Live Forever Or Diet In The Attempt

Lately, I’ve been trying to increase my exercise and decrease my daily caloric intake, after years of approaching these activities from the other direction. I’m doing reasonably well with the diet – smaller portions, avoiding seconds, and cutting out dessert (mostly). My weakness is my sweet tooth, so I made a vow at the start of the new year that I’d permit myself ice cream or cookies only once a week, and on birthdays. Initially, I struggled with this since it’s somebody’s birthday nearly every day, innit?

The exercise has been the bigger challenge, because I am essentially an immobile person. If I could afford it, I’d pay someone to grab me by the ankles and move my legs in a simulacrum of jogging while I remained seated on the couch watching “Law & Order” reruns. Of course, that’s a very impractical idea since this approach would likely block my view of the TV.

I saw a report on the news the other night, discussing the results of a long-term study showing a connection between increased levels of exercise and decreased incidences of dementia. To obtain the data, researchers in Sweden followed a group of women for forty-four years; don’t they have anti-stalking laws in Scandinavian countries? Regardless – the recommendation was that 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week was the required amount to stave off… uh, what was I talking about?

I’ve gone through a variety of exercise equipment over the years – a treadmill, an elliptical machine, a NordicTrack. Like most people, I started out as an enthusiastic user but eventually got tired of the repetitive activity. “Why don’t you just join a gym, where there are a variety of machines at your disposal?” you might ask me if I could remember who you are. Well, first of all – I’m a cheap bastard and gyms cost money. Also, I don’t like to get undressed in front of anybody who is not my wife, a close blood relative, or possibly a supermodel. Third, hot fudge sundae.

At the present moment (sidebar: all moments are in the “present”), I’ve got my road bike (the tires of which have rarely touched pavement) attached to a stand that converts it into a stationary bike (which is essentially what it was, anyway). I’ve got it set up in the bedroom, positioned in front of the patio doors that lead to the deck, so I have a clear view of the backyard and the lake we live adjacent to. The view is captivating, regardless of the season, and I keep up my momentum by pedaling along to a playlist of high-energy songs on my iPod. I manage to work up a pretty good sweat, and that’s just from properly adjusting the height of the bike seat.

I’m ten weeks into the new regimen and am certainly feeling better – although I haven’t lost as much weight as I’d hoped. But, as they say: it’s the journey, not the destination. Which doesn’t make much sense, since I’m already *at* my destination because I’m riding a stationary bike. But the view is lovely and I must remember to thank whoever lives in this house for letting me exercise in their bedroom.

5 thoughts on “Live Forever Or Diet In The Attempt

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  1. I’ve got news for you, John. It is someone’s birthday EVERY day. I got my 150 minutes of exercise in this week and that was just yesterday when I shoveled more than 2 feet of heavy snow. My mind has never felt sharper. Who are you again? And why am I writing to you?


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