A Woman Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Thin

I went to the emergency room last week. Yep. So dramatic for no reason. Sigh – never a dull moment in my life these days!

After many months of inactivity (besides my bartered workouts) and tasty-bad-for-the-waistline- bartered food, I decided that it was high time I get out there and get back into shape.

Two years ago, I ran the Scotia Bank Half Marathon. Since then, I hold very high expectations for myself and running. I assume that I should just be able to get out there and run for 21.1 K – no prob. If not that, at least do a 10K in under an hour.

Naturally, being the A-type that I am, I want to lose about 10 pounds so I set out to make a plan.

Shannon’s Excel Spreadsheet Plan

Every day: Run – burn off 500 calories (at least.. but I can probably do more).

Every day: Cut 500 calories from diet (at least…but I can probably do more)

Carbs: Don’t cut them, but only eat them at lunch (or cut them, but don’t tell people so they don’t judge)

Alcohol: None.


Heading out for day 3 of my new “fit” life, I felt a sharp pain in my side. Thinking it was a stitch… I thought I would sprint it off (wtf!!). Upon return to my casa, I start doing push ups, sit ups, and tricep dips – ouch! There’s that weird pain again… WORK THROUGH IT SHANNON! SUMMER IS COMING!

The next day, I could not breathe and there was a sharp pulsing pain around my heart – I woke my boyfriend up to tell him I’m having a heart attack at the age of 26. I started to cry – naturally, and instantly Googled my symptoms.

Possibilities: Walking pneumonia? (possible, I have been running in the rain) A punctured lung? (um….no) Broken rib? (don’t think so), Heart attack? (I’m 26!!) Injured Chest Wall? (most likely)

I thought, oh, it’s just an injured chest wall, NO BIG D, I’ll take some Advil, make the inflammation go away and be done with it. When the Advil didn’t ease the pain, I Googled it again, and the world-wide-web instructed me to go promptly to the hospital because it’s likely not simply muscular if an anti-inflammatory didn’t help. Obviously paniced, and walking and breathing like an old man, I call the walk in clinic who also instructs me to go to the ER. I have four Barter Babe meetings starting at 2pm. How the eff am I’m going to get to the ER, get checked out and pretend like nothing happened by 1:00 so I can get a good table at Starbucks?

I’ll figure it out!

Cabbing it to the ER, I know that I will be told to go home and sleep it off and I’m already embarrassed that I’m even going , avec boyfriend for moral support/carrying my laptop bag so I can go right to my meeting after. In triage, they rush me to an EKG, blood work, xrays the whoooolllllleeee thing.

Diagnosis: Bad babysitting. (lol for any Simpsons lovers out there)

Actual Diagnosis: I’m not dying. I have injured my chest wall due to bad form while exercising – awesome. I feel like such a tool in my hospital gown covered in EKG stickers. I look like ET waiting for Elliot to come bust him out of Area 51.

Though they assure me it was a great thing that I came and I’d be an idiot for not coming in if I can’t breathe and there are hurting pains around my heart, I still feel like an ass. They ask me what my exercise routine has been and I tell them my above plan. The nurse almost smacked me. Clearly, this was too much to begin with and waay to aggressive to be sustainable. Another thing I’ve known about myself for years, I go from 0 – 100 and I expect INSTANT results. INSTANT.

On the way home, I started thinking about what the nurse had said to me about “sustainability” “realistic” and “all or nothing” mentalities and I was reminded of the exact things I say to Barter Babes when it comes to savings. Many of us gals are 0 – 100, all or nothing types who, with money, are either SAVING EVERY PENNY, FRUGAL – I FEEL GUILTY ABOUT SPENDING ANYTHING types or they are saving nothing because there is “no point” and it’s not going to work. I realized that I needed to take my own Money philosophy about spending and saving and relate it to dieting and working out. I’ve made this analogy before to many people I speak to about money, but never really took my own advice in the opposite manner.

For me, it’s easy not to live in extremes with money because it makes sense to me and usually (besides this ridiculous year) I’m always in pretty good shape. I don’t obsess over it too much.

Dieting and working out; however, has never been a forte. I’m either running marathons and on a strict regime or having guilty anything-goes weekends of dining out, going out and going for breakfast the next day – ohhh so fun. My current perspective of dieting is that in order to lose weight I have to condemn myself to a lifetime of only fish and water. This does not thrill me but I’ll admit, it’s a total extremist view.

If I was to actually take my own financial advice for staying on a budget and applied it to my workouts it would look something like this:

1. Save only what you’re comfortable doing and make sure you have enough discretionary income for FUN each month = Only run/work out for as long as you can go and then STOP – build up your stamina

2. Make saving happen automatically – without thinking about it = Find a running buddy. I don’t know if working out will ever be something that will happen automatically since I really love sitting, reading, cookies and tea, but a running buddy will be fun and she will force me to go: automatically.

3. Keep fixed costs in their proper proportions = Don’t cut any foods…. just change their proportions

I’m going to sit on this (not with a cookie, book and tea) for the rest of my day and decide how to get into shape without the overkill factor.

The famous Wallis Simpson quote: “A woman can never be too rich or too thin”  gets almost every woman I know a little agitated on some level. For me, it’s the thin part that makes me shift in my chair. For others, it’s the rich part. Either way it’s an awful quote … and yet some part of me must believe it or the overkill factor wouldn’t be there with the dieting.

Sometimes, I hope that in my next life I will come back as a Maine Coon cat. I’ll be expensive to buy and maintain and cuter the more I eat and lay in the sun.

Until Next Time..

Barter On Babes

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8 Responses to A Woman Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Thin

  1. Kt - who else would comment on this first?? :) says:

    Well well well….after everything we talked about this is what you end up doing *tsk tsk tsk* I think it’s a great realization that you had regarding your 0 to 100 and that it’s not sustainable, after all even athletes train in phases and don’t just compete out of blue. I am going to suggest making activity your everyday life, like an automatic withdrawal of funds from checking into savings. Walk as much as you can, take stairs instead of an elevator, just look at what you do all day and see where can you integrate a little activity? go for walks with bf at the end of the day, great way to catch up and take your mind off of things. When it comes to food, try to experiment with herbal teas, they are usually so yummy that you never want to add sugar to it. Cookies, well that one you just have to think about the fact that you are not doing anything to burn them off so you can’t have them. You have a constant income of calories and they have nowhere to go.. how sad :( haha
    At this point I am rambling, but shoot me an email for more ideas :)

    • Barter Babe 1.0 says:

      :) Who else but my previous (and hopefully once more after I get the income above $35/week) ex personal trainer would respond first!!!!
      I’m going to pick your brain for sure!!!! ahhh if only I had a million dollars so I could hire you to work out with every day and sit awkwardly by the cookie jar… hitting me on the wrists each time I go for one.
      You could just move in!

  2. Becky says:

    Very honest but very true. I really relate to the all or nothing mentality. Thanks for an enlightening post

  3. Lynda says:

    A Maine Coon cat. Love it!

  4. Ingrid says:

    OK, so I guess if I told you about my new (totally hypothetical) plan to wake up at 5 a.m. to squeeze in a little jog / walk with the dog, you might consider it a little extreme? Because as a staid, settled, should-know-better mom & woman, I would of course never seriously consider such a thing… Don’t look at the time my alarm is set for… :)

  5. Pingback: The Coaching House Ltd. » Beachward. Let’s Get Off Our Buts.

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