Who knew?

Who knew?

I went off for my annual doctor’s appointment about a month ago, and while all was well, that scale thing had crept up to a truly frightening figure. My clothes were still fitting pretty well, but shall we say, my face was a wee bit more full than I’d like — and of course, just as I was realizing that middle-aged spread was indeed happening to me, work got really busy, the bears got into their annual fall frenzy, the out-of-state hunters with their scary high-power rifles arrived, and somehow we just weren’t getting out for our afternoon walks in the surrounding mountains.

So I dug out a couple of leashes, found that three-buck pedometer I bought last spring, and decided to experiment by walking the dogs down to the dog park and back every day. It’s an easy shot — down to the bottom of my block, then ten blocks to the little plank bridge someone’s put over Fleishman Creek, and into the dog park the back way, through the lovely creekbottom that Trout Unlimited restored two years ago for fish habitat. We practice leash walking, which is a skill the boys desperately needed to brush up on, and going toward the park we walk at quite a brisk pace. Then at the lovely creekbottom I let them off the leashes and they go bombing through the willows chasing bunnies and birds and running joyfully back and forth. We eventually emerge onto the exposed bluff/former dump that is our dog park, find our doggy and human friends, walk a couple of loops and then come home. According to my cheapo pedometer, round-trip it’s two- to two-and-a-half miles from my house to the dog park, around a couple of loops and home. Once a day that’s a perfectly acceptable level of exercise, and on those days that we do it twice, well, then I don’t feel so bad about that second glass of wine.

Winter is here — it’s dark by five, and so far my new dog walking routine is not only fighting the winter blues with a few endorphins, but I’ve shed six pounds. Walking’s the only exercise I really like, even at the club I’m a dedicated treadmill gal. So we’ll see — it’ll get cold soon, but walking warms one up and I’ve decided it’s time to really do something serious about the way my weight has been creeping up with my age. I’ll never be a sylph, but I can get that cute little ass I used to have back with enough trips to the dog park and back. Now if I can only make enough money to get my bathroom remodeled, I can quit the health club …

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