Sunday, January 27, 2008

Keep It Keepin' On

It's been a few days since my last blog. Last year, when I first had the notion that I was going to finally do something about losing the weight I'd gained back, it went like this as well.

I didn't have time sometimes this week - I'm pretty busy during the week now, exercising. I have a son who likes to see me from time to time, but he also had injured his arm last week and couldn't exercise, so I exercised at home. I don't work out at home as well as at the gym, tho I did work up a sweat!

Excuses you're familiar with? These are why I didn't sit down and write a blog. PLUS - and I hate to admit this - I was a little intimidated by you guys. What if I didn't write something that made sense, or I let my thoughts just scatter across the board? I surely don't want to be laughed at, up here at the "front of the class" talking about how I lost weight!

Have any of you ever tried (or even seen) a Zumba class? I didn't see one until March - late March - 2007. So, in January, I at least didn't have that intimidation. But I did have the knowledge that I was out of shape. No way could I exercise for an hour.

To be honest, I had ridden a bike for 20-30 minutes before, but no one I rode with rode very fast, so that was hardly exercise if I had company. I could get 20 minutes of rollerblading with the boys in IF I sat down after the first 5 minutes. I have weak ankles and that hurt! But after the 5 minutes, then I could go for another song. And sit down. And drink some water. And then after awhile, do another 5 minutes. Eventually, I could get in 20 minutes of exercising this way, and lots of good water.

If you're not drinking water, start now - find a temp you like and a way of tracking how much you drink. Back then, I was going with the common admonition to drink 8 glasses a day. I wasn't always doing it, but I knew I should drink more than I was. I like the 32 oz Gatorade bottles. Even then, I'd already discovered this from buying them for the boys. Now I buy them and empty out the Gatorade if I lose mine. The wide mouth is great for guzzling; the size fits in my minivan's cup holders, and I don't have to count past 2 to get 8 cups in. Drink one; refill it once. Drink it. I can manage to keep track of that during the day - usually.

But exercising. It's like this blog. I'm starting slow. I'm learning. And one thing I knew about me and exercising - even last January! - was that I will not do anything for long if I don't love it. So, no jogging for me. Same for walking - I just get bored. I get bored easily, too.

So, I made a list of things I like to do, and that is why I had started bicycling and rollerblading. I like ice skating and am not very good at it, but my oldest son had nixed it completely early on. So, he has "quads" for rollerskates, while I and his brother have rollerblades. We just don't get out anymore (their choice, not mine). I also don't get much exercise bicycling with the younger one who has smaller tires which require a lot more work to pedal. That takes about as much energy as walking, tho it is a bit less boring.

So, what else made the list? Dancing! I've always liked dancing, but I realize this might not be your cup of tea. Find what works for you!!!

What did I do for dancing? First, and this was when the boys were babes, I requested (and was gifted from my Mom) a clock-radio for the kitchen so I could "dance" while I cooked and spent time in there. (Also keeps me from wandering away when I'm bored and letting something burn - oops!)

In January 2007, I used my love for dancing while I was out of town on a business trip. I played a song on my computer (but could have been the radio in the room) and tried to dance to it - joy de vivre and all - for the entire song. Guess what? I didn't quite make it! I thought it was 5 minutes long; turned out to be 3-1/2, but I'll round up and say 5 minutes, who cares?

But it was fun! And a bit of a point to me to say - Hey! Despite all the fun in your love life, you need to get back in shape for other things, too!

Yep, was not having trouble attracting men with the extra 30 pounds on, nor any of those bedroom activities which at our age goes on for hours, but couldn't go full-steam on a dance song for 5 minutes. I knew I had some blood pressure problems with stress the year before (my doctor had wanted me to come in and get it regularly checked, but I was nixing the idea of any BP meds. I knew how it affected men's sexual "abilities" and did not want the same effect on my own libido. (There are some aspects to blood pressure that I enjoy!)

I also knew both my Dad and my sister have diabetes and have sleep apnea. My Dad had also had a heart attack within the past three years, tho minor. His Dad had had triple-bypass surgery (no heart attack) in his later years, and one of my grandmothers had had a lot of strokes, particularly in the year before she passed away. These are the things I knew I was in danger of succumbing to, if I didn't get my health back.

How many of us have NOT seen a relative (usually male) who is out-of-shape then gets a visit in his 50s or 60s or even 70s from the death-doctor - a big scare that usually does something to cause him to finally lose weight and become thin again? I decided I didn't want to wait and do it later. I wanted to do it now.

But for now, I just decided that I would try another day to try and dance to the song and maybe not try to do it like a teenager next time.

And so, I am writing a blog a week later, and perhaps the next one will be in another week, or maybe I'll write tomorrow. I'll try not to let you readers intimidate me. Maybe I'll tell my family I'm writing a blog, but probably not yet. I won't tell til I really feel like I'm doing it. For now, it's my secret, shared with those who lose weight with me (and are my support network) and with those other zumba enthusiasts who understand how doing something we love really helps make it a lot easier! (As Beto says, "Ditch the workout, join the party")

For me, it is finding whatever YOU like to do so that you know you enjoy these things that help you get into the healthy shape and state you want to be in....and that too is personal for you. And then, don't give up just because you weren't successful the first time you tried, or even if you waited a week and you're tired and don't feel like doing it, just go try it a little bit. Do half a commitment. See if it makes you feel better. See if it makes you smile.

If you ever did this before, or if you give it a try now and it works for you (maybe it takes a month to see that it worked), please post a comment (where it says "comment" below, it is really a link to how you can post a comment to this particular blog post) and let me and the other readers know about it!

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