My brother got married last year, and (as a bridesmaid) it was very clear to me that my main job was to stand there and look pretty. To that end, my mom very thoughtfully and courageously gifted me a book on how to change my body shape, an act that would normally have resulted in much weeping and gnashing of teeth except for that she mentioned it wouldn’t involve running. Nay! It would actually DISCOURAGE running.
Let’s just say she had my attention.
Running is a thing that I always wanted to like doing but never really could (except that one weird semester in college that I can’t quite explain but mostly I think had to do with a fantastic pair of bright yellow running shoes…you just can’t help but be happy in yellow shoes). I would get myself up to a couple of miles at a time without wanting to absolutely die but never really would come to the place where I would say to myself, “Self, you know what would be great right now? A long, sweaty, chafing, out-of-breath running experience!” It was always more of a fight-the-fluff measure than a for-the-joy-of-it measure, and an apparently ineffective one at that (see first paragraph).
Instead, the book recommended WALKING. Apparently the old people in the mall were onto something and I didn’t have to wait another 40 years to try it out! Walking, so the book said, would keep my heart rate in a fat-burning zone rather than a sugar-burning zone so that I would get more of the long-and-lean, designed-for-endurance-rather-than-power muscle out of my efforts without making myself so ravenously hungry that all I could think about was a big heaping helping of macaroni and cheese to reward my efforts.
So I quit running. I started walking several miles a day. Taking things a step further (since I wasn’t burning all that sugar anymore), I incorporated more of an emphasis on the cheese (protein) rather than the macaroni (carbs) in my diet. In the span of about six months, I went from a size 8 to a size 0-2, I looked plenty pretty in the wedding, AND I didn’t hate it.
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