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Chocolate is Brown

October 8, 2004

One of the ways people find their way to this site is by searching for “exercise log”. I’m guessing most of them are looking for a tool to track their own exercise but maybe not. Maybe they’re looking to see how their activity compares to other random people’s. If that’s the case, I’ve made some people feel pretty good about themselves. Last time I did a workout longer than five minutes? That was in MAY. May, people. That’s pathetic. And it’s not like I’ve been generally active, either–I averaged around 5600 steps a day in September, but that falls to around 4200 if I exclude the vacation days when we tromped around Alaska. That’s pitiful–less than half of my target.

But October’s going to be different. So far this month I’ve topped 10,000 steps every day. Now, I realize that a lot of people do that routinely, but I sure don’t. I have to make an effort to reach that level, especially since I’ve structured my life such that I pretty much have to spend at least ten hours a day sitting in the car or at my desk every weekday. This week I’ve left the office every lunch hour and walked. When we were in the old building, I could head out the front door and down a sidewalk and within a couple blocks be strolling alongside a little lake or through a quiet residential neighborhood. From this building, I can head out the front door and right onto the street. The nearest sidewalk is, well, I don’t know where it is. One of the buildings on the cross street has an asphalt path in front of their place, but it doesn’t connect to anything. This is not a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.

So I implemented the suburban walking solution–I went to the mall. There’s a big one close by, one I’d never been inside despite having driven by it too many times to count and even patronized a few of the businesses in its outlots. According to the brochure, it’s “Michigan’s No. 1 Shopping and Entertainment Destination”. The brochure also says the food court is the size of Utah, which is obviously not true, so I think the No. 1 thing might be a wee bit of an exaggeration, too. Monday, my mall walk cost me $39 plus tax because I could not resist the lure of a sale at the alpaca store–I’ve wanted an alpaca sweater for a long time and here was a store full of them at reasonable prices. Tuesday, the weather was so nice that I mostly walked around the outside of the mall–there’s a sidewalk that goes almost the whole way around, plus now I know where all the dumpsters are. Wednesday, I succumbed to the lure of Hot Dog on a Stick–I hate to think how many steps it took to burn off that lunch. Thursday, it was stuffed pizza at Sbarro. I think it might be better to stay in the office and sit on my butt if I can’t stay out of the food court.

Today I had a not very authentic gyro (the pieces of meat aren’t supposed to be perfectly rectangular, are they?) and tried the Frosty Bites (warning: do not enter that site if wacky cursors annoy you) that I’d been eyeing all week, ever since I saw some women on Monday with what looked like my beloved Dippin’ Dots but which, according to the kiosk I passed a few dozen stores after I saw the women, turned out to be Frosty Bites, the name of which I could not for the life of me remember when I told Mr. Karen about it that first day. All I could come up with was “Frosty Paws”, which is ice cream for dogs and dogs aren’t allowed in the mall so that couldn’t be right. I am here to tell you now that Frosty Bites are no Dippin’ Dots. They’re like the ice cream of the future after a horrible antimatter accident, all misshapen and ugly. These are not the happy roly-poly balls of goodness I’ve come to expect in a flash frozen ice cream product. (Actually, I didn’t know they were called a “flash frozen ice cream product” until I Googled “dippin dots versus frosty bites” and found out about the lawsuit. Dippin’ Dots lost, probably because the judges knew that no sensible person could confuse the goodness that is Dippin’ Dots with the abomination that is Frosty Bites, though the decision doesn’t say that. The decision does cover the important question of what color chocolate is, with brown, white, and blue all being discussed.) (Aside to aside: I was surprised at how many of the results to my ice cream search led to URLs related to naked female celebrities. Ain’t the Internet grand?)

What was I talking about? Oh, walking. So even with my midday excursions to the mall and taking the long way to the bathroom in the office, it still hasn’t been easy to get 10,000 steps. A walk before or after dinner every night has also been required, and Wednesday I had to pace around the house before bed to get those last few steps because after my walk I spent more time than I expected at the computer formatting pictures for the photo album. But one way or another I’ve done it. Now I need to keep doing it and add on. Tomorrow I’m going with Erica to her Nia class even though I’m afraid I’ll look hulking and clumsy. Maybe next weekend I’ll get the Firm tapes off the shelf and into the VCR again. I’ve got to do something–ski season is just around the corner.

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