In solidarity with Sean at the Blue Boar, as well as all my fellow doughy and out-of-shape bloggers (and readers) looking to better themselves, I am throwing down the cutlet, and am going public with a fitness plan of my own, starting today.
Diet is an important part of it, of course, but the BIG thing - the crux of the biscuit - will be exercise.
I normally diet pretty successfully using a low-carb plan that works for me. I've lost probably fifteen pounds over the last year that way, but my weight has been hovering stubbornly between 215 and 218, which is not where I want to be. I know from experience that my body responds very well (and surprisingly quickly) to physical exercise, but finding the time (now that I have a day job) and the right routine (challenging, but within reach) at the right price (free) has been tricky.
For one thing, I have a family with whom I only get to spend a few waking hours each evening (excluding weekends). Carving an hour out of that time every day to accommodate my exercise routine is a non-starter. I have also always felt a twinge of guilt about spending that kind of time on myself, when there are inevitably chores to be done or a checkbook to balance, or what have you. I so have to get over that. It's not selfish to look after your health. In fact, it may mean living a lot longer and feeling better in the meantime, which means as much to your family as it does to you.
There are a few chores that I can use to good effect in terms of fitness (mowing the grass, mopping, etc...) but most household chores won't really do as a cardio workout, which is what I need. My kids are also at that magical age (they're both teens, now) when "working out with dad" doesn't hold the same charm for them as it might have when they were six. Making it a family activity would mean probably me working out and them either trying hard to ignore me, or eating popcorn and laughing (that might sound like a cheap alternative to basic cable, but I'll pass).
The good news is that I have finally dug out and set up what exercise equipment I have in a spare room, and will be able to use weights to complement my cardio routine (walking & bicycling, indoors and out). Having mulled it over for a while, I think my best bet will be to wake up early and exercise before my morning shower. This will take some doing, because - as I have confessed in other posts - I am not a morning person. For a while after I get out of bed, I'm as dopey as a three-toed sloth mainlining cough syrup. But if I can manage to get to bed a little earlier, I think I can get myself up at 5:00 every morning. Walking will probably wake me up more quickly than normal, and that might even help to make my morning prayers more coherent. And speaking of prayer... if you can spare some prayer time for me, please pray that I will be given the self-discipline to stick with this.
I plan to exercise at least 5 times a week this way, in addition to maintaining my diet. My goal is to get below 200 pounds, and I hope to accomplish this in five weeks. I don't think that is unreasonable. I would like to get down closer to 190 eventually, but I'll be tickled every shade of pink to get below 200. I once asked my doctor to calculate my ideal weight, which he did, but his opinion was that if I hit that weight (172 pounds) I would "look like a Biafran"... guess I'm "big boned" (heh).