Life Moves Pretty Fast…

(Disclaimer: Some have claimed that this post is basically recycled lines from a 1980’s movie starring Matthew Broderick. Those claims are outrageous and absolutely true.)

Radio Host: It’s a beautiful day in John’s body with a temperature expected to hover around 98.6. Morning workout and healthy breakfast enter his room and find him in bed long after it’s time to exercise eating packaged donuts and drinking a Coke. 

Morning Workout: Healthy breakfast!

Healthy Breakfast: What’s the matter?

Morning Workout: Oh, it’s John.

Healthy Breakfast: What’s wrong?

Morning Workout: What’s wrong? For Pete’s sake, look at him and what he’s eating.

Healthy Breakfast: (leans in close) John?

Morning Workout: He doesn’t have a fever, but he says his stomach hurts and he’s seeing spots.

Healthy Breakfast: What’s the matter, Buddy?

John: (looks down at his food) Oatmeal? Blueberries?

Morning Workout: Look at his tummy, it’s large and flabby. 

Healthy Breakfast: (Pats John’s stomach and makes a frowny face) Oooh.

John: Ok, I’ll get up and exercise. (Starts to get up)

Morning Workout and Healthy Breakfast: No! (Pushes him back into bed)

John: I have to eat something healthy. (Tries to get up again)

Morning Workout and Healthy Breakfast: (Pushes John back into bed) No!

John: I have to work out. I want to eat a good breakfast so I can have a healthy body and a fruitful life.

Morning Workout: You are not going to exercise in this condition. 

Proper Hydration: (Enters John’s room. Crosses her arms and taps right foot) Oh fine, what’s this? What’s his problem?

Healthy Breakfast: He doesn’t feel well.

Proper Hydration: Yeah, right. Look at what he’s eating and drinking in bed. I wouldn’t use that to fertilize the lawn.

John: Hydration? Is that you? Hydration? I can’t see that far. Proper Hydration? I… (falls back into bed)

Proper Hydration: No big breakfast or workout, Junior? Granola? Morning walk?

Healthy Breakfast: Go on now, Proper Hydration. (turns to comfort John) What he needs is a McGriddle and a Coke.

Proper Hydration: He gets to eat like that in bed? I can’t believe this. If I was bleeding out of my eyes, you guys would make me provide hydration for those who exercise and eat well. This is so unfair!

John: Hydration, please don’t be upset with me. You have your health. Be thankful…

Proper Hydration: That’s it. I want out of this health and fitness relationship. 

John: (Pulls blanket up to his neck). I’ll just sleep late. Maybe I’ll have a few slices of pizza around noon. 

Morning Workout: (Sits on the edge of bed, tucking John in) Now, I’m teaching about fiber to that new couple from Vermont today so my office will know just where I am if you need me, ok?

Healthy Breakfast: I’ll check on you too, Pal.

John: It’s nice to know that I have such loving, caring habits that look the other way at times. You’re both very special. 

(Morning Workout and Healthy Breakfast smile at each other)

Morning Workout: Now you get better Pumpkin.

John: Ok, Pumpkin…

Morning Workout and Healthy Breakfast: We love you sweetie.

John: I love you too. And it’s all about me me me me me. 

Morning Workout and Healthy Breakfast hold hands as they exit.

John: (Leans up in bed with donut crumbs falling down his chest, looks at the camera and smiles) They bought it.

John: (Stands up, opens a Slim Jim and cracks open a second Coke) Incredible. One of the worst performances of my career and they never doubted it for a second. How could I possibly be expected to exercise and eat healthy on a day like this.

Acting like I’m not feeling well in order to treat myself poorly and eat what I want is a little childish and stupid, but then again, so is exercise. 

Life moves pretty fast, but it won’t if you follow my example. If you don’t stop and really look at what you’re doing to yourself once in a while, you could miss it.

*Image by Toronto artists Sarah Keenlyside and Joe Clement

Healthy Eating’s Evil Cousin

I’ve been writing about healthy eating recently. So much so that I feel I’ve neglected it’s evil cousin….

