Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Quote Day

The difference between what we do
and what we are capable of doing
would solve most of the world’s problems.

~ Gandhi

I’m perfectly willing to let my President solve the world’s problems. He seems to know what he’s doing.

I’m going to assume Gandhi’s advice works on a personal level, as well.

I lost a bunch of weight more than a dozen years ago. (Today is my older granddaughter’s 12th birthday, and I know I was thin when she was born. Not thin-ner – thin.) I lost that weight via a combination of Xtreme dieting and Xtreme exercising. Meaning, I was eating an almost-no-fat diet and I worked out two hours a day. Every day. In a gym. And I ran a mile to and from the gym. Every day.

I may not be capable of doing that any more, considering I’m a dozen years older. Age takes its toll on our stamina and abilities. But the truth is, I’m not even willing to try.

The no-fat diet was a mistake. Yes, I lost weight, but I also lost the ability to stay warm. My skin was dry, flaky and itchy; my hair was dull and lifeless. The only meal I enjoyed was breakfast, which was a hot, fresh-from-the-0ven bagel. No cream cheese. No butter. Just a plain bagel, which I ate at my desk when I got to work.

The workout plan probably wasn’t a mistake. Obviously I handled it, even looked forward to it. Could I do it again? Maybe. But I’d have to do a complete overhaul of my thinking in order to even come close. Working out in a gym – my gym – was very motivating. The trainers all knew my name and had seen me get smaller. I knew many of the members and enjoyed talking with them while we sweated it out on the stairmaster or treadmill. My home gym doesn’t have the same rah-rah atmosphere. The equipment is here, but I don’t have any cheerleaders.

I can certainly walk outside for two hours at a stretch, and have done it many times. There’s something about being outdoors that makes time kind of slip away. When I’m on the rower or treadmill, though, I’m watching the clock the whole time.

And time is the key, it seems, for me to burn enough calories to make a difference.

This past week I’ve been doing a different kind of workout, the all-day, work-your-ass-off, day-laborer kind of physical activity that stretches your body and makes your muscles sore, but doesn’t raise your heart rate or burn fat. So it’s been another week of seeing the same number on the scale.

What I’ve learned from all this house-work is that I’m capable of performing sustained activity, and that I enjoy it. Most of the time. It’s tiring, but I can see progress at the end of the day.

I just don’t get that satisfaction from exercise machines.

Not only is it time for change in D.C., it’s time for a change in my attitude.


Marla said...

I've never done well on a low-fat diet. That's the first thing I tried, years ago, when it was the current (incorrect) thinking. I gained a lot of weight and became very depressed. I think the depression was due to the lack of fat in my diet, not the weight gain, as they occurred simultaneously. Never again.

I am not surprised to find that I've lost a little weight during these three weeks. As intensely as I work out in my regular schedule, 40 minutes or an hour simply cannot make up for the other 25 hours of sloth. I'm extremely sedentary, and I think most people are! We just don't realize how little we move, those of us with desk jobs. All day long the only movement I have is my mouse hand. I conclude it's not possible to create a caloric deficit through diet alone when you get that little exercise.

For a few years I've been realizing that I need a more active life, but I need it to be PART of my normal life, not something that gets tacked on or fit in around the edges. There are too many other things I need to do and want to do in life that fill up those little nooks and crannies.

I dunno the answer; I'm too old to get a job as a landscape worker or day laborer...

LG said...

BTW, those Clean House & other design shows that do things in 2 days or less, has a crew of about 50 people working. If we had 50 people under our control (one day, she laughs evilly!), we could get a lot done too!

I agree with you about the sustained activity; it's just getting started and staying that way. It's awfully easy to get derailed too, isn't it?

denise said...

No cheerleaders!?! What are we - chopped liver???


I know what you mean. When I had a gym close to my house and went regularly we all knew each other and the social interaction made it "fun" (sort of)...well at least tolerable. Once I lost that, I just can't get into going to the larger gym chain that I now belong to - and which is not nearly as close to my new home.

One of these days I'll find my knitch again and get it goin' on...hope springs eternal.