and basically list me as morbidly obese for my height. Please don’t rely on a BMI.
BMR: 1500 calories a day is what my body burns just being a body
Activity level: Mostly sedentary
Food intake: A lot of crap
Sleeping habits: Most nights I get 7-8 hours, but I generally wake up a lot
I’ll report back on those stats at the end of December, then midway through January when my Man comes home. I’m doing this for me, of course, but I’m excited to show him I’m capable of doing something fitness related and sticking to it.
So cross your fingers and toes, folks. I’m going in.
Share your fitness journeys in the comments section! I’d love to know I’m not alone.