Monday, October 08, 2007

Walk To Work

I'm excited... I finally have something I feel is worth blogging about! I usually avoid posting to Stairway whenever I feel like the post would be too blah for someone else's consumption (especially a stranger). This is true no longer.

I am going to start an ongoing series of posts to document my attempt at regaining control of my health (hmm... that's an awful sentence jammed with passive tense). Rewrite: Over the next few weeks and months I will post a series of entries that document my new found attempt to get into shape.

I've never been good about exercising, and now that I have two sons that spend a frightening amount of time copying me, I realized that my lackadaisical approach to my health is going to have serious repercussions for several reasons:
  1. I am at risk of dying sooner than I (or my family) would like. This would have a negative impact on time spent enjoying family life. In other words, I wouldn't get to see my kids grow up and raise families of their own. That would be Teh Suck.
  2. I am at risk of teaching my kids to be fat, unhappy lard-asses. Hopefully I'd also give them enough self-identity that they'd be their own fat, unhappy lard-asses, but I think I'd be happier if I could raise them to be their own person that is also a happy, health, vibrant athlete. Also, I am going to force them to be left-handed and teach them to throw a wicked curve ball. This seems like a better retirement strategy than any 401(k) could ever be. Seriously, have you seen how much Ted Lilly makes?
  3. I am at risk of growing old and realizing I've spent most of my life assuming that I would get in shape in the next couple of years. I realize this is somewhat at odds with the first point, but you get my drift. I don't want to spend my life toasting "Next year at the gym."
With all that being said, here's what I'm currently doing. It's simple:
  • I watch what I eat.
  • I exercise.
To help with the food, my wife and I have been following Weight Watchers. It's a really simple strategy, and seems like it will work well. This isn't the first time we've done it, actually. We followed it for a couple of months a little over a year ago, and it was really effective. I don't honestly know why we ever stopped, but I'm glad we've gotten back on the horse, so to speak. Not that I'd ever eat a horse. Too many points.

To help with the exercise, I'm trying something a little more radical. I heard of an interesting idea on NPR a few months ago, and I filed it away in my mental folder of crazy ideas I wouldn't mind trying. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic came up with the idea a treadmill desk (I'm not entirely sure if they came up with the idea, but they were the focus of the story). The idea is that you can walk while you work. Apparently a slightly overweight individual could burn enough calories while "worlking" (a phrase I just made up right now) to lose 30 - 40 pounds a year. Hmm, interesting. Instead of sitting on my ass and getting fatter while working, I could burn calories all day long.

I know many people would laugh at the idea, but I also got laughed at for driving 65 miles to work (one way) so that we could buy a house near my in-laws' house (my wife wanted to be near her mom when we had babies). I don't deny that it was damn hard to drive that far, but I did it for a reason, and I was stubborn about sticking with it. After about 18 months of that, I was able to finagle the ability to work from home full-time. Now my commute is about 15 seconds. Nice, and totally worth it. Because now that I work from home, I can also have any kind of a desk that I want. Do you see where I'm going with this? That's right, folks, I'm putting together a treadmill desk of my own. In fact, I'm walking right now whilst I type this. I've been walking pretty much non-stop for the last 4.5 hours. And you know what? It's not so bad. I think I could really get used to this.

Enough for now - more specifics on the treadmill desk and progress reports to follow... stay tuned!
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