I hate exercising.
There. I said it. I think everyone who has started on a weight loss journey, no matter how great their goal, has started it with those three words. Before now in my life, while I was never really happy with my weight, I considered myself healthy enough to walk myself all over town. “Town” was a fairly small city, and without a car, walking was the primary mode of transportation if I wanted to get anywhere. It was something I did with regularity. Since moving from Connecticut to Tennessee, and then to Florida three years ago, well, that changed everything. Tampa is a very spread out city and nothing is really in walking distance. Plus we have a car. I’m not getting out for the fresh air and exercise that I used to on a daily basis, and it started to show. My weight jumped up forty pounds. I started retaining water in my legs and ankles. I feel awful. My doctor finally told me I need to cut out the salt and get out and exercise.
I can’t afford a gym, as much as I’d like to. So I’m left with the basics. Let’s just start with walking, shall we?
About two-plus or so months ago, I started walking regularly. I had an alarm set on my cell phone to remind me when to walk every night, Monday through Friday – just before sun down, when the sun wasn’t unbearable, the Florida heat was letting up and I wouldn’t get a sunburn. I would do circuits around the apartment complex, because outside the complex, I live on some pretty busy thoroughfares that aren’t very conducive to nice walks. I thought I was doing ok. Bumped 2 laps up to 3. Was about to bump my 3 laps up to 4 when our vacation time came around – New Orleans!
OMG the amount of walking we did while we were in New Orleans I thought my legs were going to fall off! We enjoyed the time away, and I was ready to get back into my routine, and then the worst happened: I got sick. I got hit with a nasty headcold-flu-thing that laid me up for at least a week and a half, maybe two weeks. Since then, I just haven’t been able to motivate myself back onto the exercise bandwagon. Each night my alarm goes off, each night I turn it off and make an excuse.
Yesterday, I read a bunch of fitness blogs, and a ton of personal stories about people overcoming their hatred of of exercising, and learned a lot of them started from right where I am. I need to buckle down and take my goals seriously. I promised myself that I was going to do this, that I was tired of failing myself and my goals. I popped open Google maps and made a plan – I was going to walk a mile out from my apartment, and a mile back. 2 miles, I think that’s an ok start? There was a particular University building I was using as my 1 mile marker. Once I reached that building, I was going to turn around and come back. I popped “Dune Messiah”, the second Dune book, on my iPod and headed out at 6:05pm.
Things did not go as planned.
First, some of my mp3s were messed up. How annoying. Second, I could not for the life of me find that building. I looked, checking each building on the street, but it wasn’t there. I was nearing the next major intersection, which I knew was too far. I decided to head back, re-check my maps, and see where I went wrong. I really wished I had a pedometer, it’d have made this so much easier. Thinking I had cut myself short I was disappointed in myself. I didn’t want to fail again.
I got home, tried to unwind a bit, and checked the map again. I didn’t cut myself short. I had actually passed my goal, by about .3 miles! My total walk was 2.6 miles in all. A whole .6 miles past my goal. I’m elated! My legs ached a bit and one foot was kind of hurting, but I think if I keep at it, my body will adjust. Time will tell.
Tomorrow, my alarm will go off at 6pm, and I’ll head out to make the same walk again. I’ll be doing my damnedest to maintain at least this level of activity from now til Friday, and see how my body responds to it. I think this may be the start of something amazing.