Battling the Holiday Bulge by Pattie Martin

I love the holidays! The lights are beautiful and almost everyone seems to be in a pretty good mood. But what I love most about this time of year is the food. I have a serious sweet tooth. Chocolate is my weakness, but I can't think of much I'll say no to if it's offered to me.

It's that inability to turn down sweet, high calorie food that's gotten me on my newest exercise kick. I'm now doing the "Couch to 5K" challenge. I don't have any plans right now to run in a 5K, even when I'm done training. However, if nothing else, this might keep a few of those "holiday pounds" off my hips.

I have run in the past. I've even taken on the Virginia 10 Miler. I won't tell you my time, but I did finish the race. So now I'm starting from zero, which is really how this program is geared. It's a three day a week plan. You start the first week with a brisk 5 minute walk then you run for 60 seconds and walk for 90. You do this until you've hit 20 minutes, and you're done! You do this three times in one week, then take a couple of days off.

The next week you kick it up a little...5 minute walk, run 90 seconds, walk 2 minutes.

The requirements get a little tougher every week until you've hit 9 weeks. That last week, in theory, you are easily able to run 3 miles.

I'm doing this with our morning producer Kara. Yes, she is a little younger than me(ok, A LOT younger,) but we seem to be a pretty good match. We both love and hate the whole thing. The feeling we have when we're done is great, but it's the running (and the cold) we're not enjoying. Our question is, When does that 'runner's high' kick in? At what point are we going to actually look forward to getting out and hitting the pavement?" I don't see it in the near future, but maybe it will surprise us one day. For now, we'll keep plugging along.

Happy Holidays to you all and my best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2012!!