Wednesday, June 06, 2007

This day's workout

I have been losing weight, which is a good thing after I ballooned to 205 pounds early in March -- the heaviest I have ever been. I don't know how much I weigh at the moment, because our cats recently knocked our bathroom scale to the pavement, and it doesn't work anymore; but my wife says my paunch has diminished appreciably, while I have noticed that my clothes fit more loosely than before. Some of my friends and co-workers have also told me I look a bit more slender, so it apparently is pretty obvious. I think I weigh around 193 now, and I am trying to drop to 175, which might take me awhile. (The last time I weighed 175 pounds was shortly after I was married, which was 20 years ago.)

There are several explanations for the drop in my weight. I was sick in bed for most of the second half of April, during which time I had no appetite to speak of. After I re-entered the land of the living, I noticed that I was still eating less of nearly everything, but especially cookies and anything containing chocolate, for both of which I have always had a notorious weakness. I resumed my bicycling regimen only a few days ago, after a hiatus of two months -- practically unheard-of for me at this time of the year. I have been swimming laps in our backyard swimming pool, but no more than I have in previous years. But one additional factor comes into play, which has never been the case before this year; namely, the dance lessons and the Thursday-night practice parties at the Fred Astaire studio, every one of which I have attended since the end of January, when I started taking the lessons as a surprise for my wife. I think a lot of calories may have been meeting their final doom during those visits.

I dropped by the studio this evening, accompanied by Vanessa and my Nikon D50. I had intended to do nothing more than check to see when my next lesson with Sheila was scheduled, and then take a few pictures; but Angie Hines, our instructor, asked me if I was there for the evening's group lesson. I had known nothing about any group lesson until then, but quickly learned that this one was being taught by a new instructor named Amber Barnes, and on the spur of the moment decided to attend it. I turned out to be Amber's only student, and man, did she give me a workout! By the time this lesson ended 45 minutes later, my feet were sore from practicing the triple-step and a complex series of moves Angie had been teaching me, and I was surprised to discover that my shirt was soaked all the way through between my chest and my neck. I did not get to ride my bike this morning before going to work, but I think Amber enabled me to make up for the omission.

So, as I indicated above, I think the dance lessons are an additional explanation for my recent weight loss. Just today I read in the Arizona Republic that one of the recent contestants on "Dancing with the Stars," after being approached several times about participating in the program, finally decided to sign on because he thought it would help him to lose some weight, while enabling him to have a lot of fun in the process. I can relate. If I keep doing this -- and if Amber and Angie and the other instructors keep giving me workouts like this one -- I might be able to reach my goal of 175 after all. Especially if I continue cutting down on the chocolate.


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