01.21.09 | 07.04.09 | 12.31.09

I don’t like before and after photos. They’re misleading. And yet, here I go making my own of sorts. Before*, middle, and end… of the year, definitely not the end of my efforts to improve myself and my health.

In fact, I can’t see myself stopping any of the new good habits I’ve learned and honed over the year. They feel like second nature. Even when I feel lazy, I know that cooking my own food will be healthier and will save me money (a lot more important to me these days). I crave fresh fruit and vegetables. When I slack off on running or going to the gym, I miss the runner’s high and the good feelings I get after getting my heart rate up and breaking a sweat. I like cooking and my new, awesome apron. I don’t even mind the cleanup, I like washing dishes.

It’s the fact that these habits feel like part of me now that I know I will keep moving forward, accomplishing new health and fitness goals.

I have a number in my head. It’s arbitrary. I’m not there yet. I don’t know if I even really want to get there. A few months ago, I told myself I’d stop when I could fit in to my sister’s pants. I tried on some new slacks she got as a Christmas present. They fit fine, if long. Once she gets them tailored (we’re the same height), I know I’ll be borrowing them.

So, now what? I’ll get down to the arbitrary number just because I know I can. If you know me and my mini obsessions, you can probably guess what it is. I’ll maintain that and add some new fitness goals.

*Rather, a week in to my weight loss efforts


11 thoughts on “Triptych

  1. you look amazing! it’s funny though, I can’t remember you being the before photo. Keep up the good work… you are now my inspiration to lose the pregnancy weight.

  2. I have this theory that I continuously tell my friends: A persons discipline and work ethic is formed in adolescent years and by the time the person hits their early to mid 20’s, it’s pretty much fixed. They stay within a small difference of what I call their ‘equilibrium discipline level’. Sometimes going down a bit, sometimes going up a bit…but overall the same general level.

    So when a friend comes to me and argues that he has spent the last couple of years in city college getting roughly a 3.0 GPA but that this next semester he is going to try hard and get the 4.0 he could have really gotten if he tried – inside I strongly doubt, I think to myself: “at most a 3.2 the next semester, and that’s with trying ‘hard'”. After all, I believe, a persons discipline and work ethic doesn’t stray far from their ‘equilibrium discipline level’.

    This is also why many of us with immigrant parents cant get them to just relax and take a day off; even after they have made sufficient money. They grew up working hard, built a high discipline level and strong work ethic and it is now fixed. Its second nature to them.

    So while this theories predictive power works with 90% or so of the population, there’s always people like you that totally blow it out of the water. I explain it by the fact that you are a Phd student. It takes alot of discipline and work ethic to be a Phd student – certainly 10% or less of the population can do it – and so you always had the discipline to do this, just decided to now channel it to health and fitness goals as well.

    Either way, very impressed.

  3. AMG says:

    As a married man, I think I will keep my comments to myself. 🙂 Except to say I am amazed and inspired by you!

  4. First off, Cindy, you do look great, as I have told you before. Keep up the good work. You are an inspiration to many. I am trying to get back into running (I used to run 3 miles four to five times per week + the gym, but have fallen off the wagon in the past few years).

    Second, part of me agrees with HP, but I’m sure that Cindy always had a decent or good work ethic. It doesn’t always related to how one eats or exercises. Yes, good habits are formed when we are young, but when it comes to diet and fitness, I think that many factors can take over, including lifestyles in the office that promote sedentary behavior (we all don’t do manual labor) and life’s events (illness, coping with family stress, employment, and more). I know plenty of people who had great fitness ethics in their teen years, played varsity sports, ran, went to the gym, etc, but slipped up later on (you can count me in this category). Again, life takes over sometimes, Ph.D. student or not.

  5. R. says:

    The first pic, could just as well have been a week before. When it comes to fitness, a lot of folks expect big, rapid changes and end up giving up too soon when they see otherwise. It takes a lot of dedication to get that far.

    Great work Cindy. Keep it up!

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