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Resolution #47: Get Out of the Damn Chair!

I spend most of the day sitting. I sit in my kitchen chair, writing, or I sit on the couch or in theaters, watching movies and DVDs to review for NickJr.com.

All of this sitting — while often, admittedly, comfortable — has not done any good for my backside which seems to be expanding to fit whatever it’s placed in, or any other part of me, which is no longer quite as willing to move into other positions.

I recognize that this is bad. Especially now that I’m over 50. I do play tennis almost every morning but I play doubles and – let’s be honest – I do not run like one of the Williams sisters. I really don’t even run like one of the ball girls.

So my resolution is to get out of the damn chair and move my body. When I lived in Manhattan, this was easy. I walked miles without realizing how far I had gone because there was so much to see and so much window shopping to do. In Southern California, though, walking is frowned upon. In fact, when we first moved here, I was shocked when my friend asked me – earnestly – if I wanted her to drive me to my car on the other side of the shopping center! I’m sorry but I find it really boring to walk around the suburbs – every tract home looks the same and there is nothing to distract me from the tedium of endlessly putting one foot in front of the other.

I do have a medieval torture, um, I mean elliptical machine in my garage which we used as a clothes rack/storage space for many years. When Michael accidentally discovered its true identity, he was ecstatic and immediately started a daily program. I was impressed – but apparently uninspired. He goes on for an hour every single day, happily listening to his iPod, singing and getting buff. I go on for ten minutes every couple of weeks, looking at the clock every three seconds, sighing loudly and disgustedly, and celebrating my achievement with my friends Ben & Jerry.

Luckily, I have recently received a few things in the mail that just may turn things around:

JumpSnap, the ropeless jump rope, is Dr. Oz’s favorite piece of equipment and it just may be mine, too. It’s challenging and makes me sweat but, most importantly for the long-term, it’s fun. Jumping rope is a great aerobic activity and I love the fact that I can’t trip over the rope with this. It’s empowering and easy to do during writing breaks. Plus, I burn twice as many calories with the JumpSnap than on the stupid elliptical machine so my ten minute workout is really like a twenty minute one!

I’m in the middle of reading From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction, and am totally motivated by author Carole Carson’s transformation from a size 18 down to a size 6. After seeing that it could actually be done – at the age of 60, yet! – and experiencing a renewed energy and new outlook on life, Carole went on to help the citizens of Nevada County lose a whopping 8000 pounds in two months. This is an uplifting story of what is possible, and I’m taking notes and getting ready to start my own Meltdown (that is Meltdown with a capital M, which is not to be confused with meltdown with a little m, which I had while trying on bathing suits for our trip to Australia). If you want to join me, let me know!

Claire Dederer’s Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses is also inspiring me right now. I’ve wanted to start yoga forever (taking yoga is the only way I will ever be able to rationalize shopping at Lululemon) but I live in the yoga capital of the country and am intimidated by the fact that everyone in every class seems to be able to stand on their head or balance on one toe for hours while I am still trying to force one leg to rest on my thigh and praying the other leg will support me. Claire’s book – and attitude – is so real, funny and easy to relate to, and is giving me the confidence to get out of my comfort zone and onto a yoga mat.

After watching the Special Edition of Strictly Ballroom, the irresistible, must-see movie that pretty much sparked Dancing with the Stars – my guilty pleasure, and one that I still can’t believe I am so addicted to – I have a strange urge to learn to jive, quickstep and turn my body into a dancer’s. I’m going to try the routines on the Dancing with the Stars Dance Off the Pounds and Dance Body Tone DVDs – they’re 15 minutes apiece, which is the perfect writing break workout for me – although I don’t think I’ll be looking like Kym or Lacey any time soon! I may try to intersperse those routines with the ones on The Biggest Loser DVDs. I don’t like to be yelled at while I work out but there’s no question that Bob and Jillian’s methods work.

If all else fails, I will keep playing Shawn Johnson Gymnastics on my Wii. I really enjoy Wii Fit but like to change it up, and this game gives me a chance to train like a Gold Medalist. When I use it with the Wii Balance Board, my muscles get to really feel what it’s like to do floor exercise, vault, balance beam and unparallel bars. And I get to feel like a champion.

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.


  1. Love this blog, Lois. And, I can absolutely relate. xoxoxoxo

  2. wow, lois! you sound very motivated! One way to keep you on track is to join the PAC! You can take LOTS of yoga, play tennis, dance in Zumba classes and get all the kinks out at the spa! One stop shopping!

  3. Sheryl, I don’t think I know who you are but I was going to write the exact same thing!!!! how funny! Lois, join us at the PAC. I think you’ll like it. Let me know, we can go together sometime. In addition to the physical activities you also get to see old friends and make new ones!

  4. I’m on board! You sound enthusiastic and motivated and ready to take the challenge. Many of us will follow your progress. When do we begin? Good luck.

  5. WOW, sounds like you need to discover the beauty of where you live. Try walking The Del Mar or Torrey Pines Beaches or The State Park Reserve. Truly amazing and right in your back yard! Before long the River Basin will be ready for a walker like you too. The hills in Del Mar are a challenge and the homes are all fun to look at. So many have been redone and almost all have incredible character. Get out there and walk. 45 min. to an hour a day and you’ll be dropping pounds like crazy! It’s all free and right here…. and there are so many fabulous places to stop for lunch if you feel you are getting too thin….. It’ll happen!

  6. Walking downtown San Diego is great fun with all the strangely dressed 20 somethings at night and the weekly events. We thought that by walking to restaurants, we would lose weight but we were wrong! Too many temptations for noshing and even with walking miles every day, the pounds won’t come off! We do miss the PAC pilates classes but rather be outside in our amazing weather and being entertained at the same time.

  7. Lois, you inspired me to actually order 2 of these itesm – the jump rope and the Carson book. I recently challenged my husband to a weight loss contest, to see who can lose a higher body percentage by the time we get back to California in April. I’m already on the way to winning bid-time!!

  8. Carole Carson says:

    You are such a wonderful writer. As a sister tennis player, I laughed aloud when I saw your comment about not playing doubles like the Williams’ sisters (or even like the ball girl). Your contagious sense of humor shows up in your writing, and your ability to string words together in meaningful ways truly inspires me. For sure, we inspire each other to look good, feel good and do good, don’t we?

    Carole Carson

  9. Barbara Cargill says:

    I am so getting that jump rope Lois…
    You are my inspiration…
    love, Barbara

  10. But you look so cute sitting in the damn chair! I love you just the way you are, but you’re right about staying healthy over 50, it takes work and movement.

  11. Lisa Solomon says:

    Hi Lois,
    You are very funny and you were probably half-joking but really….. It is so beautiful here! You have to go to the beach around sunset…lots of walkers, and, with a wetsuit, you can even go in (every day of the year).

  12. Lois, jumping any kind of rope for older women is not a good practice. It makes everything drop and I was once told that if you pee when you laugh doing jumping jacks and rope will make it worse. Also, incontinence is not helped by jumping. But everything else seems okay. Personally, I just work on balance and core strength. Love you sister friend.

  13. Oh my! This is me…I believe the word Lois is reresolute- people who realize that they have the same resolution year after year. I’ve successfully gotten out of the chair, but still need to lose that last 15 pounds. great tips! and Great post! V

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