No Harm No Fowl

“No, thanks.” I said, avoiding eye contact.

“But, why not?” My sister asked incredulously. We were mat-leaving it together. Charlotte was around seven or eight months at the time and my new niece was a couple months younger. My sister had been following a new workout program and she was trying to convince me to join in. 

I was quite monotonous and not feeling particularly myself at that point. My sister really had wholesome intentions. Basically, she was on a speedy train towards whipping herself back into shape and wanted a partner to hop on board.

“Because.” I replied curtly, hoping she’d drop it.

“Because why?”

“Because, Carol (her name isn’t really Carol), all I care about right now is eating KFC crispy chicken skin, okay?!”

After Charlotte was born, I was obsessed with feeding my body whatever it wanted. I had a tough pregnancy and just wanted to give into my cravings and do little else (other than keep a baby alive). I also explained to my sister that I knew myself very well; if my mind, body, and soul are not in it, I’m never going to get it done. And at that time, my tired soul was dead-set on gnawing on some greasy poultry.

Also, the thing is I’m a fairly goal-oriented person but more than that, I’m someone who doesn’t like to start anything if I can’t finish it. Something in me just doesn’t compute not completing a task or goal. Therefore, if I know I won’t be able to finish something, I won’t even bother starting.

Why set yourself up to fail?

The trade-off is, in difficult situations where I have no option but to traipse along, I tend to block out noise, put my head down and just get shit done. But once I’m past those moments of struggle, I’ll take the time (once I’m at a reasonable distance from said experience to maintain even perspective) to reflect on its level of difficulty. Would I be able to do this again?

We often (I know I do this) associate large-scale accomplishments as the biggest wins. And, trust me, I know they are. But sometimes something as simple sounding as finishing that book you’ve been hoarding is a big win or finishing that organization project you had on your to-do list forever is a triumphant success. Or, in my case (five months after that exchange with my sister), finishing a 12-week workout program was my gold medal moment. Probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Yes. A couple months after that conversation with Carol, I decided that I couldn’t continue living my life eating slick processed chicken. I was ready. I also needed something tangible to focus on. So, I dropped the ol’ bird in the bucket and hit the pavement mat. Hard.

The program wasn’t challenging due to the type of workout; it was your typical HIIT and Tabata exercises with a mix of basic equipment. What was grueling about it was the commitment of five days per week, for 12 consecutive weeks. In the beginning, it sounded very tolerable. I was on month nine of my glorious 18-month maternity leave and Charlotte was still napping three times a day beautifully. I had energy again and all the time in the world, it felt like.

But five minutes into the first exercise for week one day one and I was worried. I wanted to call my sister, “Carol, I’m worried.” I knew I was out of shape. I also knew I couldn’t quit; I wasn’t willing to see what it looked like to quit. So, I told myself to just get through that day and try again the next day. Then day two turned into end of week one. And the end of week one turned into the end of the first quarter and so on.

I made a decision to stick with it and that’s exactly what I did. Sometimes I worked out at 10AM and other times it was 10PM. But every day, no matter how tired I was, how sore I was, how moody I was, I met that damn mat and I got through it- for 12 bloody (not literally), sweaty, heart-pounding weeks.

And once again, the hardest part about the workout was the consistency I had to maintain. Day after day, showing up to each of those 60 workouts is what propelled my momentum towards victory.

Could I do that again?

Right after I finished that program, upon reflection, it was a hard NO. The hardest no I’ve ever uttered.

noo

Currently, it’s not a “never again,” but I’ll be honest, I don’t know when I’ll be willing to get back on that proverbial bike again. Crispy chicken skin sounds perfect right about now.

Do you have any new year’s resolutions or intentions? Do you make any?

 

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49 thoughts on “No Harm No Fowl

  1. Hahaha, this was funny 😁
    Consistency is the key! It is not easy, it requires lots of effort, but I’m sure it is well worth it! And sometimes some crispy chicken skin can be the reward 😉
    No resolutions for me, but hopefully will be a great year 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I too LOVE crispy chicken, but what I would have loved even more is having 18 months of maternity leave! I only got 4 months, and that was using up all of my sick and vacation time, and going on ‘disability’ (which pays half salary). God bless America :/

    And as far as consistency goes, you’ve done a great job of being consistent with your blog posts. 🙌 Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! 🍗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, yes, the glorious 18 months! Luckily it was introduced a few months before Charlotte was born so I lucked out, but before that it was 1 year- which isn’t bad either! Oy, I feel for you guys with the short mat leaves.. That’s some steel mama strength you must’ve had!!

