I've struggled with my weight since I was in middle school when I started drinking Diet Dr. Pepper. I started getting chunky and just never lost it. I loved eating too much. I would try one thing after another and nothing really worked for me being a teenager with self esteem issues and no will power. I got up to 135 lbs. by the middle of my junior year of high school. You're probably laughing now because that's probably a healthy weight for a lot of people. I'm 5'1". If I gain 2.5 lbs, I look like I've gained 5. So I finally decided to get the weight off by eating lots of small meals and dairy products. It didn't help that I was running around like a wild thing between band practices. I finally got down to 110 by my senior year.
I gained some in college, lost some elsewhere, gained a lot after getting married, lost some more working 2nd shift then gained some more after starting my new job. My weight rarely stays steady. I know that's not exactly good, but I'm trying my best to keep it in the healthy range.
Although I look healthy enough though, I rarely exercise. I hate it. I cannot understand someone who loves to exercise (like Hubs). There is nothing fun about working yourself until you are sick, and then hurting for the next 4 days because of it. I get no self satisfaction out of it. More than exercising, I hate running. I was always the kid who ended the game of tag because I couldn't run for long enough to make the game interesting. I was the girl who was judged unfairly in PE because I couldn't run constantly for 20 minutes whereas my peers on the championship Cross Country team could run for the whole hour and a half if they wanted to. I still feel like I'm mocked when I say that I can't run a whole, or maybe even half a lap around the 1/4 mile track at the high school. Especially when my friends are always posting on Facebook how they just had a great 3 mile run. I would love to be able to run, but I can't.
I have a bad taste in my mouth about running.
And considering my record with running, I wasn't about to go and spend money on a "Couch Potato to 5K" program. Especially since I've noticed that "Couch Potato to 5K" probably means "Someone who already can run at least a mile non stop to someone who wants to win a 5K."
Then I started reading about interval training. If you know nothing of interval training like I did, it's basically when you walk/jog at a slow speed for a period of time, then jog/run at a faster speed for a period of time and just alternate between those speeds. At first I thought I'd bombed it again. I found a program that the slow speed was faster than I could run anyway, so I knew I couldn't keep that pace. But while trying and failing at that attempt, I did find a song in my arsenal that was comfortable to walk to. So I put my phone on repeat and kept the beat. Being a marching band dork, this pleased me, a lot. So after that, I went in search of songs with similar beats per minute (bpm). I was fully prepared to buy some new music just so I could keep myself entertained, but I found this:
It's a free 9 week series of music downloads that follows the 1st Day to 5K plan. Just download the music to your music device, hit play and keep up with the beats per minute (each beat = 1 step). It's not music from the latest top 20. It's actually not music that many people have even heard. Kind of techno-y, tribal-y, funky-y. But the important thing is that it makes me exercise. And I can do it. I actually just speed walk the whole time. I'm so short and my steps are so quick I can walk fast and not have to run. I actually cover more ground walking fast that trying to jog at that pace, and I can't stand to see someone "jogging" when I can walk faster, then hearing them say "What a great run!" Isn't the purpose of running to get somewhere faster than if you are walking? Ok, sorry for that caveat. It just had to be said.
Anyway. I've been at it for two weeks now, and I feel so much better. I'm not sore because I'm walking, something I do all the time, and I don't feel like I'm dying from the invisible knife that stabs me in the side when I try to run. Yet I'm still getting the cardio exercise that our bodies need. And I'm gradually covering more ground in less time. I probably won't be ready to enter a 5K race at the end of the program since I'm walking. That would be quite embarassing to step off the line power walking. But I'm one step closer to having better cardio endurance. And I get to spend some time with Hubs walking the 1/8 mile track at our local fire dept.
And maybe I've given someone else the motivation to start doing something healthy by writing this post.