happy new year, indeed
At that time, between my advancing age, deteriorating health, and my horrible self-image, I decided to become a regular exerciser. In 1998, I started running again, something that I did for a few years in the late Seventies, and while my health and well-being improved dramatically, my overall body shape and weight really didn't change very much. So, I started doing huge amounts of situps, and by the time 2000 rolled around, I was running a few miles and doing a thousand situps virtually every day. However, I still weighed and looked pretty much the same. Then I added work with free weights and doing pushups to my routine. I was spending a lot of time exercising, and while I felt really good, it still wasn't helping my body shape and my self-image issues. I had huge "love handles" and a jiggly, pear-shaped body, I couldn't find clothes that fit properly, and I was getting more and more depressed about how I looked and at how frustrating it was to be putting so much time and energy into my appearance and fitness with no real visible results.
Finally, a few years ago, I had to have surgery to repair an umbilical hernia and was forced to cut back my exercise for the better part of a year. When I was cleared to full activity, I started running again, but found that my toes had incurred so much damage ("hammertoe") from running at my weight that I had no choice but to stop. I continued my free weights and pushups, but soon, I was about as heavy as I had ever been, and became even more of a shut-in, uncomfortable even to be seen on stage and out in social situations. I've commented a lot on my "hermit" status here, and while I'm not the most social of people, the primary reason for it was that I was ashamed of the way I looked and often found myself getting ready to go out for an evening only to change my mind once I realized that my clothes looked and felt horrible on me and that I just didn't have the appearance that I wanted to have. After a couple of years of being caught between wanting to get more fit and more presentable yet not being able to find anything that helped, I finally decided to do the simplest thing of all, and only for the sake of my health rather than for appearance.
I started walking.
Around the end of March, 2008, I started going for daily walks around my neighborhood. There's a nice two-mile loop in my development, and I walked it once a day. After a couple of months, it was up to two trips around. Today, it's up to three or four laps, six to eight miles, every day that the weather permits.
Solid, purposeful walking.
Today, it has been about eight months since I started doing this low-impact, non-physically-stressful exercise. In that period of time, I have walked about eight hundred and fifty miles.
While I can't be sure (because I had to change scales about four months ago) it seems that I have lost about forty pounds.
Yes, forty pounds in eight months.
By walking. No weights, no pushups, and although I've started doing situps again a few weeks ago, the bulk of this dramatic change has come about as the result of the simplest and most painless form of exercise.
I have not only lost weight, I have lost my saddlebags/love handles, my man-boobs, an extra chin, flappy jowls, and a bloated belly. My waistline is five or six inches smaller than it was in March. I have a jawline, I can see my genitals, and I have started tucking my shirts in again because there's no more muffintop to try to cover up and my pants fit right. I have visible abs for the first time in my life that are even obvious while wearing a t-shirt, and my abdomen is solid instead of mushy and flabby. My belly is flat, my hips are slender, my thighs don't rub together when I walk, and my butt is high and round. I probably have the best muscle/fat ratio of my life. I feel better than I have in well over twenty years. I sleep well, my digestive system runs smoothly, my lungs are clearer than I can recall, and I have a better sense of self-worth than I have in many years.
Best of all, I've even started going out nearly every weekend. I'm been noticing beautiful women are suddenly starting to make eye contact with me. I see myself in mirrors and I'm astonished at how good that strange guy looks. My hermit status is in serious danger of being revoked.
After coming all this way and working this hard for over ten years, at this late stage of the journey I have finally found the secret to being fit and trim and healthy and as attractive to the opposite sex as I can be. So, I've decided to share it with you.
If you want to look good, feel good about yourself, enjoy a smoothly-functioning body that is strong, flexible, and makes the effort worthwhile...
TAKE A FUCKING WALK.
Happy new year to you all. Mine certainly will be.