I’m almost there. Well, I’m actually way past the first there—the initial 10 pounds I set as my original goal. Once I’d gotten to that goal, I set myself the goal of a total of 20 pounds before we left for Europe (on Monday!). That last stubborn pound just won’t give up, but neither will I. I almost always lose weight when we are traveling because we are usually very active, so I guess I’m just going to have to leave that last little bit in Italy or France. They can keep it.
Looking back on the last nine months, 19 pounds and 2,045,695 steps (yes, that’s really the number my FitBit has recorded) I’ve realized that thinking about losing the pounds and doing the exercise is really much harder than actually getting out and doing it. It’s so easy to get yourself into an endless loop of Scarlett O’Hara-ism. “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Like many people, I’m not really a fan of exercise, so it’s very easy to come up with a bunch of excuses to not go out. “It’s raining.” “I have to fold laundry.” “After I get all the Hay Day crops harvested on my iPad.” I’m sure you, too, have some silly excuses. It really is easier to not think about it, put the iPad away, forget the laundry (it’ll still be there when you get back), put on your rain gear and just get out. I have also realized that I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I have finished a walk. I like to think of it as vanquishing, what cartoonist Matthew Inman (AKA, The Oatmeal) calls, “The Blerch,” that part of you that just wants to sit on the couch with a bag of chips, binge watching something horrible
As I have mentioned before, distractions help. I have listened to some really good books in the last 9 months. Some stinkers, too, but that’s to be expected. Right now, I’m listening to Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation Speaks,” his sequel to “The Greatest Generation.” I highly recommend it. Motivators help the exercise regimen, too, and I recently found an exercise app called Charity Miles which will track your distance and for every mile walked, ridden, or run, one of their corporate partners will donate money to one of several charities that have signed up with the organization. It’s a satisfying feeling to know that while you are out doing something for yourself, you are helping others. So far, in 36.8 miles, Humana and Johnson & Johnson have donated $9.20 to the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Parks Foundation! Every step counts!! Another blow to the Blerch.
So, now that my weight goal is nearly there, it’s time to look ahead. My original reason for doing this should have been for better health and all that, but it wasn’t. My original reason was so that when we take off on our European lark, I wanted to be able to enjoy the fun foods and wines and still be able to zip my skirts. I’m good, now!
We are super excited about this trip. It all began last winter when we were watching “Rush,” the movie about Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda. I casually mentioned that it might be fun to go to an F1 race, and that was all that was needed to set the, um, wheels in motion. We are going to the Italian Grand Prix in Monza and then spending a couple of weeks exploring France, including Avignon, Carcassone, Britany, the D-Day beaches and Chartres. We are flying Iceland Air, so on the way home, we will take three days to visit Iceland, too.
So, folks, it’s time for me to start packing, but before I end this essay, I’d like to leave you with a question to think about: what can you do to “Beat the Blerch?”*
*Used by permission from Matthew Inman. Think about entering his Carnation “Beat The Blerch” I really mean that. Next year. This year is sold out.
— By Cheryl Wolotira
This is the latest in a series of fitness columns by Cheryl Wolotira, a retired educational technologist and middle school teacher. She is married, the mother of two adult children and three Labs. Cheryl loves to read, is a keen traveler, an enthusiastic consumer of technology, and is passionate about food and wine, which is why she has to exercise.
Cheryl is working with Pritam Potts, owner of Edmonds-based Advanced Athlete LLC, to reach her fitness goals.