Goals Update: Time to Exercise

weights stack
Photo by: Phil Dowsing

So, it’s March now.  It’s been 2 months since my New Year’s Resolution post, and probably about time to check in and see how I’m doing.

First, you may have noticed that a lot of my posts lately have been about food.  That’s because my January/February goal was “Eat more healthy meals at home.”  And I’d say I did pretty good.  There was about a 2 week period in the middle where I resorted to fast food for almost every meal, but it seems I’ve finally gotten sick of the stuff.  I started a weekly get-together with my friend Erin, where one of us makes dessert and the other makes dinner, both new recipes that we want to try.  The advantage is that we get to try new foods, practice cooking and hanging out, and if it fails, we just order pizza.  We’ve only had one inedible failure so far, so that’s pretty good!

As for the healthy quality of my meals, that could stand to improve a little more.  With more planning, I won’t have to try and scarf something as I finally run out the door to get to campus on time.  I’m also hoping to put together some more photo-worthy bento to show you guys.

My other new year’s resolutions have sort of fallen by the wayside.  Zazen doesn’t happen very often, honestly, because by the time I get home, I just want to eat something and watch tv.  Reading a book, eh, that’s happened a few times, but will probably occur more as I try to readjust my sleep schedule due to my now-diabetic cat.  (Have to give him his insulin at 8am and 8pm, and that requires me to go to bed earlier and get up earlier.)  Finances are looking better, at least.  I’m using Mint to track my spending, keep a vague idea of a budget, and set goals for myself.  I’ll probably write a future post on it, now that I think about, maybe in my new HowTo series.

So that brings me to the March/April goal: Start an exercise program.  This goal seems self-explanatory at first glance, but it’s been on my New Year’s Resolution list for years now.  The reason?  Exercise always feels like work.  I collect exercise equipment, plans, and videos with good intentions, but after a week of pain and sweat, I just give up.  When I was younger, I ran track and cross country, and while I wasn’t a fantastic athlete, I didn’t huff and puff like I do now.  But after I went off to college, I stopped working out, and things have gone downhill since then.

The only exception to this trend was a few months last year when I worked out with some friends in his garage.  We were trying out Crossfit, a different-every-day weight-lifting and metabolic conditioning program.  Basically, you push yourself really hard for about 30 minutes, and you end up with a hard core workout.  I had to start at the very bottom, and I collapsed after every workout, but it actually felt pretty good.  Unfortunately, when that friend moved away, a couple of us tried to keep it going, but it just fell apart.

So, what’s my plan to get back on the bandwagon this time?  Well, my keyword here is “baby steps.”  I’m starting with WiiFit.  Yes, I know it doesn’t really give a good hard workout, but at least it’s moving, right?  It’ll also let me get used to spending a half an hour doing some activity in the morning (while still consistently telling me I’m overweight.)  I plan to do this for the first month, or until it’s really really boring.

After that, I’m going to try a combination of SimpleFit and Couch-to-5k.  By the time April hits, it should be warm enough that I can work outside, another issue that makes starting the exercise habit in January much harder, and starting in summer impossible.  SimpleFit, to explain briefly, runs on the same principles as Crossfit: work hard, for a short amount of time, using efficient motions and good form.  Simplefit has the advantage of not needing much equipment; you basically just need a pull-up bar.  Now, I have rings, since there is no way I can do a pull-up.  Hopefully those will help me build up to a pull-up.  Couch-to-5k is a program to take people who are couch potatoes (e.g. me) and get them started into a running program over a couple months by easing them into it alternating running and walking.  By the end, they should be able to run a 5k (or about 3.1 miles) or 20 minutes straight, however you want to measure it.

Expect more exercise related posts as I dig out pieces of my various collection and decide whether to keep or toss them.  Also, as a last note, I like to work out in the mornings, because I don’t like the idea of going through the day, getting sweaty and having to take another shower at the end.  Best to get sweaty before I take my morning shower.  Or at least, that’s my thought process.  We’ll see how it works.  A later post will highlight some of the scheduling conundrums I’ve run into. These are my tentative plans, and you’re welcome to follow along.  We can all start something together.