This is mostly koogrr's fault.
Granted, I am never an entirely sedentary person. The walk to work is about a mile, and I typically walk it around five times a week. (Usually, Lut will give me a ride either home or back, sometimes both.)
But I haven't simply been walking lately. I've been exercising, of the sort that gets your heartrate up and makes your muscles sore.
It's partly my own fault, because I'm the one who brought the idea up to John. During one of our (many) phone conversations shortly after I returned from Florida, I suggested we could exercise "together" by doing it while talking on the phone. I've got a cell phone and a headset, and I can walk (my traditional form of exercise) while talking with no trouble.
"No," John said, "I can't really talk while exercising. But we could use it for motivation. You could call me beforehand and we could encourage each other, and then call afterwards as a reward."
"All right. How long do you want to exercise for?"
"Oh, about an hour and a half."
"An hour and a half? You work out for that long?" I couldn't imagine it. "OK, I'll give that long between calls. But don't expect me to be working out for ninety minutes. Thirty, or maybe forty-five at the outside."
I started by lawn-mowing, because our lawn was overgrown and desperately needed to be mowed. Then I bought an exercise book because there's only so much lawn to be mowed.
And then I got hooked.
I started at the beginning of May, but didn't keep track of the exact amount of time that I was spending on it until three weeks ago. For the last three weeks, I've been averaging ... um ... seventy minutes per day. Seven days a week. And this is a fairly conservative estimate, since I usually don't count time spent on cooldown or learning a new exercise.
This is a lot of exercise, especially for me. And it really eats into my evenings. I didn't want to see the new Star Wars movie during the week, because it was two and a half hours and I wouldn't've had time to get in a decent workout the same day I went to see it.
And I really want to work out. Which is doubtless the strangest part. I'm not sure how long it'll last. But for now, it's rather cool. Mostly, the time that I've carved out to exercise is time that I would've spent playing games. I've cancelled both my City of Heroes subscription and my Puzzle Pirates subscription. Lut and I picked up copies of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne and have been playing that a bit, but nowhere near as much as I used to play Puzzle Pirates. I also stopped writing, which stunk. I wrote my first Silver Scales entry in two months yesterday, and hope to get back to that now. Especially with my one-week vacation coming up, during which I will not be going anywhere. Looking forward to that immensely: there'll be lots of time to play games with Lut and write and draw and exercise without feeling rushed to cram everything in.
However, the most annoying thing about the whole workout process has been this:
I haven't lost any weight.
In fact, I've been consistently weighing in at 135.5 to 136 pounds, which is up a pound or two from my low for this year.
Hopefully, I'm gaining muscle mass, which means that eventually I will look noticeably smaller, even if I still weigh as much. But I can't see any difference. Lut says he can feel a difference, which is something. The truth is, I've always basically liked the way I look. Even at my heaviest (153 or so) I still liked my figure. There was too much of it, and I could see the difference (especially in photographs) but I could still look in the mirror and think "I look good."
So I look in the mirror now and think "I look good" which is nice, but it's the same thing I thought back in April when I wasn't an exercise nut. It'd be nice to be able to tell that I'd changed my habits by looking at myself. Maybe I should do what some of my friends have done, and have Lut take a photo of me in a standard pose now, so that I can compare it to the same pose in a month or two. Perhaps with a visual aid like that, I could see a difference. I'm trying to go by waist measurements now, to see if my waist size goes down (it's about 30" now), but that's hard to gauge consistently. Stepping on a scale ad seeing lower numbers is so much more gratifying.
Ah well. I'm enjoying the workouts for their own sake, in any case, which is, granted, a lot more sustainable than a mere appeciation for the end result of working out. So I shouldn't complain.
Still, it does seem unfair that I can't see any benefit from the 40+ hours I've devoted to physical activity. Hmp!