11 October 2008

Walk this way

Today, I walked my second 5K since becoming "French".  I don't quite remember how well I did the first time, but today, I finished the 5K in 46 minutes.  Sometimes, I still must stop and shake my head a little as I remember how far I've come.  Before finding the book French Women Don't Get Fat, I rarely exercised.  I would park at the far corner of the parking lot at the grocery store and that was about the extent of my exercise for the week.  Sound familiar?  So many people in America get even less than that.  My excuse was that I was too tired to exercise, but I really didn't put two and two together that I would have a whole lot more energy if I lost weight and the more I exercised the more energy I would have.
In FWDGF, the author talks about how French women hate to exercise (I could certainly relate) but they walk everywhere.  They don't like to do any exercise that involves putting on anything with spandex (or sweats for that matter).  She talked about how her own weight loss began when she started walking to school every day and that two twenty minute walks a day is what kept her in shape.  Well, I thought, I could certainly make room to walk twenty minutes a day.  
I started walking after dinner around my neighborhood.  It didn't require donning any special clothing or getting in the car to go to the gym.  I saw it in fact as the ultimate time saver.  One, I saved the time in the car going to the gym, two, since there was no special clothing I saved the time showering and drying my hair, and then at the end of my walk, I was already home so I saved the home trip in my car.  There were no membership fees and monthly fees and svelte women.  Twenty minutes was not a huge time commitment and I found I was enjoying the time away from the house and the fresh air.  I started to want to go a bit farther, and a bit farther every day.  Pretty soon, I was able to go a bit faster, and a bit faster still.  I didn't try to do it all at once, didn't beat myself up for being out of shape when I was tired after a twenty minute walk, I just enjoyed my time outside and in the process, helped myself lose weight, get in better shape, and gain more energy.
Walking the 5K today I felt strong.  It is amazing to go from walking slowly for 20 minutes and feeling tired, to power walking a 5K in 46 minutes and feeling great.  I also walked in my regular clothes with full make-up.  After all, French women don't wear sweatpants


Veronica said...

Do you think pregnant French women wear sweat pants?

Laurena said...

Amen. I have the opposite problem, though. I've always been a hard core exerciser and I've had to convince myself that I don't have to work out two hours a day to be in reasonable shape. This, of course, was forced on me by the volume of children in my house, home schooling, and deteriorating health. It's so hard to keep the exercise thing in perspective!

Joie de vivre said...

Ha! Veronica, being French is a state of mind. To me, it is feeling chic. I think if I were French and pregnant, I would wear some cute maternity tights, a cute skirt, perhaps some knee high boots and a cute top with long sleeves in a maternity cut. Laurena, American women have too much guilt, enjoy your exercise. Again, it's a state of mind.

Delightfully Healthy said...

Congratulations! You've inspired me to walk to my library to take a look at the book.