I said last entry that I’d like to eat healthier and take a walk each day. Well, today I made stir fry and I walk to the park and back this morning. Goal accomplished. However, I spent my usual gym time at the library instead. It’s been ungraciously hot here and I’ve been less than pleased with the lack of cool air floating around. So I walked home and started thinking about healthy lifestyles.
We all know the old mantra: diet and exercise. But what does that get us? The ladies in the picture above are like tons of women I know and admire who do marathons. I see people around town already getting set up for The Great North Run which Steve did a few years.
I admire them because I simply don’t know how it’s possible. I’ve heard time and time again that running gets easier and that it’s the best form of exercise. I don’t think it’s that simple for everyone.
I started jogging outside in Florida and nearly caused myself to pass out from the heat, so I had to go indoors on a treadmill. That worked fine but I could go a minute to five minutes at a time. I kept to my Runner’s World book and paced myself as was indicated. It didn’t get easier. It was just that some moments I could jog for five minutes while other times only maybe two. I did this for a long while and I was never in any kind of marathon condition.
I also rode my bike for miles, swam for hours. I didn’t stretch or warm up I and never felt much more than some slight ache of muscles from a good workout. I ate Subway for dinner each night – counting all of my allotted Weight Watcher points. I never lost weight. Exercise does not make you lose pounds! I did Weight Watchers for years beforehand, sat on my butt smoking and counting every morsel I even thought about putting into my stomach and then I lost weight. That meant candy bars and pizza were fine as long as you took account for it. It’s not that simply once you get passed a certain age. I don’t know how weight loss is achieved easily after the age of 30.
Exercise and running (not jogging, as I do) is healthy, but how long does it take to get to that point? How obsessed and willing to throw your whole being aside for one activity? Same with eating healthy. In England I can either buy three ready made pasta dishes (fatty) for £5 or one piece of fish for one meal for £10 plus vegetables and rice for another £5 or so at least. You have to eat this way in order for running to work as a weight loss motive.
Once I moved here I’ve walked everywhere and jogged at longer instances (a whole whopping 20 minutes at a time – still not marathon ready). I’m presumably healthier. However, I’ve lost maybe a few pounds due to my inability to spend cash on fresh fish, chicken and veg each night. I’ve also still recovering from the sprained ankle I suffered from jogging over a month ago. It’s a common injury if too many miles (I was jogging a little over 1 mile) are taken on too quickly. I tried using the elliptical again for 5 minutes on Monday and was sore for a day.
It’s going to take me a very, very long time to get back into getting up to the 20 minute mark again. Steve’s telling me how stretching is the key but, seriously, haven’t I been working on this long enough that I shouldn’t be in pain that easily? And marathons? Running outside for distance? Forget it! How would I even manage that? I’m sure people who run with ease will see this as an excuse but, seriously, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to exercise. It’s not as simple as that.