Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There's Cinco de Mayo, then there's The Death March

For those of you who tend to be forgetful (like me), just a reminder that Your Vine or Mine? is having a Cinco de Mayo celebration today. All you can eat tacos for $7.50, Sangria at $3.00 a pop. Alex Anthony will be hosting karaoke. The event runs from 4 – 10 p.m., but the karaoke doesn’t officially start until 7. Of course if you want to get up there and sing earlier, no one will stop you! I will definitely be stopping in, but probably not until 8 or so. I hope to see all of you there!

In the area of being a glutton for punishment, I haven’t stopped with biking. I just returned from “The Death March.” Let me explain. I hate exercise. When I decided several years ago that I really needed to lose weight for my health, even the possibility of medical issues did not seem to motivate me to move. Oh, I had fabulous intentions. I would get up in the morning, get dressed, put on running shoes, and head out the door. But I discovered something about myself. Without a huge amount of motivation, I found excuses to cut the workout short.

“It’s raining, I’ll head back now.”

“It’s really cold, I’ll head back now.”

“It’s dark. I’m tired. There might be a mean dog. That nasty sun is shining in my eyes. The moon is setting in the West. I forgot to tie my shoes.”

You name it and I used it as an excuse. I came to realize that I needed a “foolproof” method that would guarantee that I would finish what I started every time. That’s when I came up with the idea for The Death March. I had seen a mention of the Bataan Death March during WWII, where the prisoners were forced to march for days until they reached their destination. They had to keep walking no matter what. How could I use that historical event to fuel my exercise routine?

Then it hit me. It had to be a one-way trip. But the destination had to be home. So I got up one morning, put on my running shoes, and got into my husband’s car. I asked him to drop me off as he headed for work at a place two miles from my house. He thought I was nuts. But when you are stuck, two miles from home, with no transportation, no buses or taxis, and you have to get home in time to get ready for work, you walk until you get there. From a psychological standpoint, you are heading home, so there is no turning around 5 minutes into the walk. You do it because once you are dropped you have no choice but to get back on your own foot power. It no longer matters if it’s raining, or you’re cold, or you’re tired.

I lost a huge amount of weight by doing this on a regular basis. At one point I was doing it twice a day. But I’ve been lax for much too long, so I will start slowly. One Death March per day for right now. Give it a try. It really does work!