Friday, January 1, 2010

OK, so here we go

Inspired by Julia, I thought I'd start the new year with a new initiative. I knew when I got up this morning I was going to get in a nice, long walk. I also knew that I've gained some weight over the past three months. Changed jobs (perhaps more on that later) and that meant a radical change in lifestyle. For the previous two years I had exercised very regularly and I had lost nearly 30 pounds.

Three months later, I've gained half of it back. So today's my re-starting point. I was at 245 this morning before I walked. 241 afterward. I'm not going into this with any preconceived weight-loss goals, because I think when you set that kind of goal and you reach it, there might be a tendency to relax, and then you gain the weight back. You can trust me on this; I've done it twice now.

Rather, my aim is to exercise five times a week for the next year and see where it gets me. Right now, my clothes are tight but I haven't had to go to a bigger size. I'm determined not to have to take that step.

My hope is that you, dear reader, will be able to gain something from this as well. I'm not a health or exercise professional, and you should not take my statements as professional advice. Hopefully, though, you'll find something that will help you.

OK, so today's workout ...

I walked from my house to the nearest Wal-Mart and back, a round-trip total of more than six miles. During my last two-year routine, I'd do a walk like that once a week, and it's got to be on the road. To me it's harder to walk that far going in circles than it is to go out and back. To entertain myself -- mandatory in this kind of pursuit -- the Sansa 2gb mp3 player with another 2gb memory card. So I have more than 1,000 songs to pick from. Today, I started with the tropical guitar sylings of Johannes Linstead. Tracked a couple of Josh Groban songs when I was in Wal-Mart (bought a bottle of water) then switched to Little Big Town.

Odd visuals: Saw a discarded Ford Crown Victoria Owner's Manual on the side of the road, plus various and sundry broken beer bottles and discarded single-serve liquor bottles like you get from a flight attendant.

I'll wrap this up with a thought about motivation. It does not matter how much money you spend on gyms or equipment or videos, if you're not motivated to exercise, you won't do it. Anyone who asks me -- and when I lost weight, people who noticed did ask -- I tell them just go to the local park and walk on whatever track they have. Start with walking. If you want to do push-ups or sit-ups, that's cool. Walking, push-ups and situps are free. Do that and see how committed you are before you decide to spend money on it.

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