Thoughts on Changing Shape

I am having one of those “I need to get in shape” days. 

This is a screenshot of the current local Craigslist postings from this morning.

They generally start with me realizing I have gained shape (ie. round) when I walked past a mirror, or maybe my pants were too tight when I put them on in the morning.  It continues with me repeating to myself, “you are too young to be so fat and out of shape.” interspersed with me repeating to myself, “you are too old to be so fat and out of shape”. 

It sometimes follows with a browsing of craigslist to see what exercise equipment is currently up for grabs and maybe an eBay search for what work out DVDs are the current favorite.

Usually I also make a list of things to keep in mind when thinking of ideas to help get in shape. 

Which might look like the following. Thinking Realistic.

1. I have no time

2. I hate the gym

3. My house is too small for big equipment

4. jazzercise sucks

5. I don’t want to spend money 

6. I have a short attention span

  1. Gym.  – not going to happen.  I hate the gym, its location is way out of the way, it takes way too much time (like I said, its location sucks), I hate the gym, it expensive, and oh yeah, I hate the gym. Stationary bike.  – I wouldn’t mind a stationary bike.  But it would have to be super compact, upright, with a big butt seat and maybe a backrest.  And super cheap.  There is nothing appropriate on Craigslist right now.
  2.  Treadmill – Today I think a treadmill is a great idea.  I could walk and walk and walk while I watch TV, which I don’t do that much of, but I guess I could watch more TV so I would have more walking time.  But it takes up so much space.  Maybe if we get rid of the couch, I could put a treadmill where it was.  Then I wouldn’t be able to sit down even if I wanted to.  So I would be forced to walk while I watched TV.  Tomorrow I hate treadmills, and realize how not realistic it is for space reasons alone. 
  3. Mini trampoline – Now that sounds like a fun idea.  I can bounce while I watch TV and they hardly take up any space.  I bet they are cheap too.  *mention to a friend who reminds me my ankle sucks and I’ll probably roll it or something.  But still keep trampoline as a maybe idea.*
  4. More ponies – If I get ten more ponies, I could just ride all the time and then I’ll get in shape.  *and I just roll my eyes at myself*
  5. Swimming – I could go to the Bridgewater College pool for open swim once a week and swim laps.  This is realistic, but once a week is not going to make a huge difference.  I do like to swim.  I’ll put it on the maybe list with the mini trampoline. 
  6. Walks – I love taking the dogs on walks, and I already do this.  So not sure how that’s going to fix the problem, but it’s on the maybe list. 
  7. P90X – I hear about other people doing these confuse your body, extreme workouts.  I read facebook status updates like “day one of P90X, barfed all over myself but did it.” Then a week later “lost 50lbs by doing P90X already.  *high kick to the fat face old me*”  Look for them on eBay used.  Still pretty expensive.  Looks like you might need to get an equipment kit to go with it too.  hum… Ill add this to the maybe list with the mini trampoline, swimming and walks. 
  8. Yoga – I have lost weight by taking yoga classes one and two times a week and it always makes me feel good to get my yoga on.  I really enjoyed it too.  But when I last took classes, just a few months ago, I had a lot of trouble finding ones that fit into my schedule.  The distance and times just did not make it practical.  But I could do some at home on my own.  Ill add that to my maybe list as well.  Yoga at home. 
  9. Kayak – yep, been wanting one for a few years.  We already live less than a mile from good put in and pull out spots that would make a nice little after work – work out.  We already tube that rout and love it.  And every time I am all “I want a kayak”.  But just like every other time I think about this, kayaks are not cheap.  Ill keep it on the maybe list though. 

    I can totally picture me and Daisy doing this.
    Image of KayakKate from
    Thanks for the inspiration Kate!

Just to update you, my maybe list is now comprised of;

-mini trampoline while watching TV

-swimming at the Bridgewater College pool one night a week

-walks with the dogs

-P90X, maybe?

-yoga at home


And of course, continue to ride my pony. 

Now the problem is moving on from here.  I know myself enough to know, that I need to make it fun.  And keep it changing.  Doing the same thing all the time is not going to work for me.  And I have to enjoy it or I will just find excuses not to do it. 

I think I’ll spend some time shopping around for a used kayak.

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  1. A Nanny Mouse

     /  April 24, 2012

    Here are my thoughts on parts of your “maybe” list (feel free to ignore if you want!):

    -Swimming: you’re right that once a week isn’t much, but it’s easy to forget that you have to start somewhere. On the one hand, it’s not as good as five times a week, but on the other, it’s a whole lot better than zero!

    -Walks with the dogs are always good, and have the added benefit of letting you spend more time with your fluffy cuddly widdle poopsy-woopsies! Uh…I mean, your dogs. Another great thing about walking the dogs is that you can slowly ramp up the intensity by starting to play and roughhouse with them more.

    -P90X is a great, hardcore workout…but it’s also an expensive, hardcore workout. The money that you would spend on it would probably be better spent on, say, a personal trainer who can tailor the workouts specifically to your body rather than dumping you headfirst into a workout so intense that you could easily injure yourself if you do just one tiny thing wrong.

    -Yoga is a solid choice – not only is it good exercise, it’s also good for your range of motion, and thus can help prevent injuries from other forms of exercise. However, it’s more difficult to increase its intensity than it is with some other forms of exercise (though I might just be ignorant of more difficult forms of yoga…).

    As you say at the end there, a huge difficulty is finding a mode of exercise that you genuinely enjoy. I definitely struggle with that a lot, too, and it’s very frustrating when you find yourself making excuses to not work out because it’s simply not very fun.

    If you can find a sport that you enjoy (such a horseback riding or kayaking), that should make it much easier to turn exercise into a more regular thing, but it’s still never going to be easy. Getting in shape isn’t simply a matter of tacking some push-ups on at the end of your day; it’s a major lifestyle change, and it has to be approached as such. Willpower and self-awareness are key, but so is being realistic. Setting reasonable goals (like losing 20 lbs in 2 months, rather than 2 weeks) and starting off slow are both very important strategies.

    Most important of all, though, is that you start today! It’s the easiest thing in the world to say “I’ll just do it tomorrow.” When I catch myself doing that, I stop and ask myself, “Will I really do this the day after today, or will it always be tomorrow?” or maybe, “If I don’t do this now, when exactly will I do it?” I know this is all Captain Obvious, but sometimes we need that anvil dropped on our heads. Do it today! Right now, if possible!

    One last (promise!) word of advice: strength training. So many women neglect this for the same reason that men neglect cardio – because it doesn’t fit my gender stereotype! This is a silly reason, as I’m sure you are aware. Both types of exercise are very important. Among myriad other benefits, strength training – whether it’s lifting weights/using resistance bands or doing body-weight exercises like squats and push-ups – has been proven to increase bone density and improve joint health, preventing two debilitating diseases: osteoporosis and arthritis. Just be sure to approach this the same way as you approach cardio: start easy, and set reasonable goals.

    Well, that’s my two cents – though at this point, it’s really more like three or four cents. I apologize for being long-winded, and I hope my advice is helpful rather than annoying. I sincerely wish you success in changing your life!

    • riderofchaos

       /  April 25, 2012

      Thanks for the thoughts Nanny Mouse. I always welcome everyone’s polite 4 cents. :O)

  2. You really want that Kayak. Go buy it! I have a friend who got a good one at Costco for $100 ish.


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