Working in Workouts

When I started the Weight-Loss Diary back in January, I was an overweight freelance writer struggling with my own confidence. Getting out of bed in the morning to work from home was often a test of will. Getting dressed, putting on my professional best and heading out into the world was virtually out of the question. I used my artist’s spirit as a safety belt that confined me to my own 9-5 work schedule – and the confines of my condominium.

Today, I’m a full-time, out-of-the-house working girl.

My life is in transition. While I still have an artist’s temperament, I no longer let it define a solitary lifestyle. After 11 months of hard work and personal transformation, I’m opening up like a butterfly – breaking out of an outdated self-concept. I’m hitting my stride and, in response, have taken a marketing job with Gatorade.

Yep, Jill Sherer has left the condo.

I started approximately one month ago and, so far, I have no regrets – for many reasons, including the fact that my new employer shares the healthy values I have as a result of m y work with Shape. (I’m not so sure I could have said that a year ago, when I was motivated by self-exile instead of self-improvement.)

There’s a fitness center at the office, which aligns with my need to exercise. And Gatorade, as a culture, breathes life into the concept of mot just taking part, but giving it all you’ve got. Going on instead of giving up. Sound familiar?

That said, the transition has not been without its challenges. I’ve had a few run-ins with my snooze alarm. And, as a freelancer who exercised whenever, I now have to be more strategic about when I get in my workouts.

Aha, you’re thinking, now she knows what we’re going through? Not so easy is it, Miss I-do-kung-fu-three-times-a-week?

Okay, don’t gloat. I admit it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible either. Exercise is now about creating the right geographic so I’m five to 10 minutes away from a workout – at any given moment.

I go to the fitness center at work three times a week, where I work out hard (elliptical trainer at a resistance of 9 and 10) for 30 minutes during lunch. I walk, skip, run or kickbox and strength train on Wednesday nights and weekends at the gym three blocks from home. I fast walk three miles from my office to Second City, the improv studio where I take a beginner’s class every Monday night. If life causes me to veer from this routine, I simply stop to figure out how to compensate.

I’ve also learned to be realistic. I love kung fu and covet a green sash, but it’s on hold for a few months until our offices move into a new building, which is conveniently within walking distance of my martial arts studio.

Now that I’m an out-of-the-house working girl, making time to exercise takes a little more premeditation. But that seems an appropriate exchange to escape a cocoon and make way for a butterfly who wings are going strong.

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