You are not going to believe this, but I actually went a week and a half without taking a nap. Me! A week! And a Half! Without a nap! This is unprecedented. Never in my life have I gone so long without a nap. Ever. And it all began when I decided, after months of suspecting I should get back to exercising and stop rage-eating, I stepped on the scale. Talk about unprecedented – I gasped out loud when I saw a number I have never seen and never thought I would see (aside from pregnancy).
I know it shouldn’t matter, that I’m more than just numbers on the scale, but it did matter to me. It was unacceptable. Something had to be done immediately. Extreme measures had to be taken. None of my half-hearted attempts to bribe or trick myself into getting back into shape had worked, so I had to pull out the big guns: No naps until I lost five pounds (the first five of many).
Apparently I value naps over all other rewards or punishments, because I immediately got serious about shedding my election weight (and my two-years-leading-up-to-the-election weight, while I was at it.) I tracked my calories and worked out as if my nap depended on it, and I was able to lose those five pounds twice as fast as I ever have before. I got to take a lovely nap yesterday, and have gone right back to focusing on taking the next five pounds off so I can have another nap soon.
One thing I learned by not napping is that I had to change some of my patterns. I could no longer read anything in my bed or I’d start to feel droopy, so I had to sit upright at the kitchen table. It felt kind of cold and distant, but it worked. I didn’t fall asleep.
I also noticed how many leftover projects I can get done when I need something to distract me from my sleepiness. One afternoon, I spent a few hours working on a project for my piano studio that I’d been meaning to get around to for a while. I was so pleased that I finally got around to it, I said to one of my students, “Remember how I was going to type up that guide sheet for last year’s Scale Olympics?” And he said dryly, “Actually, you’ve said that for the last four years.” Sassy answer, but it just goes to show how much I can get done if I force myself to stay awake.
The problem with not taking naps is that I could not make myself stay up later than 9:30 each night. My husband’s a night owl, so usually 10 p.m. until midnight is the best time to hang out with him. I feel like I never see him anymore now that I pass out before my kids do.
I’d like to say that my time without naps convinced me to give them up for good in the future. Luckily for my weight loss goals, I still very much need them and will do whatever it takes to get my next one. After all, that’s what I do. It’s what I live for.