The man in the van



There are two things you can count on as a New Year rolls around.   Resolutions will be made.  Resolutions will be broken.  As humans, we tend to set time lines and dead lines and unrealistic goals for ourselves.  It’s human nature to set the bar super-humanly high, go in swinging and end up with deflated outcomes within weeks.  Or in some cases, within days or even hours.  Let’s face it, you can’t go from being a couch potato to being an instant gym rat.  Start slow people!

Perhaps it’s more realistic to craft your goals so that they fit into your lifestyle rather than trying to change your lifestyle by going resolution-crazy.  Oh resolutions can be accomplished, but baby steps people, baby steps!

This year, I’m starting sloowwwwww.   Over the weekend, my besties and I decided to start an ongoing mass txt thread with the intent of lifting each other up with positive little messages filled with enthusiasm and motivational comments to each other!!  Hurray for group support!!  The encouragement started coming Sunday night already!!


JB:  I’ll start the ball rolling, just walked 3 miles at the gym.

JH: you are awesome, JB!

ME: Yes!!  You are amazing!!

JH: My positive for the day….I’m hitting the gym this week and packed a healthy lunch for tomorrow!


Oh geeeze, I was feeling pressure already.  Two of my besties had actually made an attempt to start off on a good foot.  Me?  Nothing yet.  I could hardly post a txt about how I was looking forward to sitting in front of the boob tube for the much anticipated return of “The Good Wife” and “Revenge.”  I had to think of something quick.  Aha!  I would send a positive txt about what I was going to do tomorrow!!  Remembering that I was going to start slow, I decided to start off with hydration.  I liked drinking fluids!!!  This would be a no brainer!  I could even drink the water in front of my tv shows.  Win/WIn!


ME:  Girls, my positive moment for the day – my attitude!! I’m ready to get started living healthy again.  I’m going to concentrate on drinking  a lot of water all week!

I felt good!  I felt empowered and motivated!  Not only was I going to treat my body as a temple while hydrating it, my skin would also look better.  My hair might even get shiny!  New year, new me!  Hurray!

And so it went.  The motivational txt’s were working already!  Reading just the first round wasssss motivational.  So motivational in fact, that I decided on Monday morning to dig out my athletic clothes, dust off my sneakers and hit the gym.

Monday morning rolled around and I felt like Wonder-woman…..



JB: Starting the day with a healthy egg white omelet!

JH: Good start. You are inspiring me!


She was inspiring me, too!!!  I could not wait to hit the gym!  I could not wait to get back on that elliptical and burn off the Holiday pounds+ that I had allotted myself to gain.

ME: I’m hitting the gym, Girls!  Feeling good!


I walked into the gym, head held high, smug confident grin on my face and made a beeline straight for the machine I had used endlessly before the holidays rolled around and I decided to take an extended hiatus.  I climbed onto the elliptical.  It felt like getting back up on a bicycle.  I looked down at the dials in front of me automatically set them at the same level that I was used to setting them at 3 months ago.  I put my earbuds in, tuned my device to the corresponding station of the tv in front of me which was airing Kelly and Michael, hit the start button and off I went!!  Hurray!  I felt like Lance Armstrong!!  I had my rhythm going.  I had good timing.  I was laughing at the monologue jokes that I was hearing through my earbuds.  That Kelly was a funny girl!!

My heartbeat started to rise slowly and I could feel the beginnings of sweat start to form on my forehead.  No problem!  I had a towel draped over the handle bars of my machine.  *dab dab dab.*  I looked back up at the tv, my breathing started to get a bit deeper.  More sweat.  *dab dab*  I looked around and noticed nobody else was sweating.  Well, obviously I was working harder and longer than they were.  I looked down at the clock on the bike.  Geeeze!  I was only 4 minutes into it.  How could that be?  It felt like at least 15 minutes.  I decided to toss the towel over the clock.  Who needed to see those debbie downer numbers staring you in the face.  Who needed the guilt and sense of defeat?  Not me!!  I was motivated!!  I was thinking positive thoughts only!!

More sweat.  *dab dab*  Good Grief, I was starting to think that maybe I did not do myself any favors by treating myself to a holiday hiatus.  I was huffing and puffing.  Sweat was starting to seep through my workout gear.  My towel was starting to feel soggy.  In the course of 25 minutes I went from feeling like Wonder woman, to this…..


So, I psyched myself up as best I could, finished my workout and could not get out of there fast enough.  I was exhausted.  And sweaty.  And thirsty.  I needed to hydrate.

On the way home, I was driving in one of those halfway trances you get into when driving along great spanses of desolate highways.  I was trying not to think about how thirsty I was.   What had I just put my body through??  Even tho it was a sub-zero January day, I was driving with the car heat off and my jacket open.  I was boiling.  The sweat was still dripping down my neck.  My hair was matted to my scalp.  You could see the sweat mark around the neck of my fancy athletic shirt.  I was hoping I would make it home without seeing anyone I knew.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a car riding parallel to me.  How annoying!  Well, I would ignore it and it would soon pass me up.  A few minutes passed.  Nope.  Still there.  I chanced a peek and saw some weirdo in a huge, creepy, suspicious looking van.  He was looking at me.  His eyebrows were raised freakishly high, as tho he was trying to tell me something through his eyeballs.  He kept pointing to me and smiling.   Geeeze!  Could he not that I was dripping in sweat and on my way home from a vigorous, successful, healthy workout.  I was thirsty and crabby.  I was in no mood for socializing. What nerve.


