Your Health and You, Part 2: The Weight of It All

I keep a list of resolutions in my journal that I don’t usually share with anyone. They are resolutions that I consider shallow and petty. They are handwritten secrets of material desires that I hide away. For the longest time, two goals on my secret list of baser resolutions were:

Weigh less than 170 lbs.
Wear single-digit sized jeans.

I have weighed somewhere between 170-180 lbs since I was 15. And for those almost 15 years, I have also worn size 10 jeans (sometimes 12’s, but mostly 10’s).

These goals weren’t really goals. They were, through my own stagnation and lack of follow-through, pipe dreams. It’s like I knew when writing them that nothing was going to change. Because I had not motivation. I had fantasies about shedding those lbs around the middle and showing off a sweet summer body that would wow everyone, but those were day dreams, like winning the lottery.

But every year, I’d write them down.

So every year, they’d remained unfulfilled.

In college, I started coping with the weight.

I would joke…

that I was like one of those voluptuous women in Renaissance paintings, like a Botticelli.

that if I had been alive in the 16th century, I would have been worth so many goats when my father married me off.

that I had a belly because I was predisposed through evolution to maintain a semi-furnished baby apartment. 

Even when my doctor told me point blank a couple years ago that I needed to get off the couch and really get my body moving, I couldn’t maintain the motivation to keep going. I’d start, and then lose momentum, and then just stop. Whether it was eating better, or doing the 21 Day Fix, I just couldn’t keep it up.

I just couldn’t do it alone.

And then, in October, my life changed. Because Bear and I found Lewis at the Oregon Humane Society.


Lewis and I started to go on walks. And then, in January, we started to go on jogs. Once we started going on jogs, going on walks was a thing of the past. I had found my motivation.

I wasn’t jogging for just me anymore.

Shelter dogs, even at the best shelters, lose weight. Without dedicated owners to walk them well, they just can’t get the exercise they need, and they lose muscle.

In the first six months we had Lewis, he gained 10 lbs of muscle. Pitbull bodies kind of look like furry tiny bodybuilders, and Lewis filled out.

Really quickly into our runs, his, and my, stamina increased, too. We gradually ran more often in the week, and now it’s every day. It’s part of my morning routine.

Lewis makes sure of that.

But it’s not much. Jogging a mile is 15 minutes of your day. It’s enough to get you off the couch and out the door, though. And it was enough to get me out of size 10 jeans.

I wear a 6 now.

I still have a semi-furnished baby apartment, and I still teeter at the 170 lb line, but I’ve found my steady motivation. He lets me know when it’s time to go. And sometimes, he likes to stop and pee on things, or roll around in the grass.


But then we keep going. We’ll keep going until 1 mile gets too easy for us. Then, we’ll do 2.

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