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    Precipice - Tuesday July 2nd 2002, 3 pm





I'm working on ways of getting myself, and Jeff, healthy. Not just losing weight, but all-over, overall, life health. But I know how I work, and this has to be done gradually. Used to be, I could fling myself into a change with everything I had and it would stick, the habit would be formed through intensive repitition.

The first gym habit that stuck, was built that way. Signed up for 6 months membership, paid up front, incentive not to just flush that money but get some use out of it. I worked out at least 6 days a week, 7 for the first couple of weeks. The Supercircuit was my happy exercise place. Didn't require the ability to pat my head and rub my somach, or kick that leg while extended that arm and bouncing on the spot while making sure your headband matches the bobble on your sports sock and just be perkyperkyperky. I am rarely accused of being perky, so aerobics was a definition of purgatory made flesh. The supercircuit was a group of exercise machines interspersed with mats and weights and equipment. One instructor, group numbers limited to the number of spots in the circuit. Instructor tells you how long to warm up, how to check your heartrate, how long to be on each machine, when to move to the next. 30 minutes of structured exercise that worked as many different muscle groups as possible, and I got to the place where I missed not doing it, so I'd go because it was a habit that I enjoyed. Moving to Canberra interrupted that routine and I didn't get it back.

There's so much else going on in my life now, self-employment takes far more time than working for an employer ever did, so there's that. Theatre group, owning my own house, pets, family on both sides of the pond, maintenance of the whole husband relationship (these are in no particular order of importance, really!), and all the other stuff I had before, friends and whatnot. So leaping in wholeheartedly doesn't work so well anymore, I just can't do one thing until it's a habit, cause when I get back from Happy HabitLand the rest of my life and jobs have gone to shit, the habit dies during my mad catchup stage and it's not worth the stress.

I'm dragging Jeff along with this self improvement life changing kick. The first step is drinking the right amount of water a day. We looked it up, the initial amount is 2.5L a day. Then you have to add on an extra 1/4 of a litre of water per day, per 25LBs you're over your ideal weight. I'm changing that to realistic weight. According to all the charts and specs, I'm supposed to weigh 50 kilos, or 110 pounds. I'd be scrawny, and I don't want to do the work to require being that way. I remember when I had my gym habit, I weighed 65 kilos/143 pouns, and I wore an Australian size 14-16 with the occasional 12 thrown in just to keep me smiling. I looked great at that weight, I had boys hitting on me at that weight,and most importantly, I felt wonderful at that weight and size. I was strong, I could run 20kilos of chips up and down two flights of stairs half adozen times a night, I could benchpress 3/4 of my own body weight. So, I'm looking to eventually lose 20-25 kilos or roughly 50lbs, which means I need to be drinking 3L of water a day. Jeff's supposed to be drinking 3.5L of water a day. Starting this idea in the middle of the hottest days we've had for a while, that was a nice little stroke of luck planning. Doesn't stop us from peeing like racehorses more times a day than I want to count. I'll count the water going in, going out it can take case if itself. I do check for colour (oh my god, I'm going to be discussing my stool soon, and I'm not talking breakfast bar), it's an easy way to make sure you're drinking enough water, the urine should be gradually getting lighter and lighter throughout the day. Asparagus season being a minor glitch on that test.

So the plan is, we continue to drink this much water a day until neither of us has to nag the other, until it's jus something we do. About a month to 6 weeks should do it. We're not changing anything else, not the calories or the points or the $$ budgeting, we're carving out a habit that'll stick.

Once it's stuck, we'll be moving on to the next thing. The Food pyramid is good, it tells you how many helpings of vegetables, how many of fruit, grains, fat, all of that. We're going to start with the areas where we have to make sure we eat enough, rather than the deprivation and the removal. Veges, fruits, grains, all the things that are good for us and can fill us up, make sure we're eating all the numbers of helpings and the different types for the different benefits. Carrots, leafy green veges, unpeeled fruit for fibre.

My plan is to fool myself into being healthy, with all this water and all these high fibre fruits and veges and grains, I'm going to be full and cutting back on the bad stuff, just cause I can't fit it in.

Exercise is coming, you can't have a healthy life if you're not doing some moving around. It's in the slot with the budget and the paying of the bills, cause we have to put aside enough of our credit or our cash to buy an inhouse gym, the standalone weights and biles and that sort of thing. Not so much, $500 or so, but that $500 has other places to be just now, so the exercise comes then. This is Jeff's part of the plan, he works best on these things, lost a stack of weight in his 20's doing this. Plus, he's 6 foot and I'm 5 feet, the walking together, either I'm scurrying like a lapdog (and I do not do well with the Scurry Mode) or he's sauntering while I'm getting a good walk, so the machines will get us both the benefit.

What's this to do with me coming back to the journal? I like writing in here, always have, I like the practice and the words and the communicating with people and I'm rusty at that. I geek all day, some days I don't talk to anyone, and my writing skills feel atrophied and corroded. I like journals, I like keeping a record of the personal history, and I'm not doing that, so I have to.

But I have to give myself an incentive. Something that will make me do it. Some of it needs to be external, so that's where Renee and the bet comes in. I bet Renee that I can write an entry every single day for the month of July. We're not betting money, cause both of us are skint, so the wager needed to be on the creative side. Making something, something that'll cost us but not mess us about in other areas like being short of cash. I initially said the loser wil have to update the other's journal for a whole month, but we decided that was a little bit punitive, and this has to be fun, else it won't work.

So, the deal and the rules are these;

I will write an entry for every single day of July 2002.

I will post these written entries no more than three days apart

These entries will be at least 5 complete sentences,it fits the format of my journal template, and it also means I can't just do 31 single sentences and call those my entries for the month. Course, that does average out to be more than I've averaged over the past few years, but still, cheating's not in the spirit of the fun.

The loser will write 14 entries over a monthly period, no more than one per day, and these will be posted in the winner's journal. Can be posted in the loser's journal too. The winner will be the one suggesting the topics or questions, but topics or questions can be submitted, so long as it's something we can write about. These entries won't be written from the perspective of the winner, cause that's just too damn hard.


I have a competitive streak, I like to win, so this is as good a ploy as any to get me back in the journal saddle again.

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Updated 4 July, 2002

Copyright Amanda Page, 1996-2002