Laura Zoeller

Staying on the right course

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Back in December, I decided (again) that I needed to get into better physical shape. I decided to start running on my treadmill (again) and watching what I eat. I thought of all the reasons I should make it my New Year’s Resolution (again). But instead of waiting, I decided to start that day.


That day, I was exhausted and seriously breathless after a mere seven minutes. I was furious with myself, who had been running 5k’s the year before and could barely do 5 minutes now. It was a real wakeup call.


Since that time, I have worked up to running four to six times a week on my treadmill, going 2.5 to 3.5 miles each time. I have cut out a lot of unhealthy eating habits – though I still battle my sweet tooth daily – and I have lost nearly 30 pounds.


I remind myself of these wins every day when the alarm clock sounds at 5 a.m. When the snooze goes off seven minutes later, I tell myself of those victories again. Then my inner voice cries out about how, if I’ve done so well, don’t I deserve to stay in bed for one morning? I growl at that voice as I throw back the covers and reach for my shoes.


Up until recently, I would turn on my computer and pull up a playlist before I started to jog. But, my computer hibernates after 30 minutes, so the last 15 minutes of my run had to be done in silence. That last 15 minutes is when my inner voice starts chirping again, about how well I did in the first 30, so I deserve to stop early. My inner voice is not very helpful sometimes.


Recently, my daughter offered to loan me her MP3 player. That is in part because she is a sweetheart, and in part because her room is right next to the room where the treadmill is, and she got tired of hearing my music blaring at 5:30 a.m. Regardless, I accepted the offer.


That first morning, I was really excited to try it. Her playlist is not really my style, but there were a lot of tracks on there with beats suitable for running. Plus the music playing directly into my ears drowns out that pesky inner voice chanting at me to quit early.


I was treated to a variety of music, from the “High School Musical 3” soundtrack, to “Who Let the Dogs Out,” and many others. Saturday, I was trying to speed up to finish a lap and suddenly, the “Chicken Dance” music came on. Talk about killing your mojo! I had a sudden urge to walk in a circle, throw rice and then go eat cake.


I still like to snuggle under the covers, and I still like sweets, and I doubt that it will ever fully go away. But I like my mindset and energy level better now, and I don’t mind the smaller pants, either. So today, I will (again) squash the quitter in me and run. Today, I will (again) try to make healthy decisions about food. Today, I will keep working toward the healthiest me I can be.



Laura Zoeller can be reached at zoeller5@hughes.net.


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