February 25, 2008

50 ways to lose your blubber

[By Merry]

Oh come now -- you know full well that I do not have an attention span long enough to list 50 ways to lose fat. Besides, Cranky Fitness is not a Weight Loss blog. It was just a cheap trick to make you click the link. Which you have, so I'm happy. You can go away now.

Crap. You're still here. I suppose that means I've got to follow through on what I started.

Have you noticed those '25 things to do before I die' lists that people have been making on their blogs? This is an example: 100 things to do before you die.

One thing that most of the lists have in common is that the activities listed are frequently ones that would cause you to lose fat and gain muscle. (Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, ski down Everest, wrestle a sabre-toothed tiger.)
What could be better?

Go forth, spake I to myself, and create a list of things you really want to do before you die. Scan the list for things that would cause you to lose fat. Do these things. What could be simpler?

Oh, so now you expect me to follow my own advice, do you? Want me to publish such a list just to show I'm not a chicken? Fine. See below.


Before you get to my list, a couple of things to bear in mind.
Something that these lists have in common is that the lister really would like to do these actions. So from my perspective, that meant scratching anything that involved heights, depths, or cats the size of sanitation trucks.

Another similarity with many of these lists is that some of the tasks on them are frankly... well, they read a bit like those Christmas letters you get from someone you don't know very well, in fact you've forgotten the names of their children, but the letter tells you that the 10 year old has been accepted into Harvard and the 3 year old won the Turner prize for Art. One of those letters. I am not convinced that some of these people really have any plans to ride the space shuttle, drive coast to coast in a red convertible with a hot blond, or ask their boss for a raise. They probably couldn't come up with a full 25 without some padding.

My list, as it stands now, is only composed of things that I really want to do and that are within my capabilities, physical, emotional, financial.

My List:
  1. Ride a century (100 mile bike race).
  2. Run one of those -- what do you call them? A 401k? Oh, right, a 5k. (Knew it was something like that.)
  3. Get my house organized
  4. Ride with a regular cycling group, (Currently my pace is a bit too slow for the groups around here.)
  5. Become thin-and-fit, ready to embark on a career of World Domination.

Looking at this list, it's a bit depressing that I can't think of 25 things to do before I die. Really, I'm not planning to go for several more decades. Time to start thinking of things to do. Because I think the worst thing I could do would be to drift through life and only realize at the end that I could have enjoyed myself a bit more.

One way to come up with ideas is to try this: Tackle any issue with a list of 100. I'll have to see if I can come up with more things to do.

Or if you have any suggestions, please let me know. What's on your list?

If you still need a '50 ways' fix, might I suggest 50 ways to get fit for summer? It's still useful information at any time of the year.

Photo courtesy of flickr. For some reason, "swim with dolphins" was on every single To Do list that I saw.


  1. Aside from "publish a novel," my list would have nothing to do with achievements, just pleasures. Lots of world to visit, desserts to eat, books to read, beaches to loll on, etc.

    If some pleasures incidentally include exercise, like hiking a beautiful trail, that's cool, but I figure exercise can stay on my everyday chore list and not mess with my "before I die" list. Not that I've gotten it together to make one.

    I'm like you and tend to be suspicious of people who have goals that sound so lofty.

    Great post! Can't wait to hear what other, more organized folks have come up with.

  2. What's up with the dolphin swimming? I'm curious why that was on everyone's list. Is it such a transcendental experience or do people put it on their list because it sounds like such a cool thing to do?

  3. And I bet "swimming with humans" is not on any Dolphins "List of things to do before I die."

  4. My lists is so long, and I'd be more than happy to start tackling it just as soon as I find a sponsor to pay for it! I really love the idea of putting together a '50 way to get fit for summer' list. I'll spare everyone the sheer boredom of reading it though. 'Increase broccoli intake' isn't very exciting...

    One such fitness 'Before I die goal' -- Hike the Appalachian Trail from Maine all the way until it ends. (I'm too lazy to look it up just now.)

  5. Have you seen The Bucket List yet?!? Absolutely perfect for this post. Everyone should go watch it and then comment. I think it's funny that they did so much physical activity but you can tell from the way they look they didn't too much physical before. Of course I'm assuming they are real people when it really is JUST a movie. I'm done.

  6. May I suggest that if we all just look at our New Year's resolutions for past 10 years or so, we will have our to do list!!

    Dr. J

  7. I am doing the 2-way Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Washington, D.C. in May - something I have said for a while that I would do :-) Will let you know how it goes!

  8. Swimming with dolphins always sounded kind of ridiculous to me. I guess swimming adjacent to them would be all right, but I feel like getting too close puts you at risk of some serious fin burn.

    Maybe I'm just not transcendental enough to roll with the dolphin swimmers.

  9. When I was 24 I wrote a list of things I want to do before I turn 30. I have less than a year to go and I can only cross two items off the list at this point (travel in Spain and buy a house)... Hmmm...this means that
    In the next year I'd better:

    1. Have a 3-some! (HA! I can't believe this was ever on 'THE' list and have a hunch I never REALLY wanted to do it, just liked the adventurous, out of character IDEA)
    2. Lean guitar
    3. Speak Spanish FLUENTLY
    4. Travel throughout Greece
    5. Pay off credit cards

    I dont know if completing all of them is possible.
    I think I'll start creating a 'before I turn 40' list instead =)

  10. oooh, merry, that world domination thing sounds good.

    Ill have that!


