Sunday, May 30, 2010

Powerwalking In The Sand - NOT!

Needed a bit of scenery change from my usual walking course - got to keep it interesting you know.  It was low tide, so I figured I would get out on the beach, as thats where I started my walking routine several years ago. 

Wow what a surprise - it felt like walking in mud, though the lower beach was pretty firm.  After doing sidewalks and streets for so long, powerwalking in the sand was going nowhere.  #$%&!  Nice view, nice breeze, but my forward progress stunk.  And of course there were all the obstacles, mis-thrown footballs, slicing frisbies, lost children, an occassional wave that washes up further than anticipated... what the heck, a nice day at the beach if you were there to play.

(Guess I have gotten too serious about my walking - but not so serious that it has become a chore.)

I did a mile or so, but found it difficult to maintain 4.5mph - more like 3.5mph.  So back to the concrete, but what the heck, I got a nice dose of the ocean (literally) and the concrete areas have their own great views, so all-in-all it was a nice afternoon.  6 miles walked in 90 minutes and I enjoyed every minute of it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Burning Calories While Taking In The View

Walking has played such a big part in my weight loss that you could probably say I have become obsessed with it.  Everyday at 12:01am, my pedometer resets to ZERO so I have to get up and do it all over again (but not at midnight).  Though my minimum goal is 10,000 cumulative steps each day (about 5 miles) I do a lot more on a typical day, easily in the range of 15,000 steps.  Plus, I shoot for a period of fast sustained walking.  Thus, to stay on track I find it quite useful to to find neat places to walk, places that offer a view or experience of some kind in order to stay on course.

One of my favorite spots is the John Nesbitt Loop in Wrightsville Beach, NC.  Its a 2.25 mile course of sorts that wanders  past beach houses, over two bridges and around a beautiful marsh.  The views are simply spectacular, and being one that loves the beach, its paradise for me.

Now I know that not everyone lives near the beach (sucks to be me...) but that doesn't mean there aren't an abundance of walking opportunities where you live.  You just have to go out and find them, cause walking on a treadmill stinks big time... I know, I have one.  That beast requires a huge amount of motivation to get on it.  The beach walk does not.  You figure it out!  If its not fun, you won't do it.

So today, I popped over to the loop and did 2 laps (4.5 miles total) in 1 hour and 10 minutes, which is an average walking speed in the neighborhood of 4.25 mph.  A nice 80 degrees, sunny with a gentle breeze.  Can't beat that!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lifestyle Change It Must Be!

So I started exploring some other weight loss blogs to see what other people are thinking, saying, doing (or not). One recurring theme was moaning and groaning about running, treadmills, eating icky food, etc. Gee, these are all signs of impending failure...

The key to this weight loss thing is a lifestyle change that you can live with for the rest of your life. Too many people are still in that "no pain - no gain" mentality that implies weight loss must be unpleasant to be successful, and then once the pounds are gone you can relax and get back to normal. NOT!

Typically its harder to maintain the weight loss than it is to lose the pounds to begin with, mainly for that reason! Don't start a program that is umcomfortable and unpleasant, cause you will never be able to sustain it for very long.

Beleive it or not, losing weight doesn't have to be a bad ordeal, though changing your lifestyle is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Ok, its very difficult to do. I talk a lot about this in my book - The Jimmy Lamb Chronicles - as that really in truly is the key and I am living proof.

WALKING, not running, not jogging, not working out - is my exercise of choice and I shoot for 5 to 6 miles minimum per day. Of course, I didn't do that in the beginning, but its really easy now. And I choose locations that are fun to walk! The beach, shopping malls, historic districts, parks, whatever. I try to keep it enjoyable and interesting so there is no dreading the activity.

Yesterday for example, I took two of my kids to an Airshow and got in several miles of walking while enjoying the event. We could have hopped a shuttle bus from the parking area, opened up a beach chair, and then plopped down for the duration. Instead, we ignored the "free ride" and walked from parking lot to the flightline, dropped off our chairs, then continued walking around the event checking out all the sites and activities. By the time it was all done, we had in about 3.5 miles. I picked up another 1.4 miles once we got home, for a grand total of 5 miles for the day.

Lifestyle Change - thats the key.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Little Things Do Make A Difference

Whew! It was a long nerve-wracking night without my pedometer (like I need it while I sleep) but I made it through to morning without any apparent long-lasting traumatic affects. Then it was off to Dicks Sporting Goods to buy a replacement to the one that didn't float.

Ok, I know it sounds ridiculous to be so stressed out over the loss of a pedometer, but in reality this simple little device played such a huge part in my loss of 70 pounds, that it has become almost an additional body part. Though it has no physical effect on burning off pounds, it does act as a sentinal to keep you on track. Day in and day out, the pedometer gives a quick visual report card on where my exercise efforts are going (or not). Its an important reality check that prevents cheating and keeps me from saying "I can't lose weight no matter how hard I try." Its a proven fact that most people who use such a phrase, really aren't doing what they need to do and then spend a lot of time fooling themselves into believing they are 100% committed to weight loss, when in reality they aren't.

In the case of an exercise plan based on walking, jogging or running, the Pedometer TELLS ALL!

If you read my book, you know I am really into walking and proof that it does work. Soooooo many people say "I don't have time to develop and exercise program." Well, the beauty of walking is that it doesn't require all that much dedicated time because you can do it ALL THE TIME.

For example, last night I went to Wal-Mart. This particular store is always crowded, and I mean really crowded, which means a full parking lot. (Now here is where the fun begins.) There is a steady stream of cars cruising the parking lot looking for a spot CLOSE TO THE FRONT DOOR of the store. In fact, the average person will spend 10 minutes or more desperately searching, ready and willing to run over anyone who gets in their weigh and go to blows with other motorists in a fight for ideal parking proximity.

This is hilarious to me, because I will purposely park FAR from the entrance purely for the benefit of more steps on the pedometer. In fact, there have been times when I parked, walked in, shopped, checked out and returned to the car faster than the "searchers" could find that elusive front row parking spot.

Not only did I make better use of my time, I also contributed to my weight loss. Sure, those extra steps didn't burn off much, but when you combine that small amount of effort with lots of other small efforts, the cumulative effect can be very beneficial. Small things do make a difference!

This was one of the first steps I took when establishing a new lifestyle aimed at losing weight. Parking FAR away, avoiding escalators, moving sidewalks and elevators. Exercise isn't limited to a dedicated workout in a gym, it can come from everything you do during a normal day, you just have to get focused on all the opportunities that are ready and waiting.

By the way, if its raining, all bets are off in the parking lot...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pedometer Crisis!

Durn it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My pedometer just popped off my shorts and flew into the toilet. Can you believe that crap? (not literally - toilet was clean)

Whats the big deal you ask? Well first of all, I am so consumed with tracking my exercise EVERY day via the steps that I walk, that my pedometer is like a permanent addition to my body. Really! I clip it on when I wake up and it stays there pretty much all day till I go to bed. So when I am without it, I feel like my weight loss has come to a grinding halt. Of course, the pedometer has no physical affect on weight loss, its just a tracking device, but I really feel lost without it, as silly as that sounds.

Ok, the second issue here is that my pedometer of choice ain't cheap! So now I have to fork out some more bucks to get back on track.

Sigh... the day was going so well. But at least I got in pretty much all of my walking (exercise) and managed to put it in my tracking chart before the pedometer was permanently reset to zero.