Archives for posts with tag: fitness


Since the beginning of the month, I decided I would try to walk at least 3 miles each day. I came up with this plan when I realized that in order for me to hit a total of 1,000 miles walked by end of the year, I’d have to really commit to going out every day, AND walk a sizeable distance.

I know it’s a long shot, because it gives me little wiggle room for sickness or just plain being too busy. And let’s face it…walking can be boring. But I have found the solution to making walking up and down the same streets every single day less monotonous.


Not Risk the game. No, I’m talking about the podcast. I discovered it at the beginning of the summer while searching for a new story-telling podcast. I got hooked on this wonderous form of entertainment when librivox ran out of interesting (and dated) audiobooks for me to listen to. After years of Eleanor H. Porter, Lucy Maude Montgomery, Horatio Alger Jr and various books by the Brontë sisters, I needed some fresh material.

I had discovered a few really good podcasts, which I wrote about here, but eventually I had run through all the episodes. My favorite of the bunch was the Porchlight Storytelling series, which was comprised of fairly average folks standing up in front of an audience to tell a true-life story, not lasting longer than 10 minutes.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 1.16.44 PMAfter exhausting every episode, I had to find a new place to hang my podcast hat. After a quick Google search and the following BuzzFeed recommendation, I quickly plugged in my iPod and subscribed to several of the suggested podcasts. I don’t know why I started with Risk! Maybe because it was adverstised as “Bold Stories from Bold People.” Perhaps it’s because I am decidedly “unbold.” (see yesterday’s post)

Anyhoo – after the first episode, I was hooked. Now I am officially binge listening. I loaded my little iPod with as many episodes as it could possibly hold.

Many of the stories can be quite kinky – there’s a lot of very frank stories about sex and body parts. But it’s not all cock, balls, tits and ass. There are stories about personal growth, and abuse; stories about shitting your pants, having a child, or making a friend.

I never know if I’m going to bust out laughing or shed a tear – both of which can seem odd when you are just walking around the neighborhood. All I know is that for the hour it takes me to walk the 3 miles every morning, I’m am usually so engaged in the stories these wonderful people are sharing with me, that before I know it, I’m back home. And thanks to this podcast, it all seemed so effortless.

Eventaully I will run out of RISK! episodes and be stuck waiting for a new episode like every other shmoe out there. Sigh. Thank goodness there’s still at least 10 more seemingly good podcasts to go.

I’ve got a lot of miles to cover.

At the end of last year I remember logging onto and looking at my walking totals for 2014. I was amazed that I had walked over 400 miles. 402 to be exact.

I posted it to Facebook, and told all my coworkers of my acheivement, saying how I could have walked to New York City as that’s only 383 miles away. I was all puffed and proud, and determined to keep it up.

Enter 2015. So far this year? I’ve walked 524 miles. And it’s only the end of July. I am also on my second pair of sneakers. The pair I bought at the end of December 2014 had holes in them.

This amazes me. I was so proud of that 400 mile mark last year, and here I’ve blown that total out of the water by May. Could I make it to 1,000 miles by the year’s end?

Could I???

Some quick calculating tells me I’d have to walk no less than 95 miles per month for the rest of the year. I only walk in the mornings during the summer – It’s just too hot for me to go out during lunch. But once the fall comes, I should be able to log at least 5 miles a day.

And I would walk 500 more…

It’s worth a try, right?


Back in January I was fed up.

I had just turned 50. I was fat. I was tired. Nothing fit. Looking ahead to a summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, I realized with a clarifying certainty that I didn’t want to go there in my current condition. To review: fat, tired, and having nothing that fit.

So I logged back into and starting keeping track of what I ate. I set a calorie goal, and for the most part, stuck to it. Have I been perfect? Hell no. Sometimes finances (or lack thereof) forced me to eat more carbs than I would’ve liked during a week here and there. Other times I just said “fuck it” and had pizza with my family.

But I never backslid for more than a day. I always got right back on the wagon.

I also increased the amount of time I spent walking. I began setting mileage goals each month. I walked 56 miles in January, 72 in February, 89 in March, and tomorrow, after my morning walk, I will have walked 100 miles in April. I’ve walked 315 miles so far in 2015.

And I bragged back in December about having walked 400 miles in 2014. Pshaw – I’ll have that beat by mid-May.

The result?

