Joanne Palmer: Burning calories with excuses |

Joanne Palmer: Burning calories with excuses

Joanne Palmer

In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at or

— It's time for spring training! Inspired by the Olympics, terrified by the impending arrival of bathing suit season and mortified by my winter caloric intake, I have made a firm commitment to get back in shape. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, will stand between my workouts and me. Stand back. Hup, hup! The time is now.

But wait!

I have lost an hour of sleep and don't know where to find it. It's gone, vanished without a trace, disappeared without so much as an adios, never to be seen again. It's really not advisable to start an exercise regime in a sleep-deprived state. Why, I might stub my toe on the way out the door and break it. A broken toe could require surgery and necessitate weeks of physical therapy and, depending on the severity of the break, a stint in a rehab center. It's hardly worth starting any cardio until I adjust to this time change and get caught up on my sleep.

While waiting to adjust to the time change, I rummage through my closet in search of something to wear. There must be something I can fit into. Too bad my maternity wear is long gone. And the drive to the nearest Tent and Awning store, well, shucks, after dedicating a winter to hibernation instead of recreation, I might not even be able to slip into a four-person tent. I do have some Lycra exercise tights, but squeezing my winter white body into tight, unforgiving Lycra is really not a pastime I can pursue at this time.

But wait!

Online shopping. I will Google "affordable exercise wear for out-of-shape, middle-aged women who live in ski towns." Just as I suspected, typing in those words produces thousands of depressing results from Web sites like senior

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Blah! Bleck! Boo-hoo!

Forget it. I will dig deeper into my closet. And voilĂ . There, wadded up in the deepest, darkest corner is a pair of saggy, baggy stretched-out cotton sweatpants I must have hurled there in a fit of anger, "I will never wear these again!" The dog has been sleeping on them so they radiate warmth and are covered with her hair. Perfect!

But wait!

Why not exercise with the dog? So efficient and effective. We'll both get a workout in, and I'll have an exercise partner. What an inspired idea!

But wait!

I need to carbo load before we go. My body needs fuel to burn on this most momentous of days. This is the day I turn from "lardo lady" into "hard body Hattie!" I think a little bowl of whole-grain pasta topped with grilled chicken (for protein) is just what I need to fuel my activity. After carbo-loading, I feel my eyelids start to get heavy, and I know a nap is in order. Besides, as I've already mentioned, there is no way I can fully participate in this new exercise regime when I'm tired. I'm just going to curl up on the couch and take a little 10-minute snoozer. When I awake, I am refreshed, but the 10 minutes has stretched into two hours. Now it is dark and there is really no point in leaving the house without reflective exercise wear, which I don't have. I could do another online search, but the thought of sifting and sorting through thousands of Web sites just isn't that appealing.

But wait!

Since I have not completed my workout goal for today, I think watching a movie might cheer me up. Sitting on the couch and panting over Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean" surely burns 1,000 calories.

But wait!

Okay, no more excuses. Tomorrow, I will start my spring training. Really, I will.

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