Exercise.

Before I delve into my real feelings about this plague on the soul of humanity, let’s have a little background. Exercise was invented by Cain, one of the sons of Adam and Eve, who murdered his brother then ran, or jogged, away from the crime scene. I realize that statement is not in the Bible, but people have been running, or “jogging,” ever since.

Exercise, better known as self-inflicted torture, has been prescribed to me time and again by health care professionals, personal trainers, and other bullies. It’s supposed to help reduce my stress, raise my metabolism, and steal my joy.

So, I’ve started exercising again, sort of. I went to the gym until it closed because of Covid-19, but I’ve been walking almost everyday since, unless it rains, is too hot, or I don’t want to. My gym has since opened back up but I’m being cautious about returning because of the virus. Yeah, that’s it. That’s why I haven’t returned. 

One of my “gym friends” keeps telling me I’m “weak and lazy.” He yells at people and wears really tight t-shirts for a living. He calls himself a personal trainer and wants me to hire him to make me miserable. I told him exercise alone does a pretty good job without his help. Then he usually says, “You know, If you start exercising with me, you’re going to get addicted.”

Yeah, I don’t see that happening. 

If exercising is so addictive, then why is it so easy to quit? 

Besides, whenever you hear about someone being addicted to something, they’re usually describing something that’s bad for you like alcoholic beverages, non-prescription drugs, jogging, and weight lifting.

Exercising is not really fun, but I guess it is good for me. I do want to be healthier, I just wish I didn’t have to move so much to make it happen. I guess for now I’ll keep walking. It’s better than jogging. In the words of David Lee Roth, “I used to jog, but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.”

P.S. I apologize if I’ve offended any personal trainers. This is all for fun and my apology has nothing to do with the fact that most of you could easily beat me to a pulp.

*Photo courtesy of Lucas Favre and Unsplash

Have You Fallen Recently?

The older I get, the more medical professionals ask me if I’ve had any recent falls.

Recent.

It’s like they’re thinking, “This guy is so out of shape that he’s bound to have fallen in the past few days. He couldn’t possibly balance all of that bulge.” 

I understand it’s all routine procedure and they aren’t personally attacking me (maybe) but the whole experience does show me that I need to be more serious about my own health and fitness. 

I’m thrilled about this and I plan to have a good attitude about it…

Yeah, right, that’s it.

Fact is, I don’t like watching my weight, I’m not a fan of exercise, I despise consistent healthy eating practices. And might I just add that kale is a tool of Satan used to destroy the happiness of men (and reasonable women) everywhere. 

What do I like to eat? I’m glad you asked. I like eating unhealthy foods, better known as “anything that tastes good.” I especially like carbonated, caffeinated, sugary drinks. I’m a big fan of red meat and I’m a consistent consumer of trans fat. I’m voting for gluten in the next presidential election.*

Well, you get the picture. I need help. I need accountability.

A lot of men my age do. 

Now, I have lost about 20 lbs since the beginning of the year. I’ll tell you the secret. If you want to lose weight, live with my wife during a world wide pandemic where she sees everything you eat for months… and walk a lot.

Seriously, now that things are opening back up, I don’t want to find all the weight that I’ve lost. So I’m starting on a new journey to be healthy. A few years ago, I posted a daily blog where I listed out everything I ate for the whole world to see. As time went by, I also listed my water consumption and exercise log. The accountability was amazing and the feedback was helpful. I lost 48 lbs during the process.

I’m not planning on doing that again, but I am interested in writing about my fitness journey. It seems to keep me committed. 

So I welcome your suggestions, especially if you’re starting to receive AARP applications in the mail or if you grew up listening to 80’s music on cassettes. Post your comments below, message me privately, text or email me. Let me know what helps you stay healthy. Thanks in advance.

P.S. I’m not really voting for Gluten. It’s not even registered as a candidate.

