I went to swing my leg over the seat of the bike when I got to work
yesterday, and the pants caught on the seat. My pants are baggy now (I'm still "Baggy
Butt," I guess) instead of tight fitting and so there are these unexpected loose
folds of fabric to contend with.
I balanced on one leg and unhooked the fabric and continued the arch of my leg over the
back of the seat.
My brain flashed on my first few days on the bike (it hasn't even been a year yet!)
when I was afraid to ride down our teeny slope of a driveway, where I walked the bike down
the bike path rather than risk having to make a tight turn at the end of it for fear I'd
fall over, when I wobbled my way through upright posts, fearing I'd run into them, when I
kept the brakes on tightly when going down the steep slope by Albertsons, when I was
terrified in traffic, when the only way I could get off the bike was by leaning against a
car or something else to keep from falling over.
Wow--what a difference (almost) a year makes.
It had been a particularly triumphant trip to the office. Again, I made that
decision--hill or tunnel--and chose hill. I managed to make it to the top with only two
downshifts. Now THAT was a first. No granny gear (as Haggie
calls it) this time. And the bike was even almost kinda moving when it hit the top, not
just inching along at snail's pace. It was so great feeling that power in my legs as I
pedaled up the hill.
The perk of pedaling up the hill is the downhill slope. I remembered the first time I
did that too. Top speed going down the hill is 22 mph, but that speed scared me. Now I
reveled in it, the wind blowing in the bits of my hair that peeked out from under my bike
This morning I didn't make it to the gym. I was in the middle of a project and didn't
want to stop (I'd been working since 4). When the project was finished, I was feeling
guilty for not getting out and exercising. Then I remembered the videotape of Leslie
Sansone's "walk aerobics" that I'd bought when I first joined Pointers. Someone on that list raved and raved
about how easy it was and how amazed she was that she could stick with it.
Well, I was excited about the videotape, but when it came and I put it on, I lasted
about 5 minutes before I was yelling for mercy. It's been gathering dust ever since. This
morning I thought...what the heck...
I decided I'd force myself to stick with it for 15 minutes, even if it killed me and I
set the timer on the stove so I wouldn't stop until it went off. Midway through the 15
minutes, I was thinking "gee--this isn't as hard as I remembered it" and when
the timer went off, Leslie was saying "we've just walked the equivalent of a
mile." A mile? In fifteen minutes? Aerobically? Wow. Sure couldn't have
done that a year ago either!
I'm now all jazzed about the tape and plan to do it twice a week, on the days when I
don't go to the office until afternoon (those are also gym days).
I discovered a neat thing about exercise. Yeah it gets your heart pumping and it burns
those calories and all that good stuff--but when you exercise, it helps you keep from
eating. Somehow just knowing how many minutes you have to work out to burn off
that...whatever...helps keep you from putting it in your mouth.
Another crutch I'm using is the WeightWatchers program I got for the Palm. It's
terrific because it keeps track of the points and shows how many you have left every time
you eat anything. The act of putting food in the list is busy work, and seeing the numbers
there--knowing how many you have left--helps me to plan my food better for the end of the
One depressing thing is reading back over the entries I wrote a year ago, about this
diet. I was struggling with exactly the same issues then as I am now. The only encouraging
thing is that while I may not have managed to get this eating routine firmly entrenched in
my psyche, it's a year later and I'm still working on it. This is the longest I've
ever stuck with a "lifestyle change" and I intend to keep with it, even if the
weight goes up and down...I am not going to give up.
When I left work today, I was thinking I was just too damn tired to ride up the hill
and figured I'd wimp out and take the tunnel under the railroad tracks instead.
"Wimp!" my brain told myself.
OK. OK. I could do it. Up the hill--the long way. Again, I only had to downshift at the
very top--and by god, I was going 9 mph when I hit the top! When I first began biking, my
top speed was 9 mph and I would occasionally managed to get up to 10. I felt I was really
going fast then. My average lately is more like 12 mph and this evening as I approached the
house, I looked down at the speedometer and I was going 15 mph without even thinking about
I'm a long way from having this thing licked, but I can see progress and I suspect slow
and steady is the best way to go.