I decided to speed up.  Then he sped up.  So I decided to slow down.  And, he slowed down.  I chanced another peek at him to try to figure out what his creepy story was.  And, I was sneaky about it.  I moved my eyes as far as I could to the right while keeping my head pointing straight ahead towards the road.  *ouch, eye strain*  Yep, he was still sidling me.  And now, his window was part way down.  What in the world?!?!?!  I had a stalker!  What a freak!  I slowed wayyyy down so he could get several cars ahead of me.   Finally, I saw his blinker go on and at the next traffic light, which thankfully was green, he turned right and off he went.  He was gone!  Thank God!  He was out of sight and out of my comfort zone and world.  Good Ridance!

As I pulled into my driveway, I started to think about the entire bizarre morning.  The gym workout.  The van freak.  I think Van-Man was hitting on me.  He was!  He was hitting on me and I was not even in my best form!   Or, maybe I was.  Perhaps I was not giving myself enough credit.  Maybe I looked athletic…and young….and healthy already!  One 1/2 hour session on the elliptical and I was already turning heads!  I wasssss wonder-woman!!

And, just like that I was motivated again and ready for the next day at the gym!  The man in the van had actually motivated me!!  It did not really matter where my motivation came from,  It just mattered that I stayed motivated!!  Hurray for living a healthy lifestyle!!  Hurray for New Year Resolutions!!  I walked in the house and pulled out my phone and sent a txt to my besties.

 Me:   One half hour/ 3 miles on the elliptical. Felt good to be back at the gym. I think I’m going to start a gratitude journal. Maybe use the journal that my sweet daughter-in-law gave me for Christmas to use at my desk for writing. I think that it would make a perfect gratitude journal. I’m so glad that we are doing this all together. I’m going to start off really slow and make realistic goals for myself. Good luck this week girls!  Love you two!  Have a great week……!






44 thoughts on “The man in the van

  1. You make quite a story out of your trip to the gym! I try not to make resolutions so as to avoid disappointment. I will make it to the gym, I’m just not sure what day.


    1. Ha! When Im forced to do something I dont like to do, I try to find somethinggggg interesting in the experience. Good luck making it to the gym. It’s too cold for me to go today!. 🙂


        1. Anonymous

          It’s way too cold to leave he house this week. Good week to stay home and bake. Of course I do get out to walk Pippi and to blow the snow and shovel, but does that count?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Funding Help

            Shoveling snow can be a workout in itself, that is chore that wears me out! But aw! The smell of freshly baked yummy’s and staying indoors…. well, that’s tough to beat on super cold day! Oh the choices we have to make, what to do?

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Inese Poga Art Gallery

    We don’t have to make any resolutions, but if you say they will be broken, that means you’re excusing yourself ahead of a time, and that also means you will give it a try, but if it doesn’t work quickly, you’ll let it go.
    It’s amazing, how wrong the dietary guidelines are! It’s long time proven that cholesterol has nothing much to do with coronary arteries. It’s also proven clinically that people need animal fats (Omegas six) as much I they need plant fats. Eggs are good for you, and they are something which to some extent is still quite natural. Eating only egg white won’t make you neither healthier, not slimmer.
    You are very right about skipping alcohol because it HAS lots of calories along with the fact that your liver assumes anything alcohol as poison and acts accordingly.
    My other job (which is not art) involves clinical research and review of patient test results and medical records, etc. So, if you would like to take down your waistline in size, you should know that exercising and gym are responsible only for 20% of weight reduction, the rest, or 80% is what you eat, how you eat and how you spend the calories you’ve consumed. It all comes down to the rate of metabolism, too. Probably walking every single day and everywhere is way better than torturing yourself once a week or so because that’s wrong from all points of view: you either do it moderately gradually increasing loads and types of exercise, or simply, walk, swim, dance at home and out as much as you come.
    Also the food needs to be taken in according to calories your activity level and body weight requires in days when YOU DO NOT exercise. Water, everything natural and balance between carbs, fats and proteins since you need fats, too. Try eating 3 times a day without snacks. Drink only mineral water, water, coffee without sugar, tea or herbal tea without sugar and in 4 weeks eating normal food your weight will be down and waist much slimmer. This refers to food you make on your own. Anything you eat out won’t do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Thank You!! I feel as though I just got a personal nutritionist’s advice. I have read your reply twice and will take your advice to heart. I will also keep you up to date on any progress I make. Thank you!

      This would make an excellent blog post for you to write. 🙂 I think you would get a lot of hits on it. Just a thought.


