Open Court publishes on Tuesdays and Fridays, bringing you sports, life, and the stuff we need to talk about with author/journalist Joanne C. Gerstner. Subscribe here and get Open Court straight to your email! If you're part of our subscriber fam, feel free to share this email and get your friends involved. We welcome your comments too, please share at the end of this piece or @joannecgerstner.
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Well, did the universe ever answer back. Whoa. Thanks to the power of ARMY, my words went far and wide. I’m not a let’s-go-viral-on-Twitter person, but that’s exactly what happened. And on Facebook and other corners of the web.
I want to give a big hi to all the new subscribers and followers, a big thanks to all who liked, shared/retweeted and so kindly reacted with their thoughts. I tried to get back personally to everybody, but my sincere apologies if I missed your message. I was overwhelmed with hundreds of sentiments.
For the newbies, a little word about me and Open Court. I am a journalist and an author. I’ve done some things to Mic Drop about. I am a fan of BTS. The lanes I drive in are about sports, some health, and a nice splash of pop culture. I write about BTS, every now and again. If you came here for all Bangtan, all the time, this will not be happening. Just wanted to be up front. When I do write about OT7, I am all in. But this newsletter platform is not only BTS-focused. It’s my little corner of the world, where I discuss the things I feel we need to be talking about.
Everybody is welcome, and I hope our space is something you will look forward to as much as I do.
So thank you. And borahae.
This past week was a little introspective for me. This time last year, I was annoyed, disappointed and angry with myself - and yes, the world. I hated where my weight and fitness levels were at. The pandemic had put 20 pounds on me, and truthfully, I had too much weight on me before the pandemic started. Being stuck in the house, sitting all day with bright lights on me to do Zoom for work, and then being left as mental and emotional jello by sundown did a number. I was done. I could not change the pandemic, but I could change me. So I did.
I got the cheapest good treadmill I could source on Amazon, bribed the delivery guy to get the massive box down to the basement, and worked for 3 hours to assemble it (pinching and spraining a finger in the process). The Nordic Track beast was alive, and I turned to walking every night on it. I used the iFit app, and escaped from the world for at least 30 minutes by walking somewhere that was not frigid Michigan. One night, I walked on Easter Island and learned about the Moai. Next night, I was running slowly in Portugal. Another night I just jammed out to my BTS/hip hop playlist.
The exercise soon became something I craved. Being in the basement, as glamorous as it sounds, became my haven. If I was down there, doing something on the treadmill, I was away from all the stressors and sadness.
As I got the exercise going, I decided to clean up what I was eating. Out went alcohol. I didn’t drink much anyways, so letting it all pretty much go wasn’t too hard. Next came sugar and snacking. Those became habits while sitting at the computer for 10 hours a day. I just started replacing things with a healthier option, like an apple and some almonds for the protein bar.
Everything was gradual. I couldn’t process mass changes. I refused to do stuff like keto or IF or go vegetarian. All too extreme and short term fixes for me. (IF IT WORKS FOR YOU - GREAT. Not here to debate.) I wanted this to be a change in life, not a shift for a small time. I just did the best I could every day. I eat meat. I eat carbs. I have a glass of wine when I want. Nothing is off limits. I just need to be thoughtful.
By the time my birthday on April 27 arrived, I had lost 48 pounds.
Now, a year later, I am down 65 and have a pretty radical shift in my closet. I still have more I want to lose, but I have not fixed on a number or time frame. When I get there, I will know. I do not profess to have the solutions for anything. I am not going to be a guru, tell you what to do, preach crazy shit or turn to YouTube or a podcast to blog the “journey”. That's not me.
Because, ultimately, everybody has to figure this out themselves.
I have struggled with my weight all of my adult life, likely, thanks to stress and too much work. Guess what? I still have too much stress and work. I am never going to be a “skinny” person, and I am 100 percent fine with that. I just want to be healthy. All the things I have been doing - or not doing - have made me stronger. Being stronger can help me better deal with health issues as they crop up. I have been putting money in the bank for later withdrawal.
I am closing in on my 300th workout on iFit this year, and I am proud of that. I stuck with it, consistently, with only a few days off when I was sick or wasn’t able to do something. I also worked in a day off each week, to let my body recover. I swim, do weight training, and play tennis too, trying not to burn things out.
The moral of the story: do a few things right every day, and it will add up. Take the bigger goal, make it a series of smaller goals, and get to work. And don’t beat yourself up when things go off track. They will. Then get back and do right.
Those are my words of encouragement. Progress. Not perfection.
See you Friday.