Ten years ago today I stepped on the bathroom scales and saw the big 200 staring back at me for the first time. I had been having sleep issues. I was short of breath. I was worried about my heart. I suddenly realized I had to do something about my health. I was 28, and I wasn’t getting any younger.

That summer I focused on eating healthfully, and on exercising. I attacked the problem as only I can when I’m intently focused on something. In six months, I lost 42 pounds and obtained the best health of my life: I was running five miles at a time (and loving it), biking for fifty miles, and even swimming. Dave and I were meeting to lift weights. I felt great.

Anniversaries are important to me. Dates have meaning. Because this is the tenth anniversary of the fateful day I started my most successful fitness regimen, I’ve made up my mind to replicate the effort. Starting today, I’m going to focus on the fitness section of my goals. As a refresher, I want to:

Health and Fitness
14 goals
1. Give up sugar for a week
2. Eat only home-prepared food for one month
3. Eat vegetarian for one month
4. Get cholesterol to healthy levels
5. Have a colonoscopy
6. Complete a marathon
7. Complete a 100-mile bike ride
8. Play a team sport
9. Do 100 push-ups
10. Bench-press my body weight
11. Complete a one-mile swim
12. Maintain a weight of 170 or below for six months
13. Drink only water for one month
14. Give up alcohol for three months

Starting today, I am giving up alcohol for three months. (For those wondering: this shouldn’t be an issue. If it is an issue, I plan to give it up completely.)

Also starting today, I am drinking only water for one month. My definition of “only water” is perhaps broader than others might allow. After talking with Kris, we’ve decided that non-caffeinated tea qualifies as “only water”, as do my carbonated Talking Rain waters. (The objective here is to avoid calories and chemicals in my beverages — tea and Talking Rain should be fine.)

I’m also going to haul my road bike to Custom Box and begin the process of becoming re-acquainted with it. In 1997, I started exercising by hopping on a bike that was too small for me, and riding it a couple miles every day. (A couple of miles were all I could handle at first.) Gradually I build up to five miles, then ten, then 25. By the end of the summer, I had made two 50-mile rides. I want to do something similar again.

If these initial steps go well, I’ll try to tackle some other health and fitness goals!

[Bonus: Here’s my 1997 fitness journal, which was essentially my first blog. Also: 1998 version.]

6 Replies to “Fitness Today”

  1. Amy Jo says:

    I applaud you in your efforts and I promise to do my best by not un/intentionally making your efforts more difficult. Something I’m working on is following the 90/10 rule: 90 percent of the time do what I know is best for me and allow myself indulgences (Kris–Bakery Bar?) 10 percent of the time. I’ve also been looking for a more appropriate bike, a 3-speed of sorts. My bike, bought after much debate and research almost 10 years ago, is too much bike for me and I find no pleasure in hauling it out from the basement to putter about the hood. And, I definitely need a basket since my most frequent trips are to the library or the grocery.

  2. Paul says:

    All things in moderation, INCLUDING moderation…

  3. John says:

    5. Have a colonoscopy

    Most people would have a goal of avoiding this procedure!

    Speaking from experience (a colonoscopy or two and multiple endoscopies), let me state that Versed (also known as bottled “I Don’t Care”) is indeed a wonder drug. And yes, you will need someone to drive you home afterwards.

  4. Blogeois says:

    I also applaud your efforts toward better fitness. Also, listen to John’s comments above. I just had a colonoscopy. Everything’s fine but take his advice. Seriously.

  5. Courtney says:

    Have you tried Stevia as a substitute for sugar? I’ve not added sugar to my tea since giving it a try several months ago. It’s a natural sweetener, available at most stores, it tastes good and it’s a healthier alternative than other sweeteners.

  6. Amy Jo says:

    Another sugar/honey substitute to try is agave nectar. It is also much sweeter than refined sugar and because it is similar in texture to honey (a bit looser), it melts into tea quite nicely.

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