It’s been quite long enough that I’ve been a potato in my own domicile. Details aside, but I have one of those odometer-shuddering birthdays coming up this year, and I want to make sure that I’m leaving this decade in better shape than I entered it. I want to stop running out of energy and breath when playing with my kids, and want to feel that I can do anything I want without thinking about whether I’m in good enough shape to do it. I also want the mental focus that comes with not having the mental nagging that you aren’t taking care of yourself.
My brother has been going on about watching The Biggest Loser for the last while, and his super-fit wife watches with him, but it just never appealed to me. However, I knew the premise, and mentioned to a co-worker who was also starting to get in shape that he and I should do a biggest loser challenge. I’ve always thought it would be fun to try a challenge with someone else to see how much we could lose, but this morphed into something much bigger than I thought. Once word got out, more people wanted in, and there are now 5 of us. We are taking pledges to raise money for charity, and are trying to get our whole company behind this friendly little competition. While the idea was great through December, the reality is that as New Year’s Day approached, I began to feel somewhat squeamish about the whole thing – and all too late, as I was committed.
I had already decided what I was going to do to lose the weight. Diet and excercise, and quit my “social smoking” – radical concept, I know.. No swiss chard and grapefruit diet for me. I began running on January 1, and today completed my fourth run. I’m following the C25K (“Couch to 5K) program which is very similar to what The Running Room has taught for many years – without the cost of The Running Room’s lessons on interval training. I’ve found some helpful training information online at coolrunning.com and also from the Podrunner podcasts. The latter are very helpful – music mixes with audio cues when to switch from walking to running, and back. They follow the coolrunning.com C25K schedule, and they mean that you don’t have to be worried about watching your stopwatch – you can just plug them in and go. The music mixes brisk walking and running tempos, so it really doesn’t take a lot of thought. It also gets me outside with one of my dogs, who is fantastic company.
I’ve also started to play badminton again, and anyone that poo-poos that sport hasn’t played at the level I used to. I was never going to be the greatest, but I trained pretty hard and really enjoyed it. I never knew how much I missed it, and it’s been a lot of fun to get back to – but it is one hell of a workout. I’ve not really played in 12 years, except for (I think) 2 occasions, so my hand-eye co-ordination, many of my shots, my timing, and my legs all have a long way to go to come back – along with my stamina, which used to be really quite good. I hope to play twice a week – I can play up to three times locally, and it is within walking distance of my house, so there is really no excuse for me not to get out there.
So we had our first weigh-in on the 4th of January, 2010, with the 5 of us sworn to secrecy on the actual tonnage each of us walks around with. The winner will be the one that loses the greatest percentage of body fat. We are collecting pledges from our friends and colleagues with some prizes thrown in. The idea is to lose weight, but what the heck – we can do some good for others at the same time we are doing good for ourselves.
So … why blog?
It seems that everyone that starts to blog feels the need to explain themselves. Mine is simple – to track my progress. I’m linking in my twitter feed, my strands.com rss feed (at this time it’s not working, but the previous link should, and I will get it fixed somehow) and using this as the spot to aggregate everything. Hopefully it works – not the aggregation, but the weight loss. Wish me luck.