Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Organic Fitness Regimen

No gym work-outs or sports for me. Nope. My fitness regimen is entirely organic. I get all my exercise through normal day-to-day activities. Always have. You can judge the effectiveness of my program for yourself.

After I got my first job dipping ice cream, my activity level dropped and my caloric intake exploded. Suddenly I was big boned. By high school big boned had morphed into husky.

I got drafted into the high school musical after a casting call failed to attract a sufficient number of guys. Having established my inability to act or sing, the drama teacher proclaimed I would dance. By showtime I could kick my legs as high as any Rockette and the extra pounds were gone.

Husky returned in college. Salvation came in the form of an aerobics course I took for credit in summer school. Eight weeks later I was in great shape. Near nightly trips to dance clubs, an active job waiting tables, and the pocketbook diet kept the weight off through my 20s.

Work and an endless stream of home and garden projects kept me active enough in my 30s and into my 40s to maintain a reasonable weight. Sure I gained a few pounds over the winter. Doesn't everyone? That extra pound or two a year adds up. By 45 I was 50 pounds overweight.

Inspired by teen-aged girls who lost tons of weight playing Dance Dance Revolution, we bought a video game system so we could play at home. Took a while to get good enough to burn calories, but eventually we did. Had a blast showing off at arcades because bystanders didn't expect a middle-aged man to be any good at it.

Motivated by a coworker who lost more than 100 pounds riding a bicycle, I ran over to Walmart and bought a nice red one for less than $100. It fell apart a few months later. But I rode it often enough to feel comfortable replacing it with a more expensive model.

The truth is I don't like to get hot. I sweat like crazy when I ride my bike, but at least I go fast enough most of the time to generate a nice breeze. Dance Dance Revolution was fun, and I could take breaks between songs to cool off.

I was doing great. Between yard work, Dance Dance Revolution and long bike rides my weight dropped a couple of pounds a week. Instead of 50 pounds, only six pounds stood between me and my goal.

Fate intervened. A series of minor health issues kept me off my bicycle. Guitar Hero came out. Instead of playing Dance Dance Revolution, I spent hours on the sofa honing my fake guitar-playing skills. Since then I've started two blogs, joined Facebook, and watched every single episode of dozens of reality shows.

Now I'm 30 pounds away from my original goal. Because of the dogs, I'm walking more. Not enough, just more. Hard to find a time when it's not too hot, too cold, too dark, or raining. I should go shopping for another video game. Something from Jillian Michaels might be just what the doctor ordered for...

The Crotchety Old Man

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