Friday, June 24, 2011

The tortoise, not the hare.

In the short time that this baby blog has been in existence, I've covered a lot of ground when it comes to healthy eating and tasty recipes that fit that bill. 

If you're wondering if the utter absence of fitness-related posts is a coincedence, the answer is sadly no. I'll admit, in the past I have made a habit of avoiding fitness type activities. I just don't find those topics as interesting to write & read about! Unlike a healthy eating lifestyle which can be sort of fun and invigorating, fitness has really felt like a necessary evil, another chore on my long (and ever-growing...) list. 

While I do believe that health & weight maintenance are about 70% related to diet, there's no excuse for ignoring that remaining 30%. I've made a lot of excuses for myself since I live in urban Chicago and walk, walk, walk. 

I think part of my problem - and I have a feeling I am not the only one - is figuring out where to begin. Yoga classes? How do I actually use the elliptical, is reading a magazine on a machine really doing anything? Should I just lift some dumbbells over my head for a while? 

There is certainly no shortage of options, but perhaps all of these options have made working out totally overwhelming. 

Anybody else feeling buried? It's tempting to give up. 

This brings me to the evil, the dreaded: running. I am really jealous of people who can run 4,5,6,12 miles. Though I was an extremely successful swimmer in lifetimes past, I have never been much of a runner. And when I do run, it feels like torture. Serious agony, like the last thing on Earth I want to be doing. 

So I think I figured out the solution, and I'm sharing it for other healthy-eater workout-phobes like myself. 

We need to stop biting off more than we can chew. Sounds simple, but that's it! If I step on a treadmill and just push myself to exhaustion when I'm not used to it, of course it's going to feel like less fun than memorizing the Oxford English Dictionary. 

So I've decided to take it slow, and follow a snail-like running regimen that makes me say, Hey, I can do this stuff! I've embarked on the Couch to 5k training schedule. 

I know what you're thinking. 9 weeks to run a 5k? That's pretty silly. And yeah, maybe it is. I've run a 5k before, but it wasn't fun. It's better than quitting and promising myself I'll do some crunches a few times a week, and counting my walk to the train station as strenuous activity. I think I've just accepted my tortoise-like running approach. 

So here's what I did last week: 

And here's what I've been up to this week:

Aggressive? Not really. Am I enjoying it? Amazingly, yes.

For my 11 readers: What do you guys do to keep yourselves interested in working out, while actually enjoying it?


  1. Great post. I'm going to look at this plan. I was finally getting back on the wagon and then due to some unexpected roadblocks (and changes in the schedule at the gym) I didn't work out. For weeks. And then it's sooooo hard to get started again. I often deter myself because "I'm not as good as I used to be, so why bother?" That's terrible thinking. Thanks for sharing this regime...for when I start working out again. Next week. ;)

  2. Thanks Mel! I totally know what you mean, after we fall off the wagon we can sometimes feel even more discouraged than when we started. Let me know if you try the schedule, it's working well for me and I'll continue to map my progress! Thanks for reading & contributing :)