I haven't written about fitness and exercise for a while. Since my leg has been bothering me, I haven't been able to run. Instead, I've been riding the stationary bike while watching NetFlix. While every run offered potential adventure, there's really not much to say about pedaling in place and watching episodes of Lost.
While I like to write when good things happen on the fitness front, it's not always rosy. I'm a compulsive overeater, and I've relapsed the last few weeks. When I was running 5-10 miles at a time, I could eat a little extra and still maintain weight. Not so with the stationary bike. When I went for a test walk a couple weeks ago, only to discover that both my left hip and knee (especially the knee) hurt too much to run, I became depressed. Depression is a major trigger for my compulsion to overeat. We all have our issues. Some of you who read this may wonder how someone could have issues over food. Why can't I just push the plate away? I don't know why I have food issues, and I don't feel like spending a lot of money on a therapist to find out. Some people drown themselves in alcohol. I've got Ben and Jerry to keep me company.
Mood swings of any kind, not just depression, are a trigger for me to grab a bag of chips. When I landed the new music director job, I gave in to my first impulse, which was to treat myself to some extra food. There's nothing wrong with celebrating, but that, plus the overeating from the earlier depression, snowballed into some major caloric intake!
The worst thing about constant overeating is the cycle of self pity. I start to feel worse overall, which unfortunately makes me crave food even more. My sleep is disrupted, I'm tired all the time, and I don't feel like exercising, which makes me gain weight more quickly.
Today I put a stop to all that. I hopped back on the stationary bike, and I feel better already. I've lost well over 100 pounds, and I truly don't want to gain all that weight back. I've gained weight over the past few weeks. I can still fit into my new clothes, but let's just say my pants are a little too snug to be comfortable. It's time for the pity party to end. I won't be running for a long time, so it's time to deal with that and make a daily appointment with my stationary bike. I know exactly which foods to eat to get back down to a healthier weight, and it's time to put that knowledge back in practice.
If you've lost weight recently, or if you're still losing it, please don't let this discourage you. Just take it as a word of advice from someone who's lost 100+ pounds but is still fighting the fight. Once you take the weight off, congratulations are in order, but be on your guard. The next challenge is finding an equilibrium. If you can figure out how to do that, then please tell me your secret!
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.