Sunday, July 20, 2008

Getting Fit

OK, let’s get this straight right up front – I do not like exercising in the least! When I went to school, the girls always had to wear skirts; we did not sweat (a mild “glow” was sometimes acceptable) and the cool girls did not join team sports. Our high school gym periods consisted of square dancing and the like. At least that’s the way I remember it. The result of all this is that I lost touch with my body somewhere along the way. How else can I explain the excess pounds that have somehow appeared, unbidden, while I wasn’t paying attention?

So I decided on my birthday in September 2007 that it was time to get fit. I joined the World Health Club in Calgary and signed up for 24 sessions with a personal trainer. I loved my trainer Maureen but I hated going to the gym. It would be nice to report that I’ve lost all that weight and now participate in triathlons but sadly that is not the case. I have lost ten pounds though and I’m happy to see the scale head down instead of up. And I do have more energy so that’s a bonus.

When I reached Saint John, I joined a Good Life fitness centre. They have a three-month membership in the summer aimed at students and it fits the bill for my time here. My sister and my friend Sandra both go there so I do have company from time to time. But I have to confess that what I enjoy most is Good Life’s showers. There’s nothing like being on the road or living is a small place to make one appreciate large luxurious shower stalls and unlimited hot water.

My friend Dianne tells me that when she and Mark travel in their travel trailer, they find out where the local recreational centre is when they first pull into town. The next morning they go for a swim, have a nice hot shower, eat “the breakfast of champions” and then head on down the road. They’ve found this a wonderful way to start their day.

When Dianne and I started this trip, Dianne took on the cooking duties. Dianne is a gifted cook and I was more than happy to let her do the meal planning and cooking. If fact, if the truth be known, I attribute some of my weight gain to Dianne’s fabulous sticky buns and rich desserts! Dianne, too, is now concerned about fitness and weight loss but not at the expense of good food. So she’s modified her tasty recipes and developed new ones.

We, too, started our day with Dianne’s “breakfast of champions” – a dish she developed to help Mark bring down his cholesterol. (It worked.) Here’s Dianne’s recipe:

In a cereal bowl add:
· Cooked oatmeal (steel cut oats are best but we opted for packets of instant oatmeal for convenience’s sake)
· A layer of Honey Nut flavor All Bran (sweetens the oatmeal and adds more fiber)
· One-half a medium/large apple cut up (skin on- more fiber))
· A generous measure of cinnamon
· A splash of low fat milk

You end up with a bowl full of fiber that tastes yummy and is both filling and satisfying.

Dianne’s “breakfast of champions” has become my regular breakfast now and I love it. Those wonderful showers are a lovely reward after my work out at the gym. Maybe I don’t have to enjoy the exercise. Perhaps it’s enough to just do it!

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