The problem is that I’m basically lazy. I don’t like most physical activities. I like dancing but usually when I do that there's alcohol and party food involved. Unless I'm being chased, running is out of the question. I do like to walk but it’s never helped me shed fat or pounds. Even when I trained for and walked the Nike’s Women’s Marathon I didn’t lose an inch or a pound – just my breath.
Anyway, three things combined to finally get me on the exercise track;
- an iphone app,
- a web search
- fond memories of a smoky the bear hat.
It's the early 80s. I'm at Fort Jackson, SC. It's Army basic training and it's not a party. I turned 20 there. My legs were very strong and shapely then, and I had abs instead of a gut, not just because I was 20 but also because I had drill sergeants for personal trainers. They were scary and fascinating and made me run while singing, do push ups while counting, and they made me do sit ups the old fashioned way while they timed me. Those were the days when weight loss was inevitable.
Back to today's weight loss issue
Un/fortunately, the drill sergeants moved on to other troops and my life stopped including forced runs and PT at dawn. My body has reached a point where it is uncomfortable (and at times unsightly) to be me.
iphone to the weight loss rescue
A couple of months ago I added a new app to my iphone. It’s called Habits and it’s made to support David Allen’s GTD path to personal productivity. The app encourages you to make a list of all the little things you want to do and it reminds you to do them at the interval that you set.
This app was perfect because a long time ago I decided that daily movement was the way to sustainable weight loss. And since easy goes it is my motto when it comes to exercise I knew I had to use baby steps. So I decided to figure out the smallest possible thing I was willing to do on a daily basis around exercise, add it to my Habits app and do it until I felt ready to move up to something more. After some trial and error I came up with 100 high steps for my legs and 100 arm movements of some sort for my arms. I added the 2 tasks to my habits app and started doing them.
web search your way to weight loss
Finally the almost daily high steps and arm exercises energized me enough to think about a more involved weight loss program. I searched the web for exercise options and tried a few things;
- free yoga at the health department
- free pilates (again at the health department)
- a new Juillian Michaels tape. (I also signed up at her website)
- some of my old exercise tapes
- a friend's adopted bowflex
- jumping rope (I actually like this but jumping inside has issues)
Additionally, friend told me about a dance/movement class. I checked out their website and decided that it was too far away, too expensive, too gentle. It did spur me to made a mental list of what I'd do and what I wouldn't.
At some point I came across the Women’s Fitness Boot Camp concept. I thought, doesn't this sound like fun? Get up at 4:30 in the morning to be in a park at 5:30 laying on dew with a bunch of other women and someone who thinks I want to do push ups, arm curls, and maybe run. I put it in the back of my head and kept searching for something that was less dramatic and that happened at a normal time of day.
fond memories of a smoky the bear hat
Finally, I admitted to myself that I need supervision. When it comes to exercise I’ve found that I’m like a freshman in college who came from a strict home. Unless, some outside force is pushing/pulling me to get up and go to class I'm going to miss a few too many and party a bit too much.
Since the only time I’ve been fit for any period of time involved a drill sargent and the hated running. (Which at that time made sense because running in formation is like being chased.) I decided that Women's Fitness Boot Camp was worth a try. I looked back at the site and finally signed up for the month long session. They had started a 6 pm class for the non-morning crowd so my decision was a bit easier. So there you have it. I'm signed up and I'm going for 2 months!