Sunday, November 29, 2009

The McDonald's exercise program

I'm getting fat. Clothes that used to hang on me are now tighter than a sausage casing. I've always lived with a rough understanding that change in waist size is proportional to daily caloric intake minus calories burned by resting rate of metabolism minus calories burned through exercise. As I age, my rate of metabolism is slowing. So if I want to continue to fit in my clothes, I need to watch what I eat (diet), put on muscle mass to maintain my metabolism (weight training), and/or get my fat ass off the couch for a few hours each day (cardiovascular exercise).

I've never been a big fan of dieting. I like food, and food likes me. But lately I've noticed that I've been eating as an avoidance behavior. If there is something I don't want to do, I'll use meal/snack preparation and consumption as a way to put it off. Working from home amplifies this tendency.

In my twenties, I would regularly lift weights at the gym at work as a way of breaking up the day. When we moved to San Francisco, I joined a gym in the city, but only used it once a year on average. Now, my only weight bearing exercise is lifting BR when transferring him between his bed and chair.

I've never been an enthusiastic player of team sports, preferring cycling instead for heart pumping, fresh air gulping exploration of roads less traveled. I used to ride in multi-day charity events, and loved many aspects of the way I felt after a day in the saddle. These days, my worsening allergies have taken the excuse lead for why the bicycle sits in the garage collecting dust.

It's a perfect storm. A slippery slope of bad behaviors reinforced by a litany of excuses. Well I'm putting the excuses away for the holidays, and am putting some personal focus on my ample yet adorable waistline. If there is one thing I hate more than diet and exercise, it is clothes shopping.

One of my initial motivators will be the Lights of Love 5k charity run taking place in our neighborhood this coming Friday. I have no intention of running the distance, and instead will speed walk alongside BR as he opens up the throttle on his wheelchair. The event benefits the local Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing next to the children's hospital for families of the critically ill who are far from home. I just love the irony of kicking off my body shaping efforts at a McDonald's sponsored event.

If you would like to sponsor BR and me, the Public Service Announcement above has a link to the donation page. You'll be supporting a great organization.


joypugh said...

Hello my friends!!!!

Happy Holidays!!!

I just registered for the ChicagoLand MS 150..."Tour de Farms"...I will be riding in honor of YOU Bobrobert.


Joy Pugh
chicago, IL

Cranky said...

Steve - I think caregiving is fattening. Your plan to speed walk the 5k sounds great. Skip and I just added a modest donation in support of your and BR's efforts.

Let us know how it goes!

steve said...

Joy, Cranky -

You are the best! I just love the juxtaposition!

Remembering our many rides together brings a big smile to my face, Joy. So many different types of people all pedaling for a cause.

And Cranky, despite the many physical challenges, I've always found caregiving to be more of a mental feat than anything else. If only stress and worry burned calories.

Anonymous said...


-- Z

steve said...

Z - No, slacks.

Herrad said...

Hi Steve,
Think you are doing the right thing to keep as fit as possible.
First for you and also for BR.
I agree with Cranky that caregiving is fattening, it is all the stress and comfort eating seems to ease it.
Good luck with your plan to get in good shape you deserve the best Go For It!
Love to you and BR.
Big hug.