  3. I love your sense of humor – its so refreshing! We often take ourselves SO seriously – its good to lighten it up a bit 🙂 One thing that I have found helpful is to set a goal that you can measure against (this is actually an exercise all my clients have to do!). For instance, rather than saying I’m going to lose weight this year, you say I’m going to lose 50lbs this year. That means each month, I’m targeting a loss of 4-5lbs. You can then set your weekly activity and nutrition plan to support that. Same thing with exercise! I think so many ppl fall of the resolution wagon because they don’t really have a solid goal in mind. Sign up for a race with your friends! Join a running group for some public accountability. Good stuff 🙂 ❤


  4. This is COMPLETELY overdue, but thank you for stopping by and liking a couple posts! This post absolutely made me laugh out loud, starting with Bridget Jones falling off the treadmill! Why is it that the things that are best for us (food, exercise, healthy relationships?) are so hard to do right, let alone just do???? Anyway, with your humorous way of looking at things, you’re undoubtedly on the right track! I look forward to more of your entertaining outlook on life! Best in the New Year…


    1. Ahhhh, thank you so much for taking the time to stop and make this lovely comment. Loved your thoughts and we think a lot alike. Those “good to do for yourself” things in life are always the biggest challenge. I guess it all boils down to sometimes the best things in life for us are the things we have to work hardest for – healthy lifestyle included!!


  5. Howdy! Thanks for your “like” on my blog, Needle at sea bottom.

    Are you following that Blogging 101 at wordpress? It does not seem so? Regardless, this is a familiar theme in January. I try to stay away from things like gyms. Preferring my exercise outside. Though as a large man, that might not be a problem as it might be? In general I don’t care for resolutions. Strange how that word can have two meanings. One would be in the judicial sense, the other as more personal resolving to do something.

    Now for something completely different. I’m really interested in personalities as defined by Myer-Briggs. The demographics of personality, are absorbing. I’m currently reading “The fall of the Roman Republic” by Plutarch. Also very interesting. So, rock on margber! Thanks once more for your like on my blog. … Cheers Jamie.


    1. Oh hey!! Youre welcome. No, im not following the blogging 101. I did that course last spring and highly recommend it!! I learned so much and it helped to hone my writing skills.

      Good luck on your blogging journey. Have fun with it! Thank you for taking the time out to comment. Its much appreciated!


  6. Thanks for this post…it made me laugh…but more importantly, it made me think! I’m not one to make resolutions every year mainly because, like many people, if I did, they would be the same every single year…eat healthy, exercise more and drop some pounds. And every year I would end up disappointed. As an example, today is January 7th and I would have broken my resolutions 3 times already! I’m seriously typing this eating a Toblerone bar! I think I need to work on my willpower. Instead, I choose to take each day as it comes…always with good intentions, of course…and if I “fall off the wagon”, tomorrow is another day and I just start all over again. More importantly, I choose to live my life in a way that energizes me and makes me happy. Anyway…I think you’re funny and entertaining and I definitely look forward to reading more of your posts in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, i dont reallllly make resolutions. 😀 I like to think of January as the cut off date to my “anything in any amount” attitude. I agree with your view in willpower and just living each day to its fullest. One day at a time is my motto. It helps to get you o er the himps and passed the roadblocks.


  7. Great start. Keep it up.

    I’ve done a couple 5k walks. Now the weather has turned cold, but should let up in a couple days and I’ll pound sidewalk again. Can hardly wait for spring to come so I can jump on my bike.


  8. I thought for sure you were going to say that when u got home and got out of the car, your gym bag was hanging on the roof with some “unmentionables” hanging on for dear life and that’s why Mr. Creepy Van Guy was interested!! That would be my story!
    I gave up years ago making resolutions. I never kept a one of them. So I will go into 2015 fat and severly out of shape! But at least I’m consistent 😬


    1. Ha!! I should have made up a ficticious ending. My hubs came home from work and told me he read it twice thinking he missed something. He was expecting a big ending, too. When I told him the moral of the story was finding motivation in the most unexpected places he just nodded and then told me he would then have to go find the creepy stalker van guy and kick his ass. : ) …. A little joke he always says to me because weve been married for 30 years and he still gets jeslous. 😇

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nora Fox Handler

    Happy New Year Peggy. I am going back to WW as a over goal lifetime and also texting Friday weigh ins to two friends. I might even consider tracking. I have the exercise thing down but can eat and drink enough to make up for it. I have proved to myself over and over that exercise alone is not enough.


    1. Good luck with WW, Nora! I might go back at some point but my head is not in it right now. There was an interesting response in this thread of responses from one of my readers. She is a nutritionist. The weight loss is 80% what you eat and 20% physical activity. I should have known that but did not. I always thought the exercise was the magic component. Happy New Year my friend!!


  10. Patti Kraai

    LOL!!! One advantage of being “older” … i don’t even bother to make resolutions anymore!! Just hoping and praying to remain status quo!! xo


  11. I’m glad I’m not the only one that struggles with exercising so early when everyone else is motivated and hitting the gym. I hate it, it’s not my thing! But I made my own goals and am working towards things my way. Drinking my water better (ALREADY seeing skin changes), cooking at home so we don’t eat out, and I ordered a jawbone during a flash sale and intend to use that to motivate me. Thinking about a virtual zumba like class from the comfort of my own home. Baby steps… Hopefully the baby steps will prevent burnout this year.

    Liked by 1 person

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