Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Goal: Increased Fitness in 30 Days

Here's the deal: My cousin is getting married the first weekend of May. On the beach. In Florida. (Oh, I've mentioned this once or twice, have I? Surely in connection with grumbling over the seriously inconvenient location? mmmm, thought so.)

As a result, I've been evaluating my current physical status and have not been even close to 80% satisfied with what I see, or how my clothes are starting to fit. The low numbers on the scale (which I could be content with) don't tell the whole picture*. Looking in the mirror I see flab, cellulite, lack of visibility of muscles I know are there. There is no way I'd want to be seen in a bathing suit in this condition, or shorts even. Ok, maybe one of those old-fashioned ones that had a high collar, long sleeves, and leggings under a full skirt. But not a normal bathing suit.

I know why my body looks like this (1) not continuing with Pilates after my gift certificate had run out; (2) eating whatever I wanted as a reaction to our troubles with fertility and/or in a "I might be pregnant, I should eat for two." rational; (3) lastly, but most importantly: not using the elliptical and recumbent bike occupying floor space in our bedroom as anything more than dust catchers while my rear remained firmly planted in the couch over the winter. Except for the Pilates and some skiing and a tiny bit of hiking, I have been fairly stationary for longer than I should have been.

In the interest of full disclosure: I failed the yearly national physical fitness evaluations in middle school. I was active, but not athletic so sit-ups, pull-ups, vee sit & reach (does anyone else remember that one?), and timed miles always went poorly (even the fat kids were faster than I was). As a kid I was skinny without effort. Not so true any more.

Regardless of how I got this way, I need to be stronger and healthier all around. It will benefit me now, and as I go through any future pregnancy. I don't want to spend $ to replace perfectly good clothes because they don't fit. (But spending $ on cute trendy clothes, just because, well, that's a different story.)

As a result, and with the upcoming wedding as an additional incentive, I have decided to publish my resolution to work towards improving my fitness levels. I thought April 1st was a good day - a month to see progress, improved weather, that sort of thing. So here goes...

Yesterday I kicked off the month by spending 20 minutes (25 including the warm-down) on the elliptical machine. I followed that up with a round of stretching and a little bit of arm work.

It's my goal to work in some sort of exercise every day for the next 30 days. Elliptical, recumbent bike, exercise video, or fit-tv - even if just for 5 minutes. Even a little bit of effort has to be better than no effort.

Of course, I'll keep an eye on my food intake as well. But I plan to make less of a change there than in my exercise habits. I know I could eat healthier, but I could eat a lot worse than I do, so that's a goal for another few months down the road. Making the change to add exercise to my daily routine is going to be hard enough.

I'd appreciate any tips from someone who's been there, done that. Or if you just want to cheer me on, that would be appreciated too!

*I'm not going to share them because they don't matter. Just because I'm not 20, 50, or 100 lbs over my ideal weight does not mean I don't need to improve my health and change some of that weight from fat to muscle.


  1. For me, working out in the morning before work was the best plan. That way, when the motivation wore off, I would have it done in the morning and wouldn't be able to make any excuses.
    Don't overdo it (but it sounds like you know that already).

    Most of all: Good luck!

    I was in the same boat - infertility really made me sort of lazy and really hungry. Not a great combo. And I'm not fat, really, but just fatter than I'd like.

  2. I have been trying to lift weights a lot more...even though the number on the scale is pretty much where I want it to be I was feeling like my skin was feeling a bit loose and my arms just felt and looked, well, just blah. Nothing was toned. I still feel like I have a ways to go, but I think lifting just a couple of times a week has helped. Also, I want to look nice in my strapless wedding gown! I think you are good to just try to work in a few minutes here and there and increase your goals as you go. That is definitely the way to do it! Good luck!