Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A Little Imagination Can Take You Far

By Deana Nall
The Baytown Sun

Published December 15, 2004

I took a walk through Lakewood the other day. OK, down one street in Lakewood. I was taking in the sunshine, admiring the waterfront homes and “clearing my head.”

A lot of people say they go walking to “clear their heads,” but avid walkers know that the phrase is actually code for “I don’t want the three cinnamon rolls I ate today at Golden Corral to still be hanging on to my thighs come July.”

So we walk.

I used to walk more often. Then I got pregnant. The first 15 weeks or so of my pregnancies tend to be pretty rough, and I didn’t think people living five blocks down North Burnet Drive wanted to see me throwing up in their bushes.

So I quit walking. Then I had a baby. The books say to not even think about exercising for the first several months after giving birth. This is a welcome piece of advice for new mommies who are sleeping about 45 minutes a night and couldn’t care less if their backsides are hanging down to their Achilles’ tendons.

But we have to be careful or this exercise hiatus can stretch into our children’s late teen years, where we could find ourselves still convalescing from episiotomies or C-sections that happened decade before last.

So the solution is to get moving. This can seem daunting, so I’ve written a handy guide called “Tricking Yourself Into Exercising” or “How to Burn Calories by Blinking a Lot.”

First, you need to know that incorporating an exercise regimen into your schedule may be easier than you think. You’re probably exercising already without even realizing it. Pushing a cart full of groceries around the store for an hour definitely burns some calories. Putting a 50-pound 5-year-old in your cart is even better. Just make sure the 5-year-old is your own.

You can also try parking at San Jacinto Methodist Hospital or one of the adjoining office plazas and taking the subsequent half-mile hike to your doctor’s office.

But if you have a day in which you are doing neither of these, you may have to exercise on purpose. I recommend walking because it’s so easy to pretend you’re doing something else. I like to pretend Jude Law lives about three houses down from me. Or Tobey Maguire. Oh, heck. Let’s make them roommates. When I set out on my walk, I’m actually going to visit my celebrity neighbors. When I get to their house, I pretend they actually live in the next house. Then the next house. When I’ve gone all the way down the street, I pretend they aren’t home and then I walk back to my house. See? All this takes is a little imagination.

And, this being the 21st Century and all, don’t be afraid to let technology work for you. I always carry my cell phone when I go walking. This way, if I am attacked by a wild Chihuahua, or accosted by someone who wants to sell me a box of Porterhouse steaks, or if I get tired of walking and want to be picked up, my husband is only a phone call away.

One more important reminder is that you need to drink a lot of water. I read that the human body is 70 percent water. Or is it 90 percent? Wait, that might be a head of iceberg lettuce. Oh, I don’t remember. Just drink water — that’s all you need to know.

Happy walking!

Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is


  • At Wed Dec 15, 08:38:00 AM, Blogger WinniePhew said… what does a blimpy Dad do? I was trim till age 35. Then my brains settled to my tummy. Now, I am full-tummied and empty-headed...Woe is the generation that goeth before a pizza bash; for that generation shall become all pasta-ed (how do you spell the past tense of "pasta")? At any rate, beware the wasted waist.
    WinniePhew --

  • At Thu Dec 16, 12:01:00 PM, Blogger Serena Voss said…

    How much water? I guess if I start sprouting lettuce, I'll know I overdid it. : )


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