I haven’t run since the day after the marathon. Who the hell runs the day after a marathon…God knows, but I did. Everyone has a sense of what’s right or wrong for their body and the day after the long run, I just felt like getting back on the treadmill and reworking those tense muscles. I haven’t run since then.
I decided to take a break. I was also conducting an experiment. I was curious to see the outcome because I had conducted this same experiment several times in the past and was surprised with the same, consistent results. I still wasn’t convinced.
I stopped running. I stopped exercising. Moreover, I cancelled my gym membership. The only reason I started going to the gym was because you can’t run outside in the dead of Chicago winter. I used to drive to the gym two blocks away from my apartment in Lincoln Park because it was deathly cold. If you’ve never lived in the Midwest, believe me, you’ve never experienced weather so cold. I got used to running on treadmills. I immediately signed up for a gym upon my return home. I became addicted to the comfort of a gym. I finally decided, enough is enough. I need to start running outdoors like I used to.
Here’s the experiment. I went to New York and decided to go all out. Eat whatever I wanted, go out for every meal, forget about calories, forget about the scale, forget about working out. So I did. I gorged on cheeseburgers, ate pasta, finished the rest of my friend’s banana pancakes. I drank myself silly every night, helped myself to appetizers. Didn’t think about working out. Didn’t care to. I fell in love with a nearby bakery, making a couple trips there a day and helping myself to chocolate chip cookies and their scrumptious cupcakes. On Sunday, we went to a Diwali party. Ahh, the Indian food, I couldn’t stop. God bless them, they kept filling my plate with more and more food. Yummy! I didn’t think I’d be able to eat again until the next day. Unfortunately, my stomach started growling right before I got on the plane. I inhaled some California rolls and two Reese’s peanut butter cups. On my JetBlue flight, I requested Terra Chips and a chocolate chip cookie. Then midway through the flight, I had cheese and crackers and Oreo cookies. My parents, God bless them too, picked me up from the airport. My mom had packed a few Tupperware containers of food for me. She knows I love a good home-cooked meal. Well, when I got home, I couldn’t help myself. The Tupperware came out and I feasted right before I went to bed. End of experiment.
I woke up the next day, fearful of the scale. I tried to console myself, “If you gained weight, at least you ate well and had a good time.” I tip-toed onto the scale and watched for the digital number to appear. I was shocked. I stepped off and stepped back on again. “That can’t be right.” I got back on the scale a third time. Could it be? Is it true? I stuffed myself like a turkey in NYC, but I didn’t gain any weight. In fact, I’d lost two pounds. I believe I’ve gotten to the point where I no longer gain weight—no matter what I eat. Visions of Twinkies, Pringles, French fries, and Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice-cream overpowered my thoughts. Hallelujah! The junk food addict is back.