Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Penelope's I Wanna Stay Alive Diet and Exercise Plan

A lot of folks have been asking me how I lost 48 pounds. Honestly, the threat of impending death is a super great motivator. It makes you go for a walk in the pitch dark and freezing cold when you'd rather be home in bed watching TV. It prevents you from eating a brownie with your kids (just picture a skull and crossbones on top of the brownie pan). Having a heart attack at 44 was a wake-up call like no other. The fear of death jump started my diet. But common sense is keeping it going.

Today, I'm going to talk about my exercise plan. Tomorrow, my diet.

All right...here it goes...(drum roll please)...

I walk.

That's it. I walk.

I don't do any fancy-pants machines at the gym. I don't take hot yoga or spinning class or karate or high-impact aerobics.

I just walk around the block.

I don't walk with weights or a pedometer, or fancy lycra pants, or sporty pull-over jackets. I wear a t-shirt and black pants, and in the winter I wear lots of layers, a dorky hat, scarves and my sneakers.

I know. This is boring. It's not glamorous, or sexy, or exciting. But frankly, I don't give a rat's ass, because it works.

Walking is free. All I need is a pair of sneakers and I'm all set. I get fresh air, I can listen to my music if I so desire, I say hi to my neighbors. Sometimes I see cool birds. If it rains, I wear a rain coat. If it snows, I wear a parka.

Walking is easy, low impact, and works like a freakin' charm for weight loss. I lost almost 50 pounds just by walking around my neighborhood.

I walk for 30-45 minutes in the morning. I take another walk at lunchtime...maybe a quickie 15 minute walk, maybe longer if I have time. Then, I take another walk later in the afternoon...sometimes walk the dog, or walk with the fam (son on his skate board, daughter on her scooter, hubby hanging out with me). If I can hack it, I squeeze in one more quickie 15-min. walk at 7 pm before I wind down for the night.

The way I see it, my sedentary life needs to be offset by moving. So if I spend time writing or reading, then I need to compensate by doing something. It could be going grocery shopping, walking into town to mail a letter, pulling weeds in the garden, whatever.

There are 2 states of being. Moving. And Not Moving.

Moving=working out my heart, burning calories, toning my body, producing endorphins, making my head clear and focused, all good things.

Not Moving=sedentary lifestyle=bad, bad things. Death and Destruction. The Apocalypse. Diabetes. Heart Disease. Big, fat ass. You get the idea.

The hidden benefits of all this exercise...1) my skin looks really good, 2) I never get sick, and 3) I have fantastic brain-storming sessions where I work out all the kinks in my WIP, including pages of dialogue.

So, that's it. I try to move around a lot, burn calories, keep my heart rate up. So far, so good. The diabetes is gone, my heart has healed, my blood pressure is great, my cholesterol is excellent. I'm on the right path.

What are you guys doing for exercise? Any cool suggestions? Things you love to do? Let me know!

Tomorrow...Part 2 of Penelope's I Wanna Stay Alive Plan: The Diet.

Not Embarrassed To Be Walking Like A Little Old Lady,