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The Race Doesn’t Always Go to the Swift. Part 2

As a political consultant, the one thing I must watch on television is the nightly news. What a perfect opportunity to do some aerobics! So, I devised a little low-impact aerobic-dance routine with lots of arm and leg movement. I’m ashamed to admit I had to stop the first night, huffing and puffing, at just three minutes. But over the next couple of weeks, I still had a lot of steam left at the end of 15 minutes. I made it a little harder by inserting some kicks and jabs.

 Slowly, I lost a pound here and an inch there and the nasty, loose flab was beginning to tighten up. I also noticed that if I got lazy and ignored the routine for a week or so, those days of inactivity took their toll. I tired easier and my simple workout routine was exhausting to get back into.

I purchased an inexpensive, low-impact strider off the web. After it was delivered and set up, I was embarrassed to find that even on lowest setting it was difficult for me. It made my knees ache and my breath came in gasps. I did one minute on day one and tried each subsequent day to stay on longer. I also started a few “target” exercises to get rid of the troublesome midsection, which I knew was a dangerous thing for a woman my age to carry around.

I felt so much better; I bought a good multi-vitamin. I experimented with more low-fat foods and I made a conscious effort to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables as often as I could.

Today, after my slow start, I am amazed to find I am actually having fun with this fitness thing. My stress level is not only down; a lot of situations that would have once set my blood pressure soaring are now merely an annoyance. My energy level is up and I swear, I laugh more.

It has been over a year now and believe me, I haven’t developed into a beauty queen. But, I’ve lost a dozen pounds, a couple of inches around the midsection and can run up those stairs quite easily. But the best thing is these subtle changes now make up the way I live. There will never be food in my office again. I actually prefer many of my new low-fat recipes and the modified version of my old favorites to the more fat-laden versions. I haven’t entirely given up chocolate or other wonderful treats, and I don’t plan to, but strangely, I no longer crave them. It’s safe to keep them in the house because most days will pass when I don’t even think about them. My bedtime snack of cookies or ice cream has been replaced with a banana or apple wedges. Sometimes, I’ll have some low-fat cottage cheese with chives or yogurt.

When I watch TV in the evenings I do my aerobics and took up an old hobby, knitting to pass the time when I am just sitting. I am amazed how keeping my hands busy with a project makes me forget about keeping them busy shoveling a spoon into my mouth.

That’s how I got into fitness, with a slow, slow start. I have learned fitness is not a fad or a contest, it’s a lifestyle and the one I now prefer to live.

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