Cable TV is killing me. My family has gone without it since the late nineties and we were just fine. Last year at about this time my husband insisted that we get it. He just wanted more access to football or something like that. Since he rarely asks for anything, I obliged and ordered cable the next day. It feels like since that fateful day the family hasn’t moved from the couch but all that’s about to change. I don’t think that I’ll have the cable turned off just yet, but summer is coming and there’s going to be a limit on how often that TV is on, including for my husband.
Before we had that box sitting on top of our TV we were always outside doing something. It’s possible to enjoy the weather almost year-round in southern Louisiana so we got to be pretty creative like making a homemade trampoline. One of my husband’s jobs used to get shipments of huge inflatable bags that were made out of thick plastic and covered in sturdy brown paper. He would bring them home and lay them out in the backyard. One of the kids would sit on one side of the bag and wait for my husband to launch them in the air with the weight of his body. I stood to the side with the camera in one hand and the first aid kit in the other. The kids would fly into the air like a man being shot out of a cannon and land with a soft “poof” as they hit their mark on the other bag. Now the only soft “poof” sound I hear is that of someone plunking down on the love seat as the TV is turned on.
I don’t like to watch that much TV. I like a few shows but if I miss them I’m not heartbroken. Since my family loves the boob tube so much and I want to spend time with them, I’ve taken up knitting to feel like I’m at least being productive while I sit. The only things I know how to make are blankets so I’ve knitted everyone in my family one. Its kind of funny sitting with them knitting yet another blanket while they’re curled up on the couch in the blanket I knit them only to avoid watching TV.
The TV is always on and it’s starting to drive me nuts. Since my husband’s been out of work the TV has been on even more. He gets up early and turns it on to the Disney Channel while the kids get ready for school. It will stay on that channel until about noon since he’s started getting into some of the cartoons on that channel. Granted, they seem to be pretty funny, but still. After that he turns on The Unit, of which he’s recorded just about every episode ever made, and critiques the methods of combat the team uses. My husband used to be a sniper in the Army and knows about combat. I, on the other hand, am happy to be perfectly and blissfully ignorant about it. I’m starting to learn too much about the ins and outs of how to kill a man.
Since we’ve gotten cable I’ve gained weight. There are a number of things I could blame it on, but I know it’s only my own fault for being so passive to my family and letting them get away with watching so much TV. All of this is about to change. I’ve joined a team walking competition at work and have to walk at least thirty-five miles a week. I’ve tried to do diets and exercise before but have always failed. With being on a team I feel like I am being held more accountable for my exercise plan. Plus, an old supervisor is on another team and I have to beat him. I’m holding an old grudge against him for something he said to me six years ago. I’ll put the grudge down only after I kick his butt.
The medical department at work gave each of the walking competitors a pedometer. We’re expected to walk at least ten thousand steps a day and I find that in the week that I’ve been wearing the pedometer I’ve become almost obsessed with checking it. I strap it to the waistband of my pajamas and don’t take it off until I’m just about ready for bed and put it on in the morning before I even reach for my glasses. I need to have those steps to the coffee pot count. I walk circles around the couch while I watch for the school bus in the mornings. At work I’ve stopped taking the work truck around the plant site where I work and walk everywhere. When I get home I run around the house and walk circles around my kids. On my off days, I walk a route that I clocked with my car. It’s about a four mile walk and with that and all of my other pacing I make my five miles easily and then some. I’m thinking about getting everyone in my family a pedometer and giving them a challenge of five thousand steps a day. That would equate to about two and a half miles, which would be a good starting point for them. I’m bound and determined to turn my couch potatoes into long, lean, strong people.
Today I’m going through the house and am going to throw away all of the sugary things in the cupboard. That stuff is calling my name and I know that I don’t need it. I’ve been known to get up in the middle of the night and binge a little bit without the slimming benefit of purging afterwards. This is just the beginning of my new health kick and I’m feeling pretty gung-ho. I’ve started a regimen of vitamins and right now I’m sitting here with a pretty kickin’ niacin flush. I’m beet red and warm all over. As soon as my skin fades back to its normal pale color I’m going to hit the pavement and walk my butt off. And then when my kids get home from school I’m going to take them and let them pick out which pedometer they want. Let the challenge begin! Who else wants to join me?