Thursday, May 01, 2008

My New Stroller

It's funny how our needs and wants change with parenthood. I maintain an afterschool program three days a week, and I have often used the money earned to buy things that we don't need but would be nice to have. My digital camera is a good example. I have taken 6,000 pictures with it in the past two years (it keeps count), and I don't know what I would do without it. I used that money to pay for a vacation for us during spring break this year, and it will also buy new carpeting and a ceiling fan for our family room in June.

Last night, I got something absolutely necessary. I picked up Sera's new Jeep Overland Jogging Stroller. Every time I go back home again, I realize how badly out of shape I am, and how unhealthy it is for me to be so. I used to do Karate, which was a blast, until I got hurt. I bought an exercise bike a couple of years ago, but I hated it. This time, I think my remedy will work. I got this stroller because Sera loves to go "ow-sigh" and I need to lose weight. I used to be an athlete who could run three miles in 20 minutes at any given time. I doubt I could make it through three miles in an hour right now, but that's going to change. When I picked the stroller up at Wal-Mart last night, I started putting it together before it was time for her to go to bed. She saw the box and started exclaiming, "Oooooh," over and over again. By the time I had it assembled, she wanted to go ow-sigh, but it was time for bed. I did seat her in it to get the five-point safety harness sized, but she didn't want to get out. I promised her that I would take her outside tomorrow, but two-year olds really don't get that concept too well. I don't blame her, because I wanted to take it out for a spin, too. Even the picture makes it look fast.

This stroller has an odometer/speedometer, shock absorbers, a rain canopy, a sunroof, a hand brake, an air pump, and get this, an iPod jack with built-in speakers. The purchase was probably somewhat an extravagance, but not if it helps me to live long enough to see grandchildren. I am going to weigh myself this afternoon, start a spreadsheet, and start walking with Sera every day. Hopefully, my blog will keep me honest too. My goal is to update it weekly on Fridays with my progress.

I'm also going to be changing my eating and drinking habits. My eating habits are pretty good anyway, having had high blood pressure since I was 18, while still in the best shape of my life. I always avoid salt whenever possible, and carefully measure it when I do use it, like on air-popped popcorn. A little fat-free canola spray and a touch of Lawry's Seasoned Salt and I'm good to go. My main vice is soda. I am a soft drink junkie, Mountain Dew (any flavor, any form) being my drink of choice, but I am dropping that habit as of today. I have recently discovered Crystal Light packets that, when added to bottled water, makes for a tasty drink with 12.5 calories per 20.9 oz. My favorite flavor by far is their fruit punch, which tastes like Tropical Punch flavored Kool-Aid, which in turn tastes like Hawaiian Punch. I've tried about ten flavors of the stuff, but I always come back to this one. I will occasionally have a treat, like a soda when we go out to the movies or to a restaurant. I have to set rules for myself, or else I will abandon this change like anyone abandons a diet.

I know how weight loss works. I know that I will likely gain weight before I lose. I know that muscle weighs more than fat, etc. The important thing is that I maintain this program not only for my sake, but for the sake of the passenger in Sera's--let's not kid ourselves--my new stroller.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I applaud you for taking something as serious as this on. It is a daunting task to change not only your habits, but your whole lifestyle; that's what it takes, learning an entirely new way to live. I admit that I have never struggled with a weight problem, but I have watched others struggle with it and I can definitely empathize. I just finished a nutrition class, and I wanted to give you a few tips that may help. Don't focus too much on your weight, focus more on how you look; take pictures if it will help. Sometimes you don't notice progress since it is so slow, but a picture will show it. Pay absolutely no attention to fad diets, carbs, blah blah blah. There is only one way to lose stored fat on your body, and that is to use more calories than you take in, period. Protein calories are better than carbohydrate or fat calories because protein can be used to build muscle AND provide energy. Protein and carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram, fat has 9. That's why fat is worse for you, because it has more calories; for example, a packet of mayonnaise has 100 calories--that's a teaspoon (mayonnaise is possibly the worst thing you could ever eat in terms of health)! Here's a great site to help you with your goal: www.mypyramidtracker.gov Good luck!