Monday, July 10, 2006

Get Thee out there and Sweat, radio guy

get thee out there and work it, fat boy

Since November, I have been dieting. Since April, I have begun an exercise program.

Big deal? Who cares? Hey, you're partly right, but read on sisters and brothers.Why should you care? I am only here to inspire, not to brag. If you want/need to lose weight, read on. Otherwise, find another blog baby.

Well, readers of this occasional blog, I tell you that this old, fat-but-slimming guy is finally getting his rewards. It's taken some months, but dividend checks are arriving.

YOU can do it. I am just an old, out-of-shape guy doing his best. If I can motivate my lazy ass off the DVD couch brigade, then so can you.

November-that's where it began. Something in November changed me. I think seeing my uncle in the last stages of his life gave a hard reminder of life's fragility and unromantic end. I literally watched him die. T.S. Eliot said something about when the dead go, we go with them. So much of that is true.As I am now 48, I see that life has entered a new stage. "It's a new game" I tell myself.

I have never been one to embrace exercise with any amount of enthusiasm for any consistent period of time. I have never really been one to embrace exercise at all truth be told. Ditto the discipline for a diet. But something new has entered here. A new energy and motivation.

First, I had to control what foods and how much. Sounds perfectly obvious, yes? No, not with Mr. Sugar Addict himself. Cookies were like heroin to me. I couldn't eat one. Nope, half the package would be gone as would "peck" around the kitchen looking for a snack. You know, get three cookies, watch some tube. Check the laundry; stop by the kitchen for more cookies, etc. etc. Soon the damn thing is empty.

Next doctor's visit, with cholesterol setting new records literally, same lies to Doc:"Been dieting?"
"Yes, but it's hard."
"We'll get you one of those charts that show the caloric blah-blah-blah..."

In one ear and out the other. I knew better, I just wasn't motivated.

When I was around 230, I was always hungry; always looking for the next snack or the next meal. I could eat and meal and then snack. Dangerous indeed.When you have a lot of weight, your stomach wants more, it's expanded. When you finally get some weight off and some control to your diet, it's so much easier to resist.

Then the exercise thing: go slow. I mean, twenty-somethings whiz by this old man, but he pays no mind. Slow and steady he goes like a turtle. Go slow and build. Everything will build.My exercise regimen began with a single walk. I now include jogging and a bit of free weights. Not much weight, but enough weight to get some blood flowing.

At first, jogging even two minutes was like carrying a granite slab on my legs. My breathing was heavy. I was hurting, man, hurting.Last week, experienced "the zone". I was jogging along Kanawha Boulevard-the best place in the valley, and suddenly I got this surge of power and energy. I had this odd sense that something was “watching over me”, giving me confidence.

I run/walk Cap to Cap:the Capitol Grounds to Capitol Street and then back. To you healthy types, that’s probably not anything, but to me it has been a source of inspiration.

Something else has come with this attempt to lose weight-a spiritual discipline. When I get first there and start stretching, I call it the Holy Hour. It is my hour of peace when my troubles are put aside and my mind is learning to let go and become clear. I love it now.

So, get out there and sweat. You’ll be amazed.

P.S. Joseph Campbell often talked about the "heavenly moment". The moment of bliss, if you will.

Last night, after a good workout, I sat alone, sipping from a cold water bottle with the sweat just pouring off of me. I realized, in that quietude, that this was indeed the heavenly moment.

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