My life of crime: Forgery and Super Big Gulps

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Let me tell you about the time I skipped class. Yes, the one time in my long career of nerdhood. I was a senior in high school. Senior year was my defiant year. Defiant in the sense that I skipped class once. Oh and I drank twice that year – both times after being given permission and alcohol by friends’ parents. So, ummmm, not so defiant compared to your average 18 year old.

The day I skipped class I wrote my own note saying I had to leave school early to go to the dentist. Then I signed my mother’s name. I’m sure I practiced her signature a million times. Just in case the school secretary were to check it against the official “Parent Signature Record Book” (I was certain such a thing existed.) I nervously walked into the office to turn in my note and was a bit shocked at quickly I was set free to go to the “dentist”.

I’m sure the office staff saw no reason to check my mom’s signature on the forged note against the “Parent Signature Record Book”. Afterall, I had never skipped class before, I had missed less than 5 days of school in 4 years, and I had had a 4.0 GPA since the 6th grade. Nerds like me don’t lie and we certainly don’t commit crimes like forgery. So I can see why the office staff were quick to assume the note was legit.

Photo by Shelly Munkberg

Now the best part. The class I skipped? Study hall. Yes, study hall. Not a boring class like religion or history. And not a class that was challenging like math or science. Study hall. Where you pretty much just got to pass notes and socialize with 30 or so other classmates. I skipped this to go hang out with one other person and get a Super Big Gulp. Kind of a lame trade off.

Then there’s my husband. Around the same time in his high school career – late in his senior year – his poor, dear mother got a call that she needed to come meet with the school administration regarding young Vincent. She arrived to find out that Vincent had not actually attended most of the school year. It was two weeks before graduation and he would likely not graduate because of his attendance record, or ummm, lack thereof.

Vincent’s mother, my sweet mother-in-law, was a single mom at times working two jobs to support Vincent, the last of her 6 children to be living at home. Every morning she would get up and make Vincent a full breakfast – bacon, eggs, toast and then head out the door to work. Vincent would get up, eat his breakfast and promptly go back to bed for the day.

By the end of our respective senior years, I was all ready to go attend Gonzaga University, taking with me my 4.0 GPA and a ton of scholarship money. Equally excited about his impending adulthood, young Vincent was ready to make it big too. He had his eyes set on his first apartment and a great job. Full of ambition and drive (and the need to pay his own rent) he had all the answers. All he needed to fund his adulthood was a job delivering pizzas at Dominos. That would pay the bills and get him off work early enough most nights to spend some quality time with the ladies.

It’s true, at 18 you really do know all there is to know. . . about everything.

My husband is 9 years older than me. So by the time I met him he had grown up considerably. His days of pizza delivery were over. He had given up his dream apartment to join the Army, which lead him to college graduation, which lead him to Microsoft in Seattle, leading him to open his own business and, ultimately, lead us to meeting at my cousin’s wedding in 2003. I was 27 and perfect (of course) and he was 36 and almost perfect, except for almost not graduating high school. At that point in our lives we were perfect for each other and have been ever since.

And what does this have to do with Fit Healthy Moms? A lot.

You see, I knew from a young age that what I did in a given day mattered. If I skipped math class, I wouldn’t be able to complete my homework that night. If I missed a history class, I wouldn’t do as well on the test. That mattered to me. That’s why the one time I skipped class it was study hall. Missing that wouldn’t jeopardize my GPA or an upcoming test or assignment.

It’s all about accountability and the bigger picture. If you have goals and you aren’t accountable for the necessary steps to reach those goals, you won’t ever get there. I knew I wanted to go to college. I knew there was no money for me to do so. So it was essential that I had good grades and earned as much scholarship money as possible. That mattered everyday. And there was the small issue of me being fiercely competitive with my classmates. But that’s another post.

My fitness fanaticism kicked in around the time I started college. The same mindset that accompanied my academic performance through high school quickly transferred to my approach to fitness. If I missed a run, I knew I would burn less calories for the day, meaning I would lose weight more slowly. Remember, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, I was a good 40-50 pounds overweight. I didn’t want to waste days once I started working toward this goal. So everyday I ran. I tried to run a little further and a little faster everyday. That’s a hell of a way to run, by the way. It was miserable. To accompany that I created my own diet plan that involved eating less and less everyday. So as I ran further each day and ate less each day, I would lose weight. For the most part it worked well. Except that I was seriously under-fueled, running was a painful daily chore and I faced a number of injuries due to over training and lack of cross training.

Oh, and I was really cranky, borderline depressed. All. The. Time.

The wrong (read: ignorantly poorly crafted) exercise/diet regime will do that to you.

I was far from an expert when it came to running and nutrition. But I just kept plugging away, knowing that what I did everyday mattered. I learned a lot over time – I learned to eat better, to cross train and to take rest days. From there I was able to run many half marathons and complete a ton of triathlons. I was able to go back to back to school, post college, to become a personal trainer.

Yes, I was again a 4.0 student. If I was going to be a fitness professional and change other peoples’ lives, what I did everyday in that program mattered. I didn’t want someone to get hurt or not meet their goals because I didn’t give them the right information or the best information.

So this is how I live my life. Every day matters. That’s not to say everyday has to be a perfect day. But you should be practicing to be your best everyday. I know that if I exercise today, even if I’m not 100% I will feel better, look better and be better than if I don’t. I also know that my workouts keep me pushing toward different goals I have set for myself. At the same time, I know that if I eat too much chocolate cake it will come back to haunt me. This has been a tough one to remember during pregnancy. But I’m working on it. Most days.

Every step takes you closer to or further from your goals. So as you make choices throughout the day you are always moving a little closer to what you want and need and deserve or a little further from it. You have to weigh the cost at a certain point. How much do you want it and what are you willing to do to get it?

A lot of my moms get up before 5am to workout because it’s the only time they can fit it in. They have tried to exercise at other times of day and life just gets in the way. A lot of my moms don’t workout as regularly as they’d like because they are not willing to get up that early. The ones who really want it get it. My 6 am classes are packed with moms who are in the best shape of their adult lives because they want it bad enough. They know that every day matters and every workout matters. So they SHOW UP.

Many of you are in Week 3 of our Transformation Contest. This can be a tough week. You have to really remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. You have to keep in mind that WHAT YOU DO EVERY DAY MATTERS, YOU’RE TRADING A DAY OF YOUR LIFE FOR IT.

Don’t dabble in your life. Don’t creep toward your goals. SHOW UP and MAKE IT HAPPEN. Be the nerd who only skips study hall. Don’t miss what really matters – the math and the science – aka: your workouts, your nutritious meals, your water intake, getting to bed at a reasonable hour. These are the things that matter EVERY DAY.

Or you can keep hanging out with your Dominos pizza. But I promise you, the Dominos lifestyle can only bring you a limited amount of joy and happiness. Young Vincent would agree.



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