My name is Cheryl, and I’ll be borrowing Pritam Potts’ “Edmonds Fitness Corner” from time to time to share with you my fitness journey. I want to say this at the outset: I am not a fitness professional. Far from it! I’m a recovering middle school teacher, retired educational technologist, and a former member of the Fitness Protection Program. That’s where Pritam comes in. Seven years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution, the only one I have ever kept, to get into better shape and started working with Pritam at the gym she ran with her husband, Dan. I wish I could say that after all that time, I look like a fitness goddess, but that would be a lie. I can say that all that time has helped me immensely with core strength, balance and body tone.
My first aim for the occasional column hijacking is to share with you my journey toward my current fitness and weight-loss goal. My overall health goal is to stay as active and healthy as I can for as long as possible, but I also have a shorter-term goal. You see, my husband and I are planning two big trips in the next ten months and I would like to be able to enjoy all those Italian, French, Icelandic, and Costa Rican foods without too much guilt. So, between now and September, I plan on losing at least ten pounds and fitting into my clothes more comfortably. Nothing is more uncomfortable than tight jeans on a trans-Atlantic flight.
My other hope for this column is to give you some ideas and/or encouragement on your own fitness journey. I plan on sharing with you the things that do and don’t work for me, and perhaps, you’ll share your experiences with me! One thing I’ve learned from working at the gym and from Weight Watchers is that I’ll be more successful if I’m not doing it alone.
Another thing that I’ve learned is that, to be successful, I need to be accountable to someone. Yes, I’m a grown-up, but if I had just joined a gym that New Year’s in 2008, I would have gone twice and started coming up with excuses for not going back. Working with a trainer works for me because I have a standing appointment with her (three mornings a week) and I know I’d better have a really good excuse for not showing up. “I’ll do it later” just doesn’t cut it with Pritam. Accountability can come in many forms. We live with three Labs. Trust me, when they decide they need their two-and-a-half miles, there’s no discussing it and no putting it off. And, last fall, a friend talked me into taking a weekly yoga class with her, another form of accountability.
Finally, this column is also a way to for me to be accountable. If I write about it, I had better have done it!
The first thing I have done to start down the fitness/weight loss road is to set goals. I know that I want to lose some weight, but goals need to be specific and achievable. “Losing some weight” is far too vague. I’d love to weigh what I did in high school, but that was a looooong time ago. That’s not realistic. I think that ten pounds is achievable in the time between now and September. I wanted to set an exercise goal, too, and given the time I have available to me during the day, I think a 45- to 60\- minute exercise goal is realistic. It just so happens that is the amount of time it takes me to walk the dogs for two-and-a-half miles. Recently, I made a discovery that has made that goal so much easier to meet: audiobooks from the library! Now, I walk the dogs, get my exercise in and keep up with my book club books. What’s on my iPhone right now? The Redeemer, by Jo Nesbo.
I hope you will join me on this journey!
— By Cheryl Wolotira
Cheryl Wolotira is 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.
Pritam Potts, owner of Edmonds-based Advanced Athlete LLC, can be reached online at www.facebook.com/mrsathlete.