Tuesday, January 03, 2006

In the Spirit of Generic Resolutions...

Like most Americans, I have (again) resolved to shed some unwanted pounds this year. Not by dieting specifically, more by increasing my exercise and decreasing my portions. I suffer from Portion Distortion. I blame restaurants and the creeping sense in our culture that you have to get a lot for you money. And so you do. Both on your plate and on your ass.

I'm very good about maintaining my weight. It's been pretty stable for a long time now. I'm good at stable. What I'm not so good at is losing it. It's like I'm most comfortable in a size 12. 10 makes me happy, 14 makes me cry, but I'm generally a 12. I want to be an 8. To be an 8 again, I need to drop about 25 lbs. Less than 20 doesn't sound daunting. More than 20 makes me shudder. I have more than 20 to lose. Hence, the tired and boring resolution to do so.

My favorite forms of exercise have always been running and swimming. For a few years, swimming was tops for me. Back when Mr. Chick was a student and we had access to the gorgeous student rec center with a gigantic pool perfect for a lap swimmer like myself. But now? No such luck. So I'm back to running. Running, which I can do in my neighborhood for free (if you don't count the cost of shoes). I've never been much for gyms. I get bored in gyms. Treadmills and weights and aerobics classes bore me. I like the solitude of swimming and running, I guess. I like to sweat in private. And speaking of private, I'm not one to embrace working out to tapes, either. I just get bored with them, too, and never stick with it for long. Sure, they're good if the weather is truly bad, but as the main form of exercise, I'll pass. Since I'm back running more frequently, I finally purchased some new running shoes (see previous post). Bad shoes can cause injury, and my old shoes were just asking for that to happen. I'm still a casual runner, only going about 3 miles, on average, 2-3 times per week. Again, the maintenance plan. Good for keeping me stable, but not doing much to help me shed the chub. It's time to step it up and shed that chub! I'm oh-so-tired of being a "muffin top".

And so, here it is at 8:30pm and I'm getting ready to put my children to bed, and I've already set my alarm for the shockingly early time of 6am. I've always found that I am a morning exerciser. It wakes me up and gives me energy. If I work out in the evening it keeps me awake. Plus, I'm lazy and only take one shower a day (if that, truth be told, but always if I've exercised). If I work out first thing then I only NEED to shower in the morning. It's my plan to go for a 3.5 mile run first thing in the morning before Mr. Chick needs to shove off for work. Or, in the unusual situation we have tomorrow of needing to be at the Title company to sign the papers closing the sale of our house at 8am. Either way, I'll be exercised and fresh for the day. And then I'll try to do it again the next day, and the next, and the next. On Sunday I rest.

I've already committed to do the "Rainier to Pacific" race in the summer. It's an 11-person relay team that runs something like 180+ miles (from Mt. Rainier in Washington state to the Pacific ocean). It takes over 24 hours to do. Each team member runs 3 legs of 3-6 miles each (approx.). It's fun! I did it the first time in 2002. Mr. Chick has done the bigger, more well-known version called "Hood to Coast" for 5 years now. I need a goal to keep me motivated, so this is it. I'm sure I'll sign up to do a few fun-runs along the way - summer is a long way away. A few 5k races, maybe an 8k or even a 10k. I've done the marathon - that was great. My new ultimate goal? A mini triathalon. I think a triathalon would be a blast! I just need the courage to actually do it. And the funds to buy a proper bike. Mine is waaayyy too old and heavy to be of any use in a race situation. Riding to a football game with the kids in the trailer in the back? Sure. A race? No way in hell. So the triathalon idea will have to wait a bit. Instead, I'll just keep my eye on the relay and train for that. More than just being able to go the distance, which I already can, I want to train for the hills and for speed. I want to be faster. I have a lot of work to do. And hopefully, by working towards the goal of the race, I'll lose a few pounds in the process. If weight loss isn't my first goal but more of a pleasant side-effect, I won't be constantly thinking about it.

6am is going to come awfully early.....

Hi MP! I have just started reading your blog(thru Kelly of course). Good for you! Isn't running about the best exercise as far as weight loss? You should give me some tips!
I highly recommend the Danskin Women's triathlon for your first. It's all women. And all fun. Good for you getting back to running. I need to get back with it too.
Good for you -- exercise? What's that? I dread the days of shorts and short sleeve shirts when my smaller frame is revealed to be a flabby sack of, well, flab. Muscle tone? What's that??

Oh and 6 am is wake-up every day here. Sam has never seen a sunrise he doesn't like!

Hey! I'm also wanting to lose some weight this year. I'm going for 10-15 lb, and am not a big exerciser! I love to walk in the summer, but I'm not a runner. I know to lose this weight and tone up I must step up the exercise program. I also live WAY north, so it is usually very cold and snowy, so that also makes it hard to get outside. I'm like you, I don't like exercise tapes and get bored easily, plus a gym costs too much right now. So, I'm just doing things here at home, riding my stationary bike and sit ups and such until it is nice enough to get out and walk/(possibly run)!
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