*Photo courtesy of Online Marketing and Unsplash

Tired Of My Own Excuses

ExcusesI belong to a fitness club. It’s right next to my office. When I say “right next” I don’t mean “right next door,” I mean it’s in the same building as my office. When I enter the offices, I have to walk right past their front door. And yet, for most of this past year, I still couldn’t get there. I was always too busy, my schedule wouldn’t allow it, or some other excuse always came to mind.

Here are some of my favorite excuses I’ve made:

  1. Surely walking to the convenience store (past the door to the gym) for a Coke is exercise enough.
  2. It takes too long to get there. (Did I mention it’s right next to my office?)
  3. Exercise is boring. (Yes, I’d rather not spend 30 minutes on an elliptical machine or treadmill with a television or a book right in front of me)
  4. I just don’t want to move today.
  5. I only have an hour lunch. There’s no way I could bring my lunch and still have time to work out (I don’t even have to go outside.)

More than likely, my excuses are (and I quote Jim Gaffigan), “Today I can’t exercise because I don’t wanna and tomorrow I’m not going to be interested.”

I’ve had enough of my own sorry excuses. I’m tired of waiting for motivation. I’m tired of carrying around more weight than necessary.

I’m pretty imaginative and I’m sure I could continue creating excuses, but I’m not going to do that anymore.

I’m working out today.

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How To Run For 22 Minutes (Without Stopping) in 7 Easy Steps

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I’ve been using the App – C25KFree (Couch to 5K Free) for the past six weeks.  Today, I finished the day 3 workout of week 6, which includes 22 minutes of running without stopping.  In case you’re trying to do the same thing, here are 7 easy steps for running 22 minutes without stopping.  Enjoy.

Step #1 – Wake up in the morning, lay very still and listen intently for rain, snow, sleet, hail, a dense fog, mist, strong winds, mild winds, gentle breezes or anything uncontrollable that might keep you from having to get out of bed to exercise.

Step #2 – While still in bed, tell your wife that you are not in denial about not wanting to exercise.

Step #3 – Angrily roll out of bed, stumping the toes of your right foot on the hard wooden furniture that you insisted on buying fifteen years ago.

Step #4 – Have the following conversation with your wife:

You:  Honey, do you think I should just not exercise today?

Wife:  Why?

You:  My toes really hurt.

Wife:  What happened?

You:  I stubbed them on your furniture.

Wife:  My furniture?  You mean the bed?

You:  Yeah.

Wife:  You’re somehow suggesting that you stubbing your toe…

You:  (interrupting)  Toes!

Wife:  Ok.  You’re suggesting that you stubbing your “toes” on the bed is my fault.

You:  Yes.  If you hadn’t suggested this brand then we wouldn’t have all this hard wood in the house.

Wife:  Go exercise, you big baby.

You:  What?

Wife:  Go.

You:  Ok.

Step #5 – Cry

Step #6 – Change your clothes and walk out the door.

Step #7 – Put your headphones in, play some music, warmup for 5 minutes, then run (or jog) for 22 minutes without stopping.

Enjoy your workout!

Related Posts:

The Stitch – Why I wanted to quit Couch to 5k

Why I decided to lose the lose it App

3 Reasons Soft Drinks Hinder A Good Workout

The Stitch – Why I Wanted To Quit Couch To 5k

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Last night, C25k (Couch to 5k) Week 5 Day 3 got the best of me.  It was my first time in the program where I was supposed to jog for 20 minutes without stopping, so I was somewhat apprehensive before beginning my time of exercise.  However, two days earlier, I surpassed the 8 minute mark without stopping, then walked for 5 minutes before running another 8 minutes without stopping, so I believed that I could probably pull it off.

I was wrong.

After 9.5 minutes of running, I felt a terrible stitch in my side so I slowed to a walk.  A stitch is sometimes called a side cramp. It’s an intense stabbing pain under the lower edge of the ribcage that occurs during exercise.  After 4 minutes of walking, I ran for another 8.5 minutes.  I finished the workout, but felt terrible because I didn’t meet my goal of running 20 minutes without stopping.

