Thursday, June 26, 2008

Exercise Cures Cancer! News at 11.

Last week I was so lethargic I briefly entertained the idea that maybe I had cancer.

I can laugh now, but the fatigue was INTENSE. I woke up tired, caffeine had no effect, I was tired throughout the day, and yet I couldn't fall asleep at night despite being tired. Once I finally fell asleep, even if I got 8 hours, I didn't awake refreshed. I awoke tired. And the cycle continued...

...UNTIL I hit the gym hard. On Saturday, in spite of my sluggishness, I forced myself to go to the gym and work out. I managed to bench press 50 lb dumbbells -- pretty good for me! -- and I did some ab work, and 20 minutes of interval cardio on the recumbent bike.

Friends, guess what! I don't have cancer anymore!

Almost immediately, I experienced boundless energy. And so, once again I have demonstrated to myself that lethargy stems from inactivity, and exercise cures it.

I've been packing and cleaning up to move from DC to Arlington this week, so I haven't had much time to continue the exercise, but I did bike 2 miles uphill last night, and today during a lull at work I stole 20 minutes to go downstairs to the basement gym and work the dumbbells. I've also been trying to eat (somewhat) healthier, and I have found a really good breakfast routine: a banana, a tablespoon of creamy organic peanut butter (mmm), and a baby cucumber! (Rudy loves it too, and has taken to flying to the top of the refrigerator in the morning and squawking to remind me that it's time for his Morning Peanut Butter.)

For the past week, I have awakened with energy and I don't need ANY caffeine throughout the day! No longer am I rushing to the coffee machine first thing at work. Indeed, I find I have no desire for it, because I just don't need it -- my energy is all there.

So, I'll keep sticking with my banana/peanut butter/cucumber breakfast and small meals throughout the day, weight lifting downstairs when I can squeeze it in, and bike rides to work. My new house is going to be about 6.5 miles from work via bike trail, so I'm sure the addition of 13 miles on the bicycle a few days a week will really step up my results even more.


Sunday, June 15, 2008


I've been pretty torn up about the whole Tim Russert tragedy this weekend, and I used it as an excuse to veg out on the couch with comfort snacks as I watched the coverage.

But also, my Strength for Life book showed up this weekend and, as Skwigg promised, it is chock full of OMG-get-the-highlighter quality quotes. I look forward to starting the program.

I have been feeling very sluggish lately and I know that the best way to fix that is to get to the gym. So tonight I walked there and laid down on the incline bench with a 35-pound dumbbell in each hand and WOW did it feel comfortable in a familiar sort of way. I miss that feeling. I look forward to getting back into it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

In Transition

My few faithful readers have probably wondered where I have wandered off to in the past couple weeks. Am I still running and working out? Am I still eating healthy and tracking my weight on a daily basis? One glance at the weight graph on the bottom of the page should give you the answer to that.

What has happened, you ask? Simple: I got a new job at a law firm downtown, and the past two weeks have been a time of transition. Now I am not blaming my job or anything ridiculous like that; I am simply saying that when I am in a time of transition, fitness tends to fall by the wayside. I promise it will return.

Today I found the gym in the basement of the building where I work. It's not very big but there are cardio machines, weight machines, and some free weights. By free weights, I mean dumbbells up to 35 pounds. How am I going to tire out my pecs with measly 35 pound dumbbells? Probably do a lot of push-ups beforehand. :-)

Incidentally, I tried briefly doing bicep curls with them, and I did four with each arm, no problem. This is kind of a big deal, because 35 pounds dumbbells used to be way too heavy for me to curl with. To progress!

Anyway, I plan to get down a workout routine soon. I have to, because the scale is creeping up and my energy level is going waaaaaay down... Per Skwigg's recommendation, I ordered a copy of Strength for Life (by the brother of Bill Phillips, who wrote Body for Life), and that will get here on Friday. So I'll get started with that soon