  11. Set foot on every continent. Because I was on the Asian side of Turkey technically I've only got Africa and Antarctica to go.
    That said, there are many countries I want to see. I want to ride a felucca down the Nile, smooch a reindeer in Lapland, and visit all the ancient wonders of the world, or where they were at any rate.
    It's important to me to eat the food and drink the beer of every country I visit, and each region thereof and ... you get the idea.
    Crabby, the "swimming with humans" comment cracked me up.

  12. These are great!

    (And thickchick, not only do you get points for honesty, it will prompt a TMI confession from the Crab re: #1: been there, crossed it off, no regrets, 'nuff said).

    And Leah, sounds like an awesome goal: world travel including local food & beer -- what's not to like?

  13. I read that 100 things list saying in my head, did that, interesting, did that, did that, would never do that, did that, do that all the time... with lots of Pffts thrown in.

    Having had my own mortality shoved in my face, I don't worry about lists. I have been fortunate to do a lot of things in my life and now I am going to work on being healthy for the rest of it. Yes, I still have hopes and plans but if they fall through I won't be devastated. Of course in six months or 5 years that may change too. I do want to go to Australia one day though.

    Oh and of course swim with dolphins, because well, I'm a mermaid?

  14. What timing, as I approach a milestone birthday this week and I'm in kind of a reflective mood. I've never really made a list of things to do before I die, but I'm just lazy that way.

    I love to look at dolphins, but I'm all set on swimming with them. Does "eat chocolate every day" count as a to-do item?

  15. With all the hiking I'm doing, I should have no blubber at all -- unfortunately, I LOVE FOOD!!!!!!! (the wrong kinds)

    At least my eating habits are somewhat better these days. :)

  16. I totally get the swimming with dolphins thing.. it gives your life porpoise. ;)

  17. I'm a dolphin swimmer wanna be. I know it's sort of sappy, but whenever I watch them, it seems like they have things pretty figured out. They are super smart, take care of each other, and their main goal in life seems to be having fun.

    If you can't tell, that's a killer whale behind me in my profile pic. I wouldn't mind swimming with one of them either. ;)

  18. Bag Lady's late for this party - she was out crossing stuff off her list...her grocery list, that is!

    She has no desire to swim WITH dolphins, but it would be cool to be able to swim LIKE a dolphin!

    She pondered all day about what would be on her list. Needs more time to think.

  19. ... mutters "gives my life porpoise".... arrrrgh

  20. Whenever I think about swimming with the dolphins, I picture disabled children. it seems like I've seen somewhere something about autistic kids or maybe it was mentally retarded children somehow communicating better after or during a swim with the dolphins.

    It gets me all choked up every time I think about it. I may just be imagining this whole thing, I can't even remember where I've seen it...

    Anyway, I don't have a "list." I do like to set goals sometimes. Like, i'd really like to go on vacation before I die.

  21. I too am suspicious of these worthy goals. I tend to have "wouldn't it be cool to..." moments which are unlikely to ever make it into reality. "Wouldn't it be cool to run the London Marathon" ... the Boyfriend laughed so much that I thought again on that one. ;-)

    However, you have inspired me, Merry! I am going to sit down today and actually create a list of Things To Do which is a little more profound than my current one of "write a blog post, finish washing up, post letter"...


  22. I only made it to 20ish when I got bored...does that mean I'm doomed to a life of blubber??

  23. My list is too long for just one lifetime. Even the musical instruments to learn would take too long. (So far: piano, organ, ukelele, recorder--not even one brass instrument!) Then there's the languages. And trying not to forget the languages I've studied! And all the places I haven't been. And they keep publishing books faster than I can read them.
    Life's too short.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  24. The trouble with me is that if I don't write it down, the goal never gets achieved. Probably if I had a better memory I wouldn't have to write everything down? :)

  25. Emily, I must confess I hadn't heard of 'The Bucket List' before your comment.

    What's strange is that Lifehack.org just put up this post this morning, which talks about the movie:

    (A much more profound take on the "Things to do before I die" theme.)

  26. Hmmmn. Let's try that link again:

  27. Emily,

    I thought the Bucket List was a perfect movie, especially during this time when only dark movies are winning awards.

    Since I retired more than five years ago, my life philosophy has been: "If not now, when?"


  28. What about sky diving, bungee jumping, hang gliding, snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, kayaking in the Northwest with killer whales, and going to South Africa to go on a great white shark boat trip? Any of those sound fun?

  29. Terrie, I agree with that philosophy... except that I don't want to wait until I retire. (Might have to negotiate this with my manager... hmmn.)

    Dan, all of those sound cool. Well, some of them sound scary too. I will have to save up my money before I travel to South Africa, but you've given me a great idea about kayaking with killer whales. I mean, I live in the northwest, that's a goal I could meet on a weekend. (After I learn to kayak in the first place, that is.) Thank you!

    And Scrumpy Baker looks pretty happy in her picture with a Killer Whale behind her :)

  30. That post title immediately reminded me of 50 ways to leave your lover. How about some lyrics using your theme. "Stop looking like a bus Gus. Need a new diet plan Stan. Don't throw out your back Jack. ooo, 50 ways to lose your blubber..." I'm so easily amused :-)

  31. Stephanie, I like it! I was thinking of Paul Simon when I wrote the title, but I was afraid people wouldn't remember his song. Now you've given me an idea... rewriting hits of previous decades to make them relevant today.

    I feel fitty, oh so fitty, I feel fitty and witty and ... well all right, I need to work on this some more. :(

  32. There actually is a book called, "50 Ways to Lose Your Blubber". It can be downloaded for FREE at http://www.wholehealthweb.com


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