I wanted to just give up and resign myself to being an out of shape fat guy.  That’s not such a bad thing, is it?

Today, however, I decided not to let it get the best of me, so I googled stitches during exercise.  According to my online friends, here are three causes:

1.  Running too soon after eating.  (Waiting two to three hours after eating is best)

2.  Drinking high sugar beverages right before or during exercise.

3.  Shallow or Irregular breathing during exercise.

I also looked for ways to prevent a stitch during exercise.  Here are three options:

1.  Stop running (or at least slow down)

2.  Raise your right arm over your head.  (The stretching sometimes helps relieve the stitch)

3.  Try to exhale as your left foot is moving forward. (This basically helps to set a pattern for your breathing, extremely important in all exercise)

I started running to Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough.  Before the song was over, a stitch was already forming in my side.  I started slowing down and considered quitting before I even reached 5 minutes.  However, slowing down helped, so I continued.  Around the 10 minute mark, the stitch returned, so I started watching my breathing, ensuring that I was exhaling as my left leg moved forward.  That seemed to help, so once I continued.  Finally, it returned around the 14 minute mark and I wanted to quit, but since I had already come so far I pressed on.  I slowed my running, focused once again on my breathing, and raised my right arm over my head.  The three items together helped and before I knew it, I had run for 20 minutes without stopping.

As I reached the 20 minute mark, Michael Jackson was singing Bad.  That’s exactly how I felt.

 

I Survived My First Day of Week 5 of Couch to 5K

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A minute before my running time was up today, my side starting hurting.  I couldn’t believe that I might have to stop before my time was up.  However, instead of stopping the run, I decided to slow down until my cool down.  My side didn’t stop hurting, but it did ease up enough for me to finish the run. 

This afternoon, I started week #5 of C25K (Couch to 5K).  My workout for today began with a brisk 5-minute warmup walk followed by a 5-minute run, a 3-minute walk, another 5-minute run, a second 3-minute walk, a third 5-minute run, then a 5-minute cool-down walk.  I’m proud to say that I finished it without stopping (or vomiting).  However, my second day of week #5 takes me to a new level completely.  It begins with a brisk 5-minute walk, followed by an 8 minute run, a 5 minute walk, another 8 minute run, then a 5 minute cool-down walk.

If I survive this week of exercise, I’ll let you know.  🙂

Related Posts:

Why I chose to try the couch to 5k free workout app

Week two of Couch to 5k

3 Reasons Soft Drinks Hinder A Good Workout

 

 

3 Reasons Soft Drinks Hinder A Good Workout

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am a soft drink junkie, especially when it comes to Coca-Cola.  However, 3 weeks ago, I began using the App, C25Kfree (Couch To 5K free) and I began jogging for the first time in my life.

(I would really recommend the App for anyone with an iPhone who is wanting to get into shape and lose weight.  I can feel the benefits after only 3 weeks.)

After the first couple of runs, I came face to face with the cold hard reality that it was time for me to stop drinking soft drinks.  The main reason is that they were severely hindering my workouts.  Here are the 3 main reasons I found when I did just a little bit of study on the subject:

3 Reasons Soft Drinks Hinder A Good Workout

  1. Proper hydration is critical – Your body needs adequate amounts of water in order to carry nutrients to your muscles and to then remove waste produced during physical activity.  Carbonated drinks do not hydrate your body sufficiently and therefore hinder the maximum impact of your exercise.
  2. Bloating – Carbonated beverages cause bloating.  This is often seen around your waistline, when gas builds up in your stomach.  During exercise, this can result in slight stomach pain.
  3. Shortness of breath – Many carbonated soft drinks contain caffeine, which is a central nervous system stimulant.  It speeds up your heart rate and your breathing.  This is what makes you feel short of breath as you exercise and your rate of inhaling and exhaling increases.

If you’ve experienced similar results, please share your comments with me.  It will really encourage me as I continue towards my running goal.

Related post:

Why I chose to try the couch to 5k free workout app

Week Two of Couch to 5k