Shelley Widhalm

Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

EmBARKing into Conversations

In Coffee shops, Communication secrets, Exercise, Seeking pets on June 5, 2011 at 8:31 am

Eating, exercising and not being shy, all in a healthy way, can be a bit much for one week.

First, I ate fruit salad and lettuce leaf salad and did not eat ice cream or chocolate.

Second, I went to the gym, did aerobics or went on a walk every day, well except for Tuesday.

And third, I talked with someone outside my comfort zone, w-a-y outside of it, though I’m not sure if the conversation actually counts toward breaking my shyness barriers. I’ve seen this man, let’s call him C., around my neighborhood, and my flirty dachshund barked at him as he stood a half-block away.

Zoey was sitting atop a coffee shop patio table while I read a book before I had to go into work for a late shift Wednesday. I said, “I’m sorry. She just wants you to pet her.”

My mini-D wants everyone to pet her.

C put out his cigarette and came over to pet her, but I felt wary, noticing his bedraggled clothing and missing teeth. Wanting to be polite, I asked him about his work (odd jobs), and he told me about getting kicked out of his apartment because of some downtown reconstruction.

“Animals seem to like me,” he said.

I started to feel safe in C’s presence, looking over at Zoey’s expression of ecstasy as he rubbed her ears.

“Dogs are a good judge of character,” he said.

A few months ago, Zoey met another person and would not stop her ferocious barking, seeming to have read something not right in him. And with C, she was seeking his attention.

C asked to have a seat, and I nodded. We talked for five more minutes about where we went to high school, what we do for work and the weather until I had to leave for the office.

I walked away from that experience realizing that I was being a bit judgmental about C’s appearance. But at the same time as a woman, I always have to be wary whenever I’m out in public, day or night. It’s just how it is. Even in a small city.

I guess that’s why it is good to have a dog more aware of the unspoken aspects of communication.

A Weight-y Matter

In Exercise, Not an easy task, Weight loss on May 29, 2011 at 8:28 am

Almost is better than not at all.


To try to meet last week’s challenge, I exercised every day, except for on Wednesday. That was because I slept in and couldn’t fit it in during my break, and I worked late.

Excuses, I know.

I am trying to get in better shape and, for that reason, joined a gym a month ago. With the help of a trainer (I hired one so I would learn to lift using the proper techniques), I noticed that some of the muscle mass I had previously developed through aerobics and biking is returning. My trainer calls it muscle memory.

I have not, however, lost one tiny fraction of a pound.

It could be because I like dieting as much as I like the idea of working a 100-hour work week or hanging out with two-plus spiders.

Despite my diet aversion, I am trying to think about My Pyramid, which disappointedly does not have a section in the triangle allotted to chocolate or ice cream. I am, albeit turtle pace slow, reducing sweets (bye-bye candy bars and gluten-free donuts), increasing fruits and vegetables (well, hello there grapefruit) and aiming for balanced meals, but it makes eating seem so healthy! I like to not think about it and just eat.

Logically, though, if I want to lose 20 pounds to return to my ideal college student weight, I have to make a few changes.

And this is how my exercise goal fits in neatly with my shyness challenge. I like hanging out where it’s comfortable, i.e. next to the refrigerator or decorating the wall with my flower-ness.

But change takes work, and so for next week, I have to continue on my path of better eating, continue exercising one hour a day (every day, not just when my trainer is there) and start a conversation with someone new who I’ve never met before. This person cannot be anywhere within my comfort zone, i.e. someone I would talk to as a reporter or a dog owner (my dog is a pet-me magnet).