I’m down over 35 pounds and I’m down 4 sizes. while 35 pounds is great, I have to admit it’s a little disappointing. I thought it would be a lot more by now. There’s room for improvement in my diet which I’m sure would help to shed more pounds – I know where and when I’m messing up, but for the most part, I’m pleased.

I’m seeing improvements in other ways besides the scale. I’ve lost over 5 inches on my hips, and 2 inches on my thighs – how could I not after 315 miles? I also feel much better. Things that used to tire me out, like the uphill walk from my parking lot to my office, don’t bother me anymore.

But the real motivators are mornings like I had today. When you slip on a pair of pants that haven’t fit you in years, and they both zip up and button. And not button where you look like 10 pounds of baloney in a 5 pound bag – I’m talking with relative ease. I was amazed, because I tried these very pants on in March and while my thighs could squeeze in, the button? No way, José.

Or when my girls and I went to opening day at King’s Dominion, and I fit in every roller coaster seat with ease. There was no trouble getting the lap bar to two clicks, and I never had to sit with one ass cheek in the air.

Those things motivate me more than any number that comes up on the scale because they’re the real measure of my success. I’ve eaten a lot less than usual today because my pants fit, and I feel good in them. I feel skinny. It’s a phenomenal feeling, and a great appetite supressant.

I still have a long way to go before vacation in July, and I am going to have to take a hard, honest look at my diet and make some adjustments. Otherwise I’ll be going to Martha’s Vineyard just like I am now, and while that wouldn’t be horrible, it’s not my goal.

I’m off to a great start. I just have to keep on keeping on. Wonder where the next 100 days will take me?

Last week I re-began my diet. I have also spent the week trying to talk my two daughters into eating better and getting more active. Last night we decided to try one of the OnDemand exercise programs, but it was really hard. The moves seemed impossible to follow and it made me feel old and clumsy. My kids didn’t fare any better. We finished the 10 minute routine out of breath and somewhat discouraged at our lack of rhythm.

I’m out of shape – like really out of shape. And really over weight. It bums me out because I remember a time when I would exercise a lot. Granted, it was in my teens and twenties, but I wonder how and why I lost that urge. I can recall times as a teenager when after reading the latest Glamour or Seventeen, I would become totally disgusted with my body. I would consequently put on some shorts and head out for a jog, determined to whip my Slovak ass into shape.

I don’t jog. How did I ever jog?

In high school I lifted weights too. My friend John had a barbell set he wasn’t using and gave it to me.  I bought a book on female body building and began pumping iron in my room. By senior year I had decent biceps and a pretty flat stomach. I continued the trend through college. I could lat pull 110 pounds, and do dozens of sit ups at the highest bench incline.

After college I joined a gym and did aerobic classes 5 nights a week. I could wear spandex. I shopped at Express. Where did that girl go?

Gee, I know. She’s 20 years older buried under a ton of flab, drinking too much wine and not watching what she eats. I had to put a stop to that way of life and try to get back some of my former self. I can’t join a gym – not in my budget. So, I will do what I can with walking, using my trusty exercise bike, and revisiting my old VHS work out tapes.

Enter Jane Fonda. I used to do her tapes all the time. But for the last dozen plus years they have sat unused with all the other VHS tapes. I still have a VCR, but it’s in my daughter’s room – she’s the only one who still likes to watch our old tapes. But her room in small, and has little floor space; not optimum for getting my Jane on.

Yet, after our disaster workout using modern methods the night before, I decided to give old Jane another try. Tape in hand, I trudged into my daughter’s small, cramped room and catapulted myself back to the early 90’s with Jane Fonda’s Lower Body Solution. And I soon realized something – this was the perfect workout for me.

It’s not too hard, but enough to get me sweating. I know all the moves – I’ve done the tape at least a hundred times. My daughter, who wanted to join me but quickly discovered there was no room for her to grapevine and knee lift along side me, was laughing at the fact that I could recite the prompts of the instructors even though I had not used the tape in at least 5 years. I finished the tape and felt great; like you are supposed to feel after a workout.

After a shower I went to our video store and handed in all my Jane tapes to be transferred to DVD. This way my girls and I can take over the living room and I can teach them the moves of Fonda Fitness. Maybe they will like it as much as I do.

In any case, I’m psyched that I found my Fonda. I’ll show that scale who’s boss.


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