To Exercise or Not…That is the Question – Friday Follies

As I’ve said before … I love Twitter! 

I get great Ideas from Twitter.  Which is where this idea came from…

Instead of “Friday Follows”, I have Friday Follies.  This is the day of the week where I let down my hair… although I notice there’s not as much of it as there was 20 years ago…  and share a few of my “foil-ables.”

I thought today I’d share a little about my exercise “program.” I mentioned before that about 10 years ago I knew I needed to do “something” about my health. Strike that… make it.. wanted.. to do “something about my health. 

Something like … living better…  since [statistically speaking] it appeared I would live longer than my ancestors. I decided it was OK, in fact really good, to live longer.  What was not good was living longer and wishing I hadn’t.

So I began the journey to better health.  And I give myself credit. I really do eat better now.   I haven’t had a doughnut in over 2 years. [although I confess there are a few ‘healthy’ muffins I’ve eaten in that time period that have had that same ‘doughnut/muffin-per-pound… gained… effect].  I eat a lot more fruits and vegetables, and a lot less red meat.  

 And I kinda have an exercise program.  The one I start on January 1 of every year.  I used to join a gym to “force” myself to exercise with everyone else.  You know… the buddy system… where I would hold myself accountable because I told the person working out next to me that I’d be there to work out with them the next day…unless something came up of course. 

Some emergency that would keep me from being there. 

Then when I showed up the next time, I’d have to invent some emergency.  Because I said I would be there… otherwise.

This worked…off and on… for a few years.  And I moved numerous times, so I would join a new gym, and tell myself this would give me a “fresh start.”  A new gym…a new program… a new me!  Sound good so far?  It did to me.  I had myself totally convinced.

Until I quit moving… and quit trying to fool myself.  I finally admitted that I just wasn’t good at “the gym thing.”  Sometimes I feel like working out at midnight, when I can’t sleep.  Sometimes I want to work out for 15 minutes instead of an hour, and I always felt so guilty jumping off the treadmill while the person next to me was just finishing their warm up.  Waiting to challenge me to a “run-off.”   One they felt fairly confident they would win.

I couldn’t quit exercising, though.  It’s important!  I know that. 

So now I have a “home gym.”  I have an elliptical  and weights.    I also have exercise videos and DVD’s.  And I use them.  Sometimes.  Not consistently though…like I should. 

 And every year, on January 1, I “restart” my exercise program.  If nothing else, I am optomist.  I think I deserve a fresh start, don’t you?

And I’ve drawn “the line in the sand.” 

I will not live in a house without stairs.  Where the bedroom… or the kitchen…  is up the stairs. 

Maybe it’s just a trick.  But who cares?  It works.  To eat or sleep… I will get some exercise!    Stair climbing makes me feel good… it’s aerobic.   When I use my exercise equipment regularly, climbing the stairs is easy… and fun.  And the stairs “remind me”… When I quit doing my regular routine…aerobic, weights, stretching…the stairs  “tell me.”   You know.. the pull in my calves, being ‘winded’ before I reach the top…using the hand rail…

When I get a little discouraged, I also remind myself that I’m not alone is this challenge to exercise regularly.   When I’m feeling really guilty I think of what I heard on TV [when I should have been working out]  from Ellen DeGeneres:  “I gotta work out.  I keep saying it all the time. I keep saying I gotta start working out. It’s been about 2 months since I’ve worked out. Which uh.. is odd. Because I have the time to go out to dinner. And uh.. and watch tv.  And get a bone density test. And uh.. try to figure out what my phone number spells in words.” 

… And then I don’t feel… so bad…    Oops.  I better put that in quotes.  But there’s nothing like a little Mary Poppins to reinforce my optimism. 

I may not be there yet…  but “I think I can” (become a regular exerciser)… therefore I can.  Can’t I?

Diet or Donuts – Friday Follies

Twitter has “Friday follows”. 

I like Twitter.  

Since the highest form of flattery is emulation, I’d like to make my own Friday offering.   I’m calling it Friday Follies

You know, talk about all my foil-ables… like, ummm… do I REALLY want anybody to know that I cried when I read about National Doughnut Day and realized I hadn’t eaten a doughnut in over 2 years. 

Not that I couldn’t, but since I made a commitment to really work on better health habits about 10 years ago, I started thinking differently about food.  For one, I started seeing each doughnut, as I raised it to my lips,  as having a packet of undeveloped yeast in it. 

Then, mixed with the saliva as I chewed and swallowed, it would start to work… begin to raise — or is it rise — as soon as it hit my belly. Not upward and out, like with a good belch or two, but totally horizontally around my middle,  expanding my skin in Incredible Hulk fashion –only instead of bicep swell…. belly swell. 

In my mind I created… The Donut Belly  “look.”  As I contemplated the pros and cons of giving up doughnuts, or not, I thought about that look on me, and whether, if I chose to continue eating doughnuts,  I might be able to make it into a new fashion statement. 

You know, a new fad.  And could I collaborate with some of my friends to create a line of clothes, jewelry, piercings, tattoos, to accentuate and create a completely different model,  a new… sexy… Donut Dolly. Not evenly distributed weight throughout the body, or even around the wrists or ankles or thighs… just a doughnut belly.   I even went so far as to make a few style sketches…  

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I used to love doughnuts.  Gooey, chewy, chocolaty, with chips and drips on them.  And… they loved me in returned — in absolutely equal proportion.  One doughnut.  One pound.  Two doughnuts.  Two pounds.   On a really stressful day, I was capable of exceeding my “two doughnut limit.”  And… the results were totally predictable!  Jelly donut, jelly belly. 

Doughnuts, really, really helped me discover  a secret to my metabolism.  They are one of the foods, or food groups, that come with an “alarm snoozer.”  Once eaten, the doughnut immediately shuts off my “keep moving” alarm.  It lulls my metabolism into sleep mode while it lowers resistance to fat molecule placement, so they can have  their way… right at my belly line.

Today, however, reading the news, I was reminded that National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression, and to honor the work of World War I Salvation Army volunteers who prepared doughnuts and other foods for thousands of soldiers. 

And I thought…how can I resist buying doughnuts today?   I realized… I CAN’T.  But I can give them away.  I can drop them off at the gym.  I can give them to all the people I know who don’t happen to have an Alarm Snoozer in their Metabolism department. 

And… I can pull out, and dust off, that old Donut Dolly campaign.  Donut Dolly and the Pillsbury DoughBoy.  A marriage made in the fat vat of my mind.

So… care to share a folly or two?  Something for next Friday’s follies, perhaps?