Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Ultimate Yarn Diet & Exercise Program

When I went to the doctor a while ago to have the doctor poke around in my ear and ask if it hurt, I had the bad fortune to stand on a scale. So, not only was I feeling like I'd be better off if my ear just exploded off the side of my head, I found out that I had gained back all my no-dairy-for-Becka weight. And then some.

I know that this is due in some part to my eating on the road. Not that I eat that badly out here; this pork chop isn't even that big... Hey! There's another pork chop under here! Score! Hmm, sorry. Anyway, the point that I was trying to get to before being pork-blocked is that it's not the diet necessarily, but the lack of exercise I've been getting as of late. Instead of walking around my downtown or hitting the treadmill, I've been sitting on my ever-widening behind and working on sweaters and scarfs and exercising my online purchasing power to likewise extend my yarn empire.

Well no more. This will be the year I work out my stash accumulation issues and get a handle on the love-handles. This will be the year of the Yarn Diet & Exercise Program, in which I earn my stash and the right to buy more by getting off my ass. Quite simply, the program assigns a physical activity to quantities of yarn in the stash, like walk a mile per skein. Once the activity levels have been met for the yarn already on hand, the miles walked go towards the purchase of new yarn.

Okay, that might be confusing. Try this: for example, Suzy has 20 skeins of yarn and decides to swim one lap for every skein. Suzy does not buy any yarn until she has completed enough laps to account for all her skeins. After Suzy swims the 20 laps for 20 skeins, Suzy swims two more laps, giving her two skeins of exercise "credit" so that she can buy enough Lorna's Laces for a pair of socks. The idea is to link our happiness (knitting and yarn) to our health (being more active).

Thinking about doing something similar? Check out da plan:
Big Medical Disclaimer - Always always always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise plan, listen to your body, and make safety your top priority. This plan does not even pretend to be medical advice and for goodness sakes don't get hurt or arrested.

How to Create Your Own "Da Plan"

Step 1: Catalog the stash. Find out how much yarn you've got. I've been wanting to organize the stash and put pics up on Ravelry anyway, so I'll spend some quality time with the stash during my vacation next week while the HusBoy is at work. I am in the process of creating a spreadsheet, but if you just want to use a calculator and notepad, be my guest. This will be the basis of your yarn "debt", the yarn that you will be exercising your way through.

Step 2: Create an Attainable Goal. Okay, now you know how much yarn you have. (You may feel a little nauseous; this is normal.) Now, you have to decide how to "work-out" through it. Split it up by grams, yards, miles, rooms, whatever makes sense to you. For example, after doing a high-level analysis of the stash, my current plan is to do an activity (such as walking a mile) for every hundred yards of yarn. Of course, if you have a thousand skeins of lace-weight, this would be an unreasonable goal. Come up with a goal that is safely attainable but will push you to become more active.

Step 3: Decide What You Want to Do. Pick a few activities that you could reasonably accomplish (without getting hurt) while being more active. One push-up per gram, one lap swam per skein, one mile walked for each mile of yarn? You may want to pick a measurement and stick to it to avoid converting grams to yards to skeins to whatever. Once again, don't start exercising without your doctor's permission, and don't go from being the ultimate couch potato to running 5 miles a day. Best case scenario, you get discouraged, worst case, you get hurt. Either way, it defeats the purpose of the whole undertaking. If taking a walk around the block is all you can do safely, go for it.

Step 4: Keep track. Keep a tally of your activities to keep you motivated and to let you know when the world of yarny delights is once again at your mercy. Celebrate milestones with books and knitting accessories. (What, I didn't say don't buy anything. I'm not a monster.) Figure out how many more dance classes you'll attend before you get to buy the yarn for that killer sweater. And for the love of Mike, have fun. Why would you voluntarily do something that you couldn't enjoy?

Step 5: Cheat. Okay, we'll call them "exceptions", but we all know what the score is. I, for one, will still buy yarn (and add it to my yarn "debt" that I'll have to walk off) to finish a project, if I get a gift, and for my Birthday. Otherwise, I will finish activities prior to my purchases to earn yarn "credit". Be as liberal or strict as you want, it's your plan.

So, that's the general idea. If there's any interest (don't laugh), let me know; I can probably put together a Ravelry or Blogspot page and organize us somehow. Maybe get some prizes or something, I dunno. Get back to your Xmas knitting; I'm all done!

1 comment:

errs said...

Sounds interesting...

I've been considering getting a pedometer to see how much I've been walking lately. It could be fun to tie it to yarn... Hmmm...

Something to mention to the husband.