A couple of years back a friend/peer/mentor of mine, John Birmingham, had embarked on a series of fitness entries at his blog, Cheeseburger Gothic. At one point he mentioned that having oatmeal for breakfast helped with his fitness plan.
Oatmeal. Yeah, like the stuff in a packet that you pour into a mug, add hot water, stir and hope doesn’t look like slimy glop. Or mush. Or worse.
I asked if an oatmeal cookie would work instead. He said sure, not wanting to argue with a stupid man.
Well, cookies didn’t work and I soon wrote it off.
Fast forward to our summer vacation in California. The Woman I Love and I are enjoying life on a houseboat courtesy of her Aunt and Uncle up at Lake Shasta. Early one morning I woke up hungry and rustled about for something to eat. Turns out we had some organic oatmeal on board and last night’s heavier leftovers.
Oatmeal? I was hungry and trying to work on eating better. Surely one morning of it would not kill me. What I got was Nature’s Path Organic Oatmeal, the Flax Plus batch. You can look up the particulars yourself but I found it was actually quite tasty if mixed properly, sorta like healthy oatmeal cookie dough. In fact, I liked it enough to see about buying some for home use.
In the time since I’ve started eating oatmeal for breakfast on the weekend and Tuesday-Thursday mornings when I don’t teach, my weight has dropped and my belt keeps tightening. With a bit of cinnamon sugar it is really good with a banana and an apple.
During my more lazy moments, I often wonder if all I needed to do was simply eat oatmeal but that is the road to perdition.
So, on the success front, I am down to 193 pounds on the scale. The Woman I Love and I have been working out at least once a week together and we try to walk the dog together as well.
On the failure front, I still struggle to hit four workouts a week. I consistently make my swim goals for the week with the exception of this last week when we had tests to deal with on the teaching front of my life. That said, I could be doing better.
Long Term Goals:
By next Spring I hope to finally have a new bicycle. I live four miles away from my part time job as a lifeguard captain. If I can ride back and forth to work at least two days a week, I’ll solve some of our transport issues. There is also the fact that I could strip off some more body fat. The downside to the bicycle, of course, is that it could cause prostate problems if I am not careful.
The other long term goal is to visit a shoe store that can analyze my run stride and see if we can’t find a shoe that will help with my chronic shin splints. The reason I want to fix this is because I might just be crazy enough to give a triathlon a shot.
Finally, the Woman I Love deserves kudos and a lot of credit for sticking with her own fitness plan. Her swimming skills have improved considerably.
Steven Francis Murphy
Author of The Limb Knitter and Tearing Down Tuesday
Kansas City, Missouri