      Yes, I’m hoping to continue the writing consistency 🙏🤞😁

      Like

  3. congrats on getting through the 12-week program – that is quite an accomplishment. HIIT and Tabata are challenging workouts!

    I hope you rewarded yourself with some KFC!

    and as an aside, I just read that KFC will soon be selling plant-based chicken nuggets – I’ll have to give them a try…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Growing up here in Kentucky, I always thought that KFC was a local restaurant! 😀 Imagine my surprise when I realized that it’s global! And oh wow, I’d kill for some fast food. Ohhh!! Meg wants! I have to say that I really admire your tenacity and goal-oriented and successful nature! You’re a kick-ass woman! You always reach your goals! That’s amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I appreciate the head down and get stuff done attitude, not just in terms of fitness, but in any goal-setting endeavor. I can understand and appreciate that some people do better when meeting their challenges with a friend. The whole tell your world your goals (fitness or something else) each day and how we are doing by photographing said goal may work for some, but I think it’s a setup for failure. The theory is that we are more likely to follow through by making goals public. For me, it comes down to my attitude. If I want something bad enough, I’ll go get it. If I’m not motivated, no amount of public praise or shame will get me to stick with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow I’m so impressed! And yeah that sounds like sooooo not fun. And I would always want an out or to cheat. Like eh not today but tomorrow I’ll definitely go. That’s amazing that you’re basically all or nothing. Very goddess level! I also loved the paragraph about every day, no matter what, and a day turned into a week, and you kept going like that. That helps to hear in my current situation, so thank u for that. Lovely post as always, and I LOVE hearing about your chicken skin indulgence!!! 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think the only way we make real change is when we’re ready and we do it for the right reasons. That’s why New Year’s Resolutions don’t usually work. We set them because of external pressure.

    I have set some goals for the new year but I haven’t shared them yet. Watch for a post next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Aaaaaah – the pressure to get into shape after childbirth is ridiculous. Like seriously ridiculous. Someone just pushed a WHOLE human out of themselves – let them get a breather please.
    While I love going to the gym, I hate doing home workouts – so post the second wave I just stopped pushing myself to work out at home. But going back to the gym 3 months back was SO exciting. (They’ve shut again – thank you omicron 😐)
    While I hate forcing myself to workout, I hate it more when my stamina goes for a toss. 🙈 So with the new Omicron restrictions, I’m trying to keep doing some light home workouts to keep myself in shape.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Okay, I’m having chicken fingers, and broccoli in noodles Alfredo tonight. I need that comfort food to get through January, the toughest month at school. When I put my mind to something I do it, and I will change my eating to some degree. Just not now. Sigh! You are one strong woman, Jen. Good for you to be able to stick with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!! 🙂 Yes, I agree.. It’s the intentions! Counts for so much.. At the end of the day we all just want to be liked, loved and healthy. Whatever self-improvement we can do to get us closer to that is great! ❤️👍

      Liked by 1 person

  10. 60 of anything is quite a commitment! As for resolutions, I wait until I’m ready. I’m thinking about a couple for February. Meanwhile, I do the best I can. This week at work I took the stairs (4-6 floors) every day. Next week I might not.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was working out really hard a lost a bunch of weight. My health is a constant struggle and I ended up gaining a lot back. I need to get back at it but at the moment I’m just not quite ready to do that. I could relate to this so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s hard when food becomes a habit of comfort… It also has been a rough three years for everyone and for some even worse so I can understand this… And also, she’ll make the change when she’s ready and you’ll be there to support her 🙂

      Like

  12. It’s so cool that you managed to stick to such a gruelling programme. I myself have found my groove working out every day, but there was a time where I was a pudgy-yet-lanky dude with cardio that couldn’t even support me upstairs to my room. I’ve since adapted this lovely saying, which is “Stimulate, not annihilate.”

    Anyway, thanks for this story, and boy am I craving for some KFC right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Stuart, I am no longer that super motivated person I used to be… I have faith I will get back there one day maybe somehow hopefully soon I guess probably per se!?!? But for now…. I need to feed my soul 🙂

      Like

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