Sunday, February 25, 2007

Center Stage

My life is beginning to feel more centered. As a military brat dealing with constant and inevitable change, my life often felt left or right of center. Not in a bad way. I just never felt grounded because I knew that most situations were temporary. But that can also be a good way. I don't rely on permanence, and as a result, change is not as frightening to me as an adult. It doesn't mean that I don't hate the fact that nothing lasts. I absolutely despise that the greatest things in my life won't last forever, and I think I grip moments more than others do because of it.

The big picture of my life contrasts sharply with the finer details. I am a creature of habit, creating structure in whatever environment I have been placed, or - as with New York - have finally chosen. And I have created my own structure in becoming a New Yorker.

My apartment is coming together. Still slowly. But there is a personal gratification that comes with labored progress. And I'm creating new goals instead of flying by the seat of my pants on the newborn-New-Yorker-express. It was a big move and a dramatic change from the South, and I spent the first six months just trying to stay on board.

My health and wellness are next. I gained about 20 pounds (not an exaggeration) between August and January. I'm a comfort-eater, and without the barrier of a moving car and finding a parking space, all of the hot dog stands, cafes and bakeries are easily accessible from the sidewalk. I went from The Devil Wears Prada's "6 is the new 14" to a "not-necessarily-fat-but-an-uncomfortable size 8."

I've been going to the gym for over a month, four days a week. And already, I'm seeing changes in my body. I am feeling lighter again, and yesterday I noticed the faint outline of my old four-pack. I have never been able to get that six.

Monday is an hour spinning class, followed by weights then a 30-minute stretch class. Tuesday is a 30-minute ab class followed by 45 minutes of cardio kickboxing. Wednesday is spinning class and weights. Thursday is cardio boot camp and another 30-minute ab class. Some evenings, I ditch the gym for a night out with friends or coworkers, but I don't lose sleep over it.

My general diet outline includes a daily vitamin regimen with omelets; protein shakes with fruit and milk; high-fiber cereals; ham sandwiches with lettuce and tomato on whole wheat bread; salads; variations of chicken, brown rice and vegetables; and red wine. And I've gotten into the habit of carrying fruit in my bag for snacks. I sneak in the processed foods, bad carbs and cocktails, but I try to chalk it up to being human.

I guess being human is about roaming from center stage to the left and to the right and back to center. Life is about changing the things you can, accepting the things you can't, knowing the difference and sometimes daring to try anyway.

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