Skinny Daily Post


“Thank goodness that’s finished,” said Old Man Kangaroo when he finished a dead run that lasted for days in my favorite of Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories.”

I used to listen to a record of this story, read by Sterling Holloway, when I was a kid. Listened to it so often, it has its own deep synaptic groove in my brain. In the story, the original Kangaroo, with four short legs and a lot of pride, wishes to be more than he is. He wants to be extraordinary and famous. He begs this of the gods, and one little god with a sense of humor responds. Old Man Kangaroo is run ragged. He’s chased after by a dingo for hours and days, forcing his legs and tail to grow all out of proportion. And when it’s over, he’s famous alright, although not for the reasons perhaps he’d hoped to be.

Anyway his world and his body are all upset, akimbo, discombobulated. He would like a little bit of his normal old life back.

Yes, I know it seems a bit, just a tad, ah, miserly? Old-poopish? Scroogilicious and sacrilegious, to feel that way about the holidays. But I can’t help it. I can’t help feeling, “Thank goodness that’s finished.”

Now to get back on track. I’ve shoved the sugar out of the house. Carried it off to my vet’s office, where we spent a little too much time over the holidays (everybody’s fine now). I’ve prepared a week’s worth of healthy snacks and foods, stocked up on supplies. I’m taking my vitamins, drinking my water.

It’s time, however, to pay back my exercise account, which is terrifically overdrawn. I’m out of shape, saggy, baggy, poofy, and stiff. Despite my best intentions, I managed no more than one or two workouts a week during the past several weeks. This is not maintenance-level exercise for me. This is ground-losing work. This is debt. My exercise debt looks worse than my credit card debt right now, and that’s saying something.

So, it’s time to form a plan. Pull out my calendar, gym class schedules, my gym bag, and get organized. Gear up, suck it up, and pay it back.

I know that the most successful exercising, for me, happens in the early morning hours. As hard as it is to leave my bed, my family, my dogs, my husband’s amazing coffee in the morning, it’s harder for me still to get in a workout either at home, or during my workday. It’s too easy to give any and all other times away. With a good morning exercise plan, I’ll have my debt reduced, or at least restructured, in a couple months’ time.

Ooph, it won’t be easy, getting up and going. But if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. Wait. Everybody is doing it. And that, at least, should make returning to the gym interesting.

Do you have an exercise or food debt to repay after your holidays? What really works for you? What do you suspect will work? Remember, just starting is the key. Just showing up. Just making the eating plan, buying the right groceries, removing the wrong ones, heading out on a walk, taking on the dog walking duties, putting in the exercise video each morning, stepping onto the treadmill, jumping in the pool a few times a week is plenty of goal for most people. There’s no need to set high or difficult-to-achieve goals, resolutions that require perfection. One good effort begets the next and the next, and soon you’re back on track, or on track for the first time, getting stronger, feeling better, looking forward to the next good turn. The question really is, what will you do today? Tomorrow?

If your holidays are not over yet, or are just beginning, give yourself the gift of a scheduled hour or so with your calendar once your celebration and vacation are over to make your own plan for getting on track.

It’s not that hard to recover from the dead run of the holidays. You can let go of any guilt about it. You’ve probably beaten yourself up enough already. We are supposed to enjoy ourselves during this time, after all. We are supposed to rest. We are supposed to celebrate. Recharge our batteries. That’s kind of the point of it all. A little stillness is not a bad thing. But once that time is over, put some of that renewed energy into maintaining your one and only body. Pick a day to start. Make a plan. Write it down. And start.

The Arthritis Foundation on Starting an Exercise Program
When to exercise? Jury’s Out says CNN article
The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo,

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6 thoughts on “Thank Goodness That’s Finished

  1. Your seester says:

    It’s 5:30am at Holland Hospital and I just read about how sugar mulches humans. That whole paragraph or two was wonderfully surreal to read. Love ya.

  2. JuJu says:

    Hey folks it’s my seester. Congrats again on the new job, boo-boo! (My much younger sister has switched careers. She’s studying nursing. I know. She’s cool. She’s working long hours at our local hospital between classes. So if you want to get sick, now’s the time.)

  3. JuJu says:

    Oh, love you back, boo.

  4. deb tubergen says:

    just a note to say hi and that I read your story in the gr. press. I started at 255 and I am down to 174. It all started with atckins, now I am doing ww and love their program. I only have 18 pounds and I will be at my goal. It has talken a few years but I am very happy that I have done this well. I want to eat less carbs or low carbs any good ideas. I don’t eat rice or pasta, very little potatoes, or french fries. please feel free to e-mail me. I love your web site. Also I excerise very little. I am on my feet allday and it so hard to come home and excerise. when it is good weather I walk every night but its so cold and nasty its hard to get walking in, and I know it works and helps weight loss i guess maybe I am lazy when it come to excerise. well this is it for now have a nice evening and keep up the good work!

  5. LaVeda Nesby says:

    I am trying to loose 40 pounds 150. I am very familiar with fat and fiber program through ww but, currently I’m reading the weigh down diet. I’m intrested in learning more about carbs. What can you tell me about carbs?

  6. juJu says:

    Hi folks, and welcome! You both came wondering about carbs. And because I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor, I can’t really hand out advice about what you should and shouldn’t eat. I can say what I learned about carbs for my diet came from several sources, most of them linked here. I learned from Harvard School of Public Health, which has an excellent website, from Jonny Bowden’s articles on IVillage, and from reading all the low-carb books: Sears, Atkins, Agatson, and the rest. Bowden has just come out with a book that works as a guide to all the Low-Carb diets and resources. I just got it in the mail today and will review it soon. It’s called "Living the Low Carb Life." And knowing Bowden, it will explain it all in very plain terms. Which I always appreciate. I’m going to go curl up with it right this minute, and I’ll let you know more soon! Stay tuned!

    Thanks for checking in

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