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Fitting it in: Just the Facts

They tell me that the first step to solving your problem is admitting you have one, and I suppose that there comes a point in each of our lives where you have to stop blaming the dryer for your jeans not fitting. Or ignore it for another four months.

In starting this transition from “fat-to-fit”, as it were, I have done a great deal of thinking and I have determined that there are five main reasons as to how and why I got so out of shape. My theory is that by understanding how these factors affect me and looking out for them in the future, at some point, I will be able to run a mile without wanting to die. Mayhaps—and I don’t want to get too crazy— even two miles.

Fact One: I am lazy.

I am a sleep connoisseur. Naps are to me what a good French Bordeaux is to wine lovers. I have spent the last four years of my life as a college theatre major, which meant that I was routinely sleep deprived. Now, I have the opportunity to sleep many hours a night, often at the same time. This possibility has opened up an entirely new world of feeling refreshed and ready to go and, oddly enough, not wanting to die every day around 3PM.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, and now that I find myself with the ability to nap, I often find myself choosing a Snuggie and a couch over doing something active. And, if we’re being honest, most of the time my nap preparation involves nothing more than putting down the PlayStation controller and maybe finding a pillow if I’m extra motivated that day.

Fact Two: I enjoy cheeseburgers…

…and I am emotionally invested in french fries… and I go through a salt shaker a week. I am not a healthy person. I was raised with the strict edict that if you didn’t finish your dinner, you ate it for breakfast because there are starving children in China and your plate of vegetables somehow has profound effects on their existence. Being forced to choke down vegetables as a child has resulted in both resentment and fear of most leafy green things, which I avoid at all costs. Add this to the fact that my schedule doesn’t always allow for me to cook, it’s a lot easier to swing through McDonalds and pick up some chicken nugs than it is to prepare vegetarian lasagna or whatever it is that hippies eat.

Combine that with the fact that I can’t register “full”, I tend to mindlessly eat anything set in front of me until someone takes it away— which doesn’t do much for my jean size. At the other end of the spectrum, there have been days where I just forget to eat, and then suddenly remember at 10:30 at night when I eat an entire pizza and go to bed.

The other challenge to this “eating healthy” thing is that food, at least to my family and friends, is how we connect– I run in several social circles, and each of them has a favorite restaurant that we enjoy gathering at– and all of them are equally unhealthy. Yes, I know I could sip water and eat a salad, but the happy thoughts of weekend libations and sushi are what get me through particularly awful Shakespeare rehearsals.

At some point, the newness of my graduation will wear off and I will become a “real” adult— but the eating habits of my college years are proving harder to break than I realized.

Fact Three: Going to the gym terrifies me.

At the beginning of the year, I proudly presented my local fitness center with a $300 check. In return, they gave me a card with an incredibly unattractive picture on it that granted me full rights and privilege as a member. That was the last time they saw me.

As a theatre major with a minor in shenanigans and buffoonery, I am no stranger to looking like a fool onstage. Or offstage, really. Let’s be honest. But something happens to me the minute I enter the gym. Something about the shiny machines and sweaty air immediately makes me feel like everyone in the place is watching me and judging my bench press technique.

The bros are the worst— you know who I’m talking about. They tend to hang out by the free weights and smack each other on the butt a lot. These are the guys that I was terrified to talk to in high school, and now, here they are in droves, watching me trip over machines and awkwardly lift heavy things.

Fact Four: I have Workout-induced-ADD.

Last year, I had the opportunity to take a class in meditation with an authentic Tibetan monk who was visiting the country as a goodwill ambassador. I didn’t learn much about mediation that day, but I did learn that I was one of the first people to ever frustrate a Buddhist monk with my inability to hold still for more than 48 seconds.

The problem is that working out is boring. And complicated. And repetitive. I am already easily distracted, but tell me I have to sit and lift something 20 times in a row and that task becomes insurmountable. I have to pack an activity kit if I plan on running on the treadmill– I’m like a 3 year old in the car for a long road trip.

Frankly, it’s embarrassing. You’d think that I’d be able to say “Okay, Catie. You gotta do this.” Which I do– and then promptly get distracted by the next workout station.

I suppose in some ways, this is a good thing. It’s going to force me to keep my workouts fresh and interesting, but I think that it’s also about finding an inner focus, something that I have extraordinary difficulty doing by sheer virtue of my personality.

Fact Five: I am busy.

All of the fitness experts keep telling me that I’m supposed to make time for myself and that all I need is an hour a day to get fit, but factor in driving time, dressing time, showering time and clean up time, an hour of gym time becomes two hours of real-life time…and sometimes I don’t have that kind of time to spare. The weekends are usually the only time I get to see my SO, so we often find ourselves dining out and enjoying each other’s company, and I am not entirely motivated to decrease that time with him to go to the gym.

I am currently working a number of part-time jobs, as well as balancing acting jobs on top of all that. I am blessed and lucky to be able to have a semi-steady income in this economy, but it is also becoming more of a challenge to schedule gym time on top of all of my other commitments.


I’m not a hot celebrity model who has time to work out all day. I’m a real-life woman with more than a couple jobs, a house to clean, family to take care of and friends to see, theatrical schedules to keep track of and writing gigs to work– but if there’s anything that starting this program has taught me, its that I’m at a point in my life where I can choose to keep going down a road full of bad habits, or I can make a hard U-turn and stop more bad habits before they’re cemented fully into my brain. And butt.

I want to get in shape. I want to be able to look at myself and be proud of the accomplishments I’ve made and know that I’ve bettered myself in the process. And this process is going to be a long and tough one, but what I’m realizing, and what my jeans are telling me, is that it’s not about sporadic and sudden changes— it’s about working slowly and surely to a goal with the confidence that hey– maybe I really can do this! Maybe I really can be “fit”. Maybe I can get my own show on Bravo and a book deal.

Or maybe I can at least fit into my favorite pair of jeans.

Written by

Catie Osborn is a recent graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, where she received her BA in Theatre Arts and spent a year abroad in England studying Shakespeare and what life is like with a credit card. She is a jack of all trades, including (but not limited to) play and comic book writing, sandwich making, wedding planning, slam poetry, musical theatre and excessive video gaming. She has a number of cold blooded pets, her favorite being a chameleon named Yoshi, but she's holding out for a puppy.

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One Response to "Fitting it in: Just the Facts"

  1. Raffi says:

    Wow, Catie. I know how you feel! I work out so my jeans will fit, and I think I have finally made working out not only fit in – but part of my day. And I have hot 3 miles without walking! I promise it’s possible! I totally have workout ADD. On the Stairmaster I’m doing backkicks and wlaking sideways and skipping steps just to do something DIFFERENT for 2 mins. Oy! Music helps, TV sometimes helps, a friend totally helps but that involves getting 2 schedules to jive…
    You are not alone sister!

    I will admit, however, that I eat that stuff that hippies eat. Sunflower seeds, lentils, spinach – it’s all part of my diet and makes a huge difference in my energy level and performance.

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