Something in the Way She Moves

I just got off the treadmill for my first 30-minute exercise of 2008. What are the symptoms of a heart attack? Can you actually sweat to death?

Thirty-five minutes ago, I was so full of hope. Of life. Where did it all go wrong?

To begin, I kept on my sock monkey pajamas as sweatpants (for those of you just tuning in, I went all of 2007 without shopping. Therefore I have no workout clothes yet. Don't worry, things will get more socially acceptable as I begin jogging outdoors and such), my sports bra from 2000 and a long-sleeve wicking kind of runner's shirt my aunt sent me that I forgot I had.

Our treadmill is at the back of the house, in our laundry room. This room was clearly once a back porch, and the good news is — as I stand on our treadmill for the first time since we moved here five months ago — I have a nice view. At our old house, the treadmill faced the wall and a 1940s framed ad for speedboats. I got so tired of that speedboat and the bikini-clad woman on said speedboat. Nice diaper bikini. Want to cover up any more, burka gal? Yeesch.

So I turned on my iPod and began.

Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash.

I love this song. Start off going three miles an hour to warm up.

But those people keep a'movin/and that's what tortures me.

Don't Think Twice, it's Alright – Bob Dylan

I can see Winston playing in the woodsy part of our backyard. Ponder that Winston burns calories just chasing leaves, with no need for an iPod. Wonder why Bob Dylan was so annoyed with this woman he is singing about. Wonder why I like this song even though he uses the word "if'n."

Turn treadmill up to four miles an hour. A blistering fifteen-minute mile. Woo! I'm Kenyan! Somebody stop me!

Raspberry Beret – Prince

Well, it is simply impossible to be sad during this song. Turn treadmill up to 4.3. Discover I have been on for less than 10 minutes. Seriously? Turn treadmill back down to 4.0.

Praise God I'm Satisfied – Blind Willie Johnson

Wonder why I am so white. Wonder why I am so thirsty. The stupid treadmill's "Stop" button does not actually work. Grab sides of treadmill and leap off, run into kitchen and grab giant bottle of Pellegrino. Remember that all I have had to drink today is black coffee. Oops.

Helpless – Neil Young

Completely identify with this song right now. Hips are actually sweating. Consider increasing incline on treadmill and quickly dismiss idea, as hair is sweating.

Something – The Beatles

Ruminate that I don't have any songs from after 1985 on my iPod. Think of George Harrison singing "Something in the way she moves/attracts me like no other lover" about me and my galumping, sock-monkey self on this treadmill. Imagine the sight of pretty self on treadmill in a movie, with that song as the soundtrack. Start giggling uncontrollably.

Age of Consent – New Order

Again, impossible to be sad during this song. Turn treadmill back up to 4.3, and to survive, begin imagining my friend Lisa dancing across from me. She and I must have danced to this song at various bars in our hometown maybe 250 times. Bring friend Cindy in as well, then Donna and Marc. Start giggling, seeing them all dancing in 1989. Get misty, realizing how much I miss dancing with these friends. Begin really crying, realizing we are all of us grown up and will never go dancing together again. Realize you can get sad during this song.

Indian Summer – The Doors

Really, a wonderful cool-down song. Stop weeping and commence wishing I were at The Whiskey in 1968, tripping out on peyote and swaying to this song. Wonder if peyote makes you throw up. If it does, forget the peyote part.

Total time working out? Thirty minutes and 20 seconds. Pace? Fifteen-minute mile. Emotions felt? Seven-hundred sixty-two.

See you tomorrow!

How I am Going to get Healthy in 2008

I have no inkling.

Wouldn't that be hilARious? If I had no plan whatsoever? If I just made a nice pie blog, the end?

However, I do have some rules and regulations for myself. What a surprise. Cause I'm usually so devil-may-care.

First of all, I am not going to be weird. I'm not gonna give up wheat, or eat based on my sun sign or whatever. Here is my master plan: If it's junk, I don't eat it. If it's healthy, I will.

That's it. I am not going to weigh or measure anything. I am not going to count calories. And I am NOT going to get hungry. There is nothing worse than starting a diet and being ready to eat the cats by noon.

Also in my plan? No nutritious shakes. I will not name names. But I could drink about 50 of them because they're delicious, which I think negates the point.

I used to work next to a gas station that also served food. Now that right there should tell you a little something about my eating habits, because Mo? the guy who worked there in the day shift? He and I became really good friends. And he used to crack up because I would get chili cheese fries (from the GAS STATION) and one of those slimming shakes. "Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah!" he would laugh. That's how he laughed. Like the 7-Up Uncola guy. "Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah! You are getting diet shake and chili fries again! Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah!"

So anyway, the whole "if it's junk" plan sounded good, until I really started trying to decide on groceries. Is fruit juice junk? Are Baked Lay's? I decided to consult two friends whose eating habits I admire: one friend is Kellie, who I only know from her blog, and the other is Donna, who has been my friend since the first day of 10th grade. They put us in group 3 in gym class, along with the asthmatic kids. We were inseparable from then on.

The point of this story is that Kellie and Donna, who do not know each other from beans, came up with almost identical eating plans.

Here's where I pause. Do you really want me to bore you with the exact details of how they eat? Do you want the whole kit and caboodle? If so, I will write about it next time.

The other thing I am going to do to start off is 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week. I have a treadmill, a yoga DVD, and this whole medicine ball/weight/something strenuous kit with a DVD that I got from my bank. I am not making that up. So I have plenty of options for exercise. Next time I write, I will not only bore you with that menu if you want, but I will tell you how my 30 minutes on the treadmill went today. I am a slow, slow runner. Molasses called. It's January, and it wants its pace back.

My four food groups: sugar, fat, caffeine and cuticles

This all started because of a magazine article. So many things in my life start that way, which technically is pathetic.

One day in October, at my mother's place in the woods, I went to a grocery store to stock up on food for my brush with wilderness. Naturally I bought cream soda, potato chips that were supposed to taste like a twice-baked potato, and some Orange Milano cookies. I also bought an Oprah Magazine.

Oh, poke fun at me all you want. Oprah Magazine rocks. I know this makes me middle-aged and middle-American. Sue me. Will it make you feel better if I pierce something and buy Spin instead? (Do they still make Spin?)

At any rate, there was a health article in there by Dr. Oz, who apparently not only lives on the yellow brick road, but also on Oprah's payroll. He had many tests to determine if you are physically fit.

Let's just say I took the tests and I am no whoever-that-guy-is-who-rides-a-bike-and-everyone-has-a-yellow-bracelet-of-to-honor-him. You know who I mean. He dated Sheryl Crow.

Anyway, I am not that guy. Sheryl Crow won't even meet me for coffee.

Therefore, I was inspired to live better for all of 2008. And naturally I have to blog about it, because I need attention all the time.

Next time you'll get the dirty details of this blog. They are not actually very dirty. I just wanted to entice you.

Along with eating better and exercising, every month I'll try something else healthy. I'll drink green tea instead of 75 pots of coffee. Or I'll do chi-gong. I will get it on and bang a gong. Now see? That sounded vaguely dirty.

Meanwhile, if you want to see my sad physical condition as I start, click on "Progress a la Mode" at right.

Mmmm. A la mode.