Help me shape up.

I’ve gotten a little pudgy recently, and I’d like to fix that.

My muscle tone is lousy, my aerobic capacity probably isn’t worth crap these days, and I’d like to have greater flexibility.

Not to mention that I now have a truly ugly pot belly.

I’d like to get rid of all these problems, but I don’t know quite how. I’ve never had to consciously work on them. I’ve usually been very active in spring and summer, somewhat active in fall, and then more or less in hibernation in winter. So every spring I’d have to go through some getting in shape-ness, but it was nothing horrible, and by midsummer I could do field work (aka "lots of serious physical labor in the middle of nowhere) from sunup to sundown without a problem.

But last summer I didn’t do field work, or heavy hiking. I was in an intensive study program, so I was more or less completely sedentary. And I had a terrible diet–lots of fat and starch, eaten at almost every opportunity, even when I wasn’t hungry. (Usually, I only eat when I’m actually hungry. But, over the summer, I had to tank up even when I didn’t want to eat to avoid being hungry at times when I couldn[t eat.)

The net result of all this was…well…pudge. And then I came back to town in fall, and was pretty miserable. And I always felt cold. So I went through a period of time when all I did was sleep and eat. And eat and sleep. No exercise, no biking (something I usually do quite a bit of in all seasons except winter), no nothing. And then there was winter. Which brought its usual dose of flab. And now I’m kind of a lard bucket. Well, I don’t really look all that overweight, but I feel pretty weak and crappy, