Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Time to Sweat

by Stephanie Black

I would like to proudly announce that I have now been exercising for a week and a half! And guess what? It worked! I’m skinny now with abs of steel!

Just kidding. I wanted to see if anyone would believe me. But truly, don’t you think that’s what’s wrong with exercise? Not enough instant gratification. Time and time again I’ve started exercising, been really good about it for a while, and then fizzled out (The Fizzler would be a good name for a mediocre villain--the guy who comes up with a fiendish plan to take over the world, but about halfway through, he gets bored, wanders home, and eats Death by Chocolate ice cream instead).

Anyway, now that vacation is over, here I go again, determined to get in better shape. I’m trying a little variety—some days I go for a walk around a nearby park (it’s about two miles to walk all the way around the park). Some days I exercise on our old Elliptical. And I just bought a groovy weight thing called a kettlebell so I can do some resistance-type exercise on some days. It’s this weight with a handle, and looks a bit like a rounded cowbell. When I watched the video explaining how to use it, the instructor talked about “throwing” it, which seems like a questionable idea at best—picture the weight sailing across the room, taking out a small child, and crashing through the window—but it turns out she wasn’t talking about actually flinging the thing, but just the way you’re swinging it (while still holding on). Whew. I’m just beginning, so I have my five-pound weight, but as you get stronger, you can get bigger weights. We’ll see if I make it that far.

I’m hoping I can keep up with the exercise this time. While I was driving my sixteen-year-old daughter to the zoo this morning (she volunteers at the zoo), she opined that the whole “it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit” thing that you always hear is baloney. I agree. Who came up with that theory anyway? Some organized, motivated person, I’ll bet. The rest of us are perfectly capable of doing something good for us for twenty-one days and then letting it go by the wayside. Habit, my eye.

But I am a bit more motivated this time than I’ve been in the past. I’m getting older, so good health no longer seems like the “free pass” it was when I was younger—I feel like I really need the exercise. Plus, I’d love to lose a few pounds. Not badly enough to actually diet, mind you, but badly enough to keep up with the exercise. I hope. Wish me luck.

Backup plan: buy bigger pants.


At 8/11/2010 3:23 PM, Blogger T.J. said...

I've always understood it to be "21 days to break a bad habit" not making a good habit. I could be wrong, usually am. But just thought I'd mention it.

At 8/11/2010 3:33 PM, Blogger J Scott Savage said...

I can just see your kids now. "Mommy, I promise to be good. Don't throw the kettlebell at me!" :)

I think the biggest thing with exercise is having expectations that are too high. If I bike hard for an hour straight (heart rate around 125-135) I can burn about 400-450 calories. Even doing that every day for a week, I will lose a little less than 1 lb, if I eat the same.

So you exercise hard for two weeks and are disappointed when you've only lost like 1 1/2 pounds. But the key is that you are building muscle. And muscle also burns calories. Plus you have more good cholesterol, lower BP, etc.

So if you make exercise just another part of your life, and don't look for instant results, you will be happier in the long run.

At 8/11/2010 4:27 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

It's funny, I was just detailing my own weight loss plans in an email to a friend (option 1: forget weight loss, gimme an ice cream sandwich, stat!)

My contract with my personal trainer has just expired. Overall, I would say that I did pretty good during the first 6 months, pretty lousy after that. My new thing is that 3 of us from the office go for a 10-15 minute walk outside after lunch. And practice Russian on them. You know, I can say Where's Red Square, but not Where's the bathroom? I think the latter would come in a lot more handy than the former.

I'm sure not going to give you a hard time for the trendy kettle bells - after all, I have a Tae Bo workout tape or two. =)

Good luck with the exercise program! You have to keep up the hot west coast author chick image. *nudge Jeff*

At 8/11/2010 5:07 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

I can totally picture "The Fizzler" in his baggy thermal underwear and a bed sheet tied around his neck! (Oh wait, that's my four-year-old.)

I love your voice. You have a way of making me laugh.


At 8/11/2010 6:21 PM, Blogger Taffy said...

Go Stephanie! I always look forward to school starting and not just because I have a whole day to write/edit. I walk with the kids to school then take the long way home. It feels so good!
Keep it up!

At 8/11/2010 6:47 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Muscle weighs more than fat, so pounds never tell the whole story. Went in yesterday for my annual checkup. They forced me onto the scale. My Dr. told me I lost two pounds since last year. I thought that was funny since I was sure I gained five. Uhm, moral of the story, a bad day on the scale this year is a good day on the scale next year.

Good luck, and keep it up!

At 8/11/2010 8:52 PM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

Stephanie you are too funny! I revamped my exercise plans a few weeks ago too. My latest goal is to walk on the treadmill for 30 - 45 minutes every day.

Of course, there's a catch. While walking on the treadmill, I also work on editing my next book. I figure if the manuscript keeps me from thinking about how much more torture I have to endure, then life is good. If not, I definitely have some real work to do. :)

At 8/12/2010 1:45 AM, Blogger Charlie Moore said...

We were at the temple a couple days ago doing baptisms with our ward's youth and our ward clerk says (as we were discussing age) that 60 is the new 40. That is what he'd heard. He turns 60 on his next birthday. Me, I'm thinking 55 is the new 35, if you're catching my drift.

Excercising, hum ... My idea is doing the knife slice, the fork plunge and the spoon scoop. It can only lead to happy days.

At 8/12/2010 2:21 AM, Blogger kbrebes said...

Time Magazine published an article (last September?) professing that exercise only toned and that it really did take eating less to lose weight. I'm inclined to follow their idea, except that a person does burn more calories when working at their target heart rate.

The first time I remember hearing the length of time required to establish a new habit was when I was a teenager reading one of Paul Dunn's books. At any rate, the best thing about exercise, imo, is not the pounds lost but rather the pain saved over the long haul by not getting arthritis or other debilitating diseases.

Good post! Lots of reaction!

At 8/12/2010 10:54 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thank you so much, everyone! I really appreciate all the feedback, comments, and encouragement.

Ha ha, Lisa, that would be the perfect costume for the Fizzler!

At 8/12/2010 1:55 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

Stephanie, you should come join us here:


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