Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Existential Exercise

One of my best friends always says that she doesn't trust someone who loves going to the gym.  I completely agree.

I get it - feeling fit and healthy is good.  But you know what's better?  Sitting on my couch, watching TV, and eating Ritz crackers with peanut butter.

I did go through this weird stage of gym going.  It was when I was working at Skadden.  The New York office actually has a really nice gym on site (complete with uniforms one has to wear to work out - I'm serious), and three times a week I would get up EARLY (yes, early) to go work out, and then I would shower there for the day.  On other days, if I was slow, I would pop in for an afternoon workout or class.  I even ran a 5K.

If you know me well, you may be saying, "WHAT????"

Yeah, I know.  I can't believe I did that either.

I'm not sure the cause of my fitness kick, but it was the year before my wedding.  And it was also my first year of professional work.  Maybe I felt like if I wasn't going to get in shape then, when would I?

I got married.  Then I went on a two week honeymoon.  And I haven't worked out with any regularity since.

I go through phases. When we moved to DC.  Right after Braden was born.  And then a year ago, I spent a a month in Jillian Michaels hell on Weight Watchers.  I hated every minute.

And here I am again, in January, having gained five pounds over the holidays.  And I have decided to take up diet and exercise.  How freaking original of me.

This weekend, my husband took our treadmill out of storage.  It was purchased back in 2008, and I think it has been used about four times.  Over the past four years, my husband has threatened to throw it out multiple times, but I plead with him no:  Someday I will use it!  Someday soon I will get in shape!

So now my goal is to run a mile a day.  I mean, that's not a big deal, right?  Fifteen minutes (I know, pathetic) a day?  How lazy am I that I can't commit to this!  So I shall.  I shall run a mile a day. Well, maybe not every day.  Three days a week at least.  Until I decide not to.

I did it yesterday for the first time, and I'm not going to lie.  It sucked.

As I ran, I pondered the ultimate existential question - why in life are the things that we most enjoy, the worst for us?  I mean, I truly enjoy cupcakes, hot dogs, wine, margaritas and non-sweating.  I do not enjoy grilled chicken, ice water, steamed vegetables, or running on a stationary machine staring at blank walls.  Shouldn't survival of the fittest mean that we enjoy most the things that are good for our survival?

I just don't know.


  1. Move a tv in front of it. I run watching the WORST TV. Yesterday I ran to bunheads. I mean, who watches bunheads?

    Um, did I meantion I gave up alcohol for 12 weeks. So on our drinks date, I'm having coffee. Yeah, that sucks.

  2. @ Jodifur, that is ridiculously impressive. I am trying to cut back as well, if for nothing else, the extra calories! Perhaps we should meet at a juice bar, or Sweetgreen. :) I'll email you.

  3. Agree with watching crap tv- I watch all the Real Housewives while on the elliptical- it lets me focus on them instead of my burning thighs- good luck

  4. Ipod nano and audio books.

  5. Extensive research worldwide has shown no connection between exercise and weight loss. Gary Taubes covers this well in his book "Why We Get Fat." You also don't have to reduce how much you eat. All you have to do is drastically reduce consumption of refined carbohydrates. On this particular topic, Michelle Obama is wrong.

  6. Maybe try a Couch-to-5K app on your iPhone? They use run/walk intervals and you slowly build up from mostly walking to completely running 3 miles in about 8 weeks (assuming 3 workouts a week). It's surprisingly "easy" and borderline fun -- in part because the intervals break up the workouts into shorter pieces, and in part because you see progress each and every time you run. GL.

  7. There are tons of delicious food that is also healthy. For example, salmon, nuts, fresh fruit, and stir-fried vegetables. You can also make smoothies from whole fruits and vegetables (watermelon smoothies can be awesome). Let me know if you would like more suggestions!


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