Friday, October 16, 2009

Exercise dilemma

I knew one of this week's goals — to exercise 30 minutes three times a week — was going to be a challenge. How much of a challenge? Last night, I had to squeeze in the last 30 minutes. And the whole time I was doing the 2-mile "Walk Away the Pounds" video with Leslie Sansone, (; more about that later), I was internally yelling at myself for being such a slug.

There was a time when I exercised daily, and was quite fit. Why I stopped is a mystery, except I think kids, their schedules, my job, my home life, my husband and my friends, got in the way. Of course, my friend Beth would argue that is no excuse. And she is correct.

We all know we need to exercise. We all know it helps maintain weight, and when you are trying to shed pounds, it helps the process. We all know that to be really healthy, we need to get moving.

So why is it so hard to set aside a few minutes each day to get it done?

I had a eureka moment last night. As I was following Sansone's moves on the 2-mile walk, I thought, "Why not try the 1-mile walk four times next week?" Could you hear the "duh" that was resounding in my head. Yes, it was that loud.

You see, the 1-mile walk takes only 20 minutes; the 2-mile walk, 30; and the 3-mile walk, 45 minutes, aka a real commitment. I know it's only 10 minutes, but the difference between setting my alarm for 4:45 vs. 4:55 is a big deal. Plus, if I can't find 20 minutes a day to do something that is so good for me, then I better find a new life.

Last night, before I feel to sleep, I repeated this mantra: "When the alarm goes off, you jump out of bed." It somehow worked, which is kind of scary. I am definitely a hit-the-snooze-alarm person.

Without thinking this morning, I put on my sweats and sneakers, headed into my basement workout area (which prior to today has never been used), and put on Sansone's 1-mile walk, a really wonderful CD and a great deal. For $19.95, you get three walks — 1, 2, 3 miles — all led by Sansone and her eight walking buddies. I discovered this program six years ago, and off and on through the years, I have given it a try. And I know now why I've failed to continue with the program in the past: I have increased my walks to the 3-mile within a few weeks, and trying to fit in 45 minutes is an issue for me. 

So here's my new plan: I will do the 1-mile plan until I become like my friend Beth, who is miserable if she doesn't hit her gym daily. When I start loving the way exercise makes me feel, I will graduate to the 2-mile walk. Not before. I might never make it to the 2 miles, but I don't care. Doing the 1-mile walk is 1 more mile than I am now walking.

So like my new way of eating, I am taking baby steps. I'm just revving the steps up a tad.

This week's goals:
1. Exercise 4 times this week, 20 minutes each time.
2. Eat something different at breakfast this week. I am stuck on cottage cheese and nonfat yogurt, mixed with an apple and cinnamon. I like it, but variety is nice.

Update on past goals:
1. Exercise 30 minutes, 3 times a week: Enough said about that!
2. Eat vegetarian at lunch: Except for a lunch out, when I had chicken salad, I substitued my chicken for chickpeas and walnuts. I actually like this more than the chicken.
3. Chew each bite 20 times: getting better
4. Weigh myself each day: part of my day.

Happy Friday. Happy weekend!


  1. I always have 10 pounds I want to lose and like you, have tied all sorts of diets. I also exercise. I hate to start exercise but love how I feel afterwards. Just got off the elliptical trainer and feel terrific. But now I want something to eat. Yes, I agree it is important to exercise, for lots of reasons. But I can't lose weight just doing that. I have to combine it with a diet. Of all the diets I've ever tried the only one that is effective is this: EAT LESS. Works every time. If I tell myself -- don't get full. Don't eat that piece of pie, it's not as if you haven't had pie before and need to try it. JUST SAY NO. That works.

  2. Just say no: Not if it's a Ronnie Fein pie. I could never say no!