Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 5: Only Losers Exercise

I mean, The Biggest Losers! I am a huge fan of The Biggest Loser. Yes, some of the challenges on the show are lame, and the product placement is super cheesey, but I love what the show is about. Getting ordinary, sedentary over-eaters to break a sweat and burn some calories. There just is no substitute for exercise.

Check out the winner from last season. Danny started at 430 pounds and ended the season at 191, losing 55.58% of himself! It's so crazy that through physical activity and proper eating, Danny not only is stronger and healthier than ever, but has an amazing tan!

I know I don't need to lose weight, but for my entire life, I have never been physically adept. I remember in elementary school actually being called a "bean pole." Who says that??? In college, I managed to live with a bunch of athletic women. There was Missy, the volleyball player with the six pack and big guns. Lauren, who ran a marathon after spending a week sleeping with the homeless in Philadelphia. The triathlete, Ali, who I could never keep up with no matter what we were doing. When we would go running and there was some sort of hill or mountain, Ali keeps running... faster! When I see any type of incline, I look for an escalator.

So it's not surprising that I became known as Flat Kathy. Or Pencil Arms. Your pick.


No matter how humiliated I've been, which has been plenty (trust me). I still run and I still go to the gym. Why? Because I'm a masochist, you say? No, because it's one of the best things I can do for myself. Exercise isn't just rewarding physically. Your emotional well-being benefits as well. We all learned about endorphins from Elle Woods.

And it's not just endorphins. Your brain also produces serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaine -- which are some of the same neurotransmitters that antidepressants are designed to target. If you're interested on how exercise can positively impact depression, you should read this Duke study

Exercise also has helped me grow spiritually. I've seen a dramatic increase in prayer. "Dear God, please let this spinning class be over soon!" "Holy Jesus, I think I'm going to vomit." "Thank you, Lord, for not letting me die." I never feel more closer to God than when a work out is over.

Since this cleanse is only 21 days, I have decided the other 19 days that are left of Lent will be focused on getting my running back on track. You see, I sort of took to running this time around like I do with some of my failed relationships: I went into it going too fast too soon and ended up getting hurt. (Aww, sad, I know.)

Seriously a few weeks ago, after have been put on hiatus for 4-6 weeks for shin splints, I went from running 2 miles at the beginning of the week to 6 miles by Saturday. I thought my tibia was going to snap in half and break some flesh. I don't know how I convinced myself that was a good idea.

Lesson of the hour: get physical but be gentle with yourself. Ease into it. Like with the cleanse, I slowly cut out meat and caffeine before diving into the 21-days of beans and rice and herbal tea. The same goes with pushing yourself to attain a physical goal.

Work your way up to getting a daily dose of cardio with a sprinkle of weight training. Even just stretching and doing a few simple calisthenics to burn some good calories while you're watching American Idol is better than just sitting on your ass consuming more calories. Don't underestimate the power of stretching. Open your mind and your body and just see the vast range of motion and emotion is that is available to you through exercise.

If you're feeling self-conscious, just think about all the Biggest Loser contestants getting berated by Jillian Michaels on national TV.

Flat Kathy is also out there flailing her pencil arms.


  1. I just laughed out loud several times while reading this (especially at the tan observation)!! I'm trying to start running more, too - and I think that in about a month we MIGHT(if Alana is right) be in a place where we can motivate each other to run on the beach!

  2. PS, new rule: When we're together we need to refer to ourselves as Kathy Fay and Daci Jaye.