November 16, 2011

Back on the Treadmill. Go, Derek!

I can't deny it: I like comments from readers. There are times -- we've all had them -- when I feel like I'm "going it alone." So, it made my day (an unusually warm mid-Novermber day, at that) when I received this email from Derek while relaxing on my back porch. It needs no further introduction.

Many thanks for the email, Derek. Good luck, and keep me posted. Thanks for letting me share this note today; I'll be happy to provide updates on your success if it's OK with you. Bravo!

Hi John,

I’ve been following your blog and have noticed your regular comments about exercise. After I saw yet another in your “Lessons Learned” post this morning, I thought the time had come for me to get back on the treadmill again! I searched your blog for comments about exercise – a big missing ingredient in my life these days – and found EIGHT pages of references. OK, enough already! I’ve got to get my ass back to the gym.

Thanks to that gentle prodding, I got back in the game today, the first time since last spring. The leg muscles may feel a little sore tomorrow, but I feel great right now, still in the flush of a gentle workout.

I spent 30 minutes on the treadmill this afternoon. Yes, it was a modest start. I set the speed for 4mph, and worked the incline up to 3.5 toward the end. Because I allowed myself to become so out of shape, the heart was thumping and the sweat was flying by the time I finished. It felt great! And I know from past experience that I’ll have more energy through the rest of the day. And that I’ll probably sleep better tonight, too.

As part of my long-lingering low-grade depression, I think, there’s an element of OCD in my behavior. If the future resembles the past, this OCD will work in my favor, as I become “obsessed and compulsive” about this exercise regimen. The workouts, I know, will again become daily rituals, and there will be something in the regular pumping up of the dopamine and serotonin that will, in time, compel me toward my daily cardio-vascular fix. It’s a good cycle for me to get back into.

When the exercise cycle becomes regular again, as I know it will, my diet will improve… sort of organically, without my really making conscious choices. I’ll begin craving foods that sustain and perpetuate the new cycle of well-being: more fruits and vegetables, salads and grains, and less fat, sugar, and salt – the three “food groups” that have dominated my mealtime landscape these past months.

I’m hopeful that today marks the beginning of a journey in which I will get my blood pressure in check (it isn’t now), and my cholesterol into a normal range (it isn’t now). In the process, I hope to shed 15% of my present body weight. I can do it! Beginning this program just as we head into the “tastiest” time of the year (oh god, the mashed potatoes, filling, and boatloads of gravy) is probably not too smart, but… let it begin today!

Thanks for the inspiration,


1 comment:

Richard S said...

Here's the bit I liked best: "Let it begin today!" Best wishes.