Monday, October 12, 2015

A healthy obsession

Several of my friends have heard me describe my quest to lose weight and get fit again as an obsession but, pun intended, it's a healthy obsession. Almost everything I do these days makes me think of healthy exercise or healthy food or something to do with losing weight in some way. It's a bit like the old cliché of men thinking about sex every seven seconds. My challenge to myself (and you, dear reader, if you choose to accept it) is to turn that obsession into a tangible way of REALLY improving our health, in real life, not just in our heads.

I've been thinking about the stairs at my workplace. I work on the second floor of a three-storey building. There are two elevators (lifts) and two sets of stairs, one of which is almost right outside my office door. If I were being super health conscious, I would be climbing up and down those stairs all day long and never using the elevator. But, right now, the percentage of time that I use the stairs is, ... oh,... 0%! I know that if I climb up the stairs (down isn't too bad) I will be out of breath after just one flight. It'll take me a few seconds to recover. Two flights would be much more difficult. Three would be almost impossible.

Yesterday, I climbed the 200 foot high Buttercup Hill which is up the street from my apartment, for just the second time ever. I was with my friend Marie who must have wondered what the puffing and panting noise was. That was me. I hated to have anyone see me that way, but I know she is also a supporter and a friend who knows that it won't always be that way.

When I was doing the laundry at my apartment today, the washer and dryer are in a room on the floor below mine. As I was coming up the stairs, my neighbor (thanks, R) said to me, "Oh, you sound like me when I climb the stairs!" What! No way! ... Um, sadly yes. So, my course is clear,...

I'm going to have to start climbing the stairs at work during my morning and afternoon breaks. Perhaps only a few flights at first (and by "a few" I could mean just one or two, in the beginning). Eventually, the plan would be to increase my strength and stamina so that I can climb all three floors with no noticeable shortage of breath. It's not going to be quick but then, in this endeavor, nothing is ever quick. It can become a game - see how many flights of stairs I can climb in ten minutes, or how fast I can get from the basement to the top floor. The idea would be to improve my performance consistently over time so that I can eventually get to the top without sounding like I just ran a marathon. Watch this space!

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