I’m fat, and though I’d be okay with that if I was healthy, I’m not healthy. I mean, I’m really not healthy. I’m a chair-breaking 380 pounds. That isn’t an exaggeration, either, I’ve broken a lot of chairs in my life. I’ve been telling myself that I need to lose weight, or rather, I need to get healthy for a long time, but some big part of me always resisted it. I don’t know why, but The Oatmeal’s name for it is as good as any. I’m a fat kid going as far back as I can remember. I’ve never taken care of myself. I’ve gradually let myself get worse as the years have gone by, and as I’m approaching 30, I’m starting to get very, very afraid that I won’t ever be able to recover.
Fortunately, I think Fate has intervened on my behalf. I moved to a new city and started a new job a few weeks ago. In my new job, I’m more or less banished from the office during my lunch and breaks. Sure, I could go sit in the little restaurant/cafeteria and play on the free wi-fi, but the social anxiety of being around too many strangers got the better of me. Instead, in boredom, I started walking.
I walk laps around the building. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is actually 1/4 of a mile for one lap. I didn’t realize it until I started using Runkeeper to track my progress, but it is also a pretty decent up and down incline. One side of the building is 51’ higher than the other side. At first, it hurt my knees to walk it, and I was only able to do 1 lap per break. Two weeks into my walking, I can bust out two-three pretty easily. I could probably get four in, but I don’t want to go back to work even more sweaty than I already do. For the record, that would be a full mile in 15 minutes. I haven’t been able to do a 15 minute mile since I was a freshman in High School, and even then, it was running.
After a full week of doing laps, I decided that I wanted to know exactly how much walking I was doing in a day so I downloaded the Runkeeper app to my phone. I was already using the LoseIt app to count calories (something that appeals to a very meticulous, borderline neurotic part of me), and though it has an exercise entry option, I didn’t know how accurate my guesses at speed and time were. Runkeeper tells me exactly how fast, how far, and how long I walked. It seemed like a great integration. (I use the free version of both apps)
While fiddling with Runkeeper, I noticed something. It has a “goal” option. I decided to play with it for a bit. I’ve already set a goal on LoseIt, trying to drop 130 pounds. I know that seems like a lot, but even if I drop that much weight, I’ll still be 70 pounds over the high end of the “ideal” weight for my height. So, having already set a weight loss goal, I didn’t want to set another one of those. Again, destiny was with me. Runkeeper doesn’t go so much for the weigh loss goals as the “Sense of Achievement” style. It had goals for things like “Duration” and “Distance.” I decided I’d follow the examples of the Proclaimers before me and walk 1,000 miles.
That’s right. I’m going to walk 1,000 miles.
I haven’t set a timeframe for my 1000 miles yet, and it is a cumulative thousand, not a linear thousand. At my current rate of walking around 1-2 miles a day, it’ll take me a little under two years. I’m okay with that. I’ve got nothing better going on.
This is also (for now) just counting how many miles I’m walking as exercise. I don’t have the spare pocket cash to pick up a Fitbit yet. When I do I’ll just wear it all the time and let it calculate how far I walk just doing my job, or going to get some water from the kitchen, or walking in circles around my neighborhood. My new job is pretty active, so it might go way up when I am able to afford one.
The strange thing about the walking I’ve been doing is, for the first time in my life, the exercise people are right. The more I do it, the more I want to do it. I’ve never felt like that before. I’ve always dreaded and hated the idea of exercise, but now, I find myself popping off to walk laps around the block when I’m on the phone with my brother, or just getting up and moving around because sitting for too long is boring.
Apparently, finding the right route is a very, very important part of doing this, and I’ve managed to stumble onto mine.
I don’t know exactly what I weigh at the moment, being well over 300 pounds is much too heavy for a normal bathroom scale. I do intend to buy a super-fatty scale soon. When I do, I’ll keep the world informed on my progress.
I’m not worried about my weight, per se, but I do want to feel better, and I’m pretty excited about the idea of all this high-altitude training coming in handy when I get to go back to an Eldaraenth event in Missouri. No one will see my globular-blood induced mega-stamina coming.