Exercise and New Year’s resolutions…

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“Exercise is a dirty word.  Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.”  ~Author Unknown

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. Not because I am afraid of commitment (well, that all depends on the commitment – ha ha!). My personal feeling is that I have all year to resolve to better myself, and that was exactly what I did last year.

Deciding to become healthier, I started buying more organic foods, used less cleaning chemicals, tried gardening, made my own natural toiletries, and I quit smoking (okay, I will admit one or two puffs on an organic cigarette in the course of a year, but hey, not bad considering the almost pack-a-day habit of last year.)

Well, what happens when one quits smoking? Metabolism changes, and sometimes snacking becomes the new smoking. Someone told me to expect a 25-pound weight gain.

Well, call me stupid, but I am thinking that putting on that much weight in one year isn’t much healthier than smoking.

But I persevered, didn’t smoke, put on enough weight to make me cry and want to throw things and even blog about being blue over not finding jeans that fit! (Remember this? httpssss://lynnecobb.com/2012/08/18/dressing-rooms-blue-jeans-and-a-midlife-crisis/ )

Of course, my dear husband (and any of my children who were in earshot) listened to my rants.

Now, over the course of almost 30 years, my husband, who is also a soldier, told me that the cure for all ills is exercise. For example, I might say, “I’m freezing.” His response will always be, “Do push-ups.” Or, me, “I’m tired,” and he’d say, “exercise.” And me, someone who thinks sweating is gross, rolled my eyes. Every. Single. Time.

So, as I saw I was getting a little pudgy and flipping out over it, I decided that maybe my soldier is correct.

So, I started walking. Success.

Then, I started biking. Success.

My bike is a retro-looking one speed. I call it a “me speed.” It goes as fast as I can go. It goes up hills, dependent upon – me. And the first few hills this I tried, well, let’s just say I walked my bike. Then one day, I made it up the hill.

I was hooked. On exercise. The thing I detested most.

Well, not hooked enough to ride my bike in the winter in Michigan. So, in the fall, I started floor exercises. I can now do over 35 crunches, and lots of tilts and even three Army regulation push-ups.

Success!

I am a machine!

So when my 15-year-old daughter, who is on the cheer team, told me she did side planks, I was curious.

And I Googled “side plank.” Good for strengthening the abdominal muscles.

Well, looking at that photo, I knew I could do that. Lay on my side, feet together. Elbow bent. Support my body weight. Feel the burn. Yeah, not the good “no pain, no gain” burn. Ow.

Success – no.

There are somethings a personal trainer should show you. Exercises are one of them.

Needless to say, I have been pampering my strained arm for four days. Writers type, and at the moment, typing can be very painful. Lucky for me, essential oil of peppermint is awesome at alleviating pain 🙂 And it is organic!

And dark chocolate is a great antioxidant, and releases good endorphins, which help manage pain.

I just hope this arm heals soon, because I want to exercise again. Yikes, did I say that? I did say that! I want to exercise again. Because you know that average 25 pound weight gain? Not only did I avoid that, I am down to my “smoking days” weight. And I feel better when I exercise.

So, needless to say, in this New Year, I have resolved to rethink my adversity to resolutions. And I resolve to consult with a certified trainer for exercises that are unfamiliar. Or at least consult with one when those exercises look “easy” on Google images

PS – laughter is a good pain medicine, too 🙂

Do you have any exercise “fail” stories you are willing to share?

© Lynne Cobb – 2013

19 Replies to “Exercise and New Year’s resolutions…”

  1. Good for you for exercising and quitting smoking! That’s wonderful! But those side planks sound tough — hope your arm feels better soon!

      1. Oooh — that’s rough! It’s prime knitting season, what with the early twilight and good TV (heck, bad TV for that matter). Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Congratulations, Lynne. Hope your arm stops hurting soon. I don’t have any “fail” stories to share, as you have to “try” in order to “fail”. It’s amazing how many things I know I should be doing, but don’t do them. Great article with some helpful motivation and hints – like dark chocolate being good for you. I’m going to try more dark chocolate. Seriously though, I’m glad exercise is becoming a habit for you – and smoking has ceased being a habit. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. You gave us some “food for thought.” And yes, some basic changes can go a long way to making one feel better.

  4. No “fail” stories, Lynne, just incredible success!! 🙂 Okay, incredible success is overstatement. But after an embarrassingly large weight gain in my mid to late 20s, I joined Vic Tanny. I lost the weight after working out almost every single day and being more mindful of my diet. In other words, I no longer ate an entire bag of Fritos. Once I made exercise a habit and saw the results, I have to admit I’ve been pretty faithful about working out. 20-some years later, I still work-out – but on the treadmill in our home – for ~50 minutes every day. It’s how I maintain my girlish figger! Eh, I’ve had some weight gain issues, too, but exercise helps me trim off the weight, as along as I combine it with being more careful with my diet. I’d still like to lose ten pounds…but that’ll probably never happen. Anyway…love your story…keep up the good work, exercise-wise.

    1. Thanks, Pam. Moderation, and making better choices that become routine – a key. I never, ever, dreamed I would miss exercising. Which is why I want this arm to heal…

  5. Great post, as always! I found the secret to losing weight was not to “diet” but to make a change in lifestyle, for good. The trick is to find what works for you — we’re all different, in terms of metabolism and dietary needs. And it’s important to make allowances for treats and “slip-ups.” Last year, I started a vegetarian diet (with a few exceptions for special occasions) and I cut back seriously on bread/carbs. Two good friends are food writers/vegetarians, which helped me find the right nutritional balance and to stay with the program. I never cared much for red meat, anyway, so it wasn’t a big leap for me.

    Also started walking in addition to riding my bike almost daily in good weather. I dropped a lot of weight, but loss aside, I felt SO much better and my doctor was amazed at how great my medical test results were after following the “veggie-heavy lifestyle” for nearly a year. But my husband still eats some meat, so he orders it when we go out. (He lost a lot of weight following what I eat most of the time, which made him happy.) Again, you need to follow what works for you.

    P.S. Sorry I missed you at Starbucks today — just returned from a very long day with Mom at 3:30.

    1. Cindy, I totally agree – make a change in lifestyle. Once it becomes a habit, then the road to success is much easier…unless you try a side plank 😉

  6. Pingback: Sharing My 2013 Goals
  7. I never kept my new year’s resolution, until I found one that worked in every negative situation. Now my new year’s resolution is the same every year – to clearly see what is in front of me. When I get frustrated – I remember. Lost – I remember. Angry, let down, hopeless – I remember. What I’ve got to say about weight loss is I need to keep my mouth shut, and after supper put nothing in it. Enjoyed your post.

  8. Excellent! Isn’t it amazing how eating right and exercise work? Just like they tell you. The trick is not giving up! I am down 27 lbs this year and back to my wedding day weight. And I am amazing that I LIKE exercise! I found something that’s fun (for me, that’s Zumba) but whatever works for you is what works for you!
    (FYI – after eleven years of yoga, I still can’t quite manage a side plank. But I haven’t given up.)

    1. Congrats to you! And watch out for side planks…I won’t be over that fear for a looooong time. Thanks so much for reading and posting! I enjoy your blog, so I am honored you read and liked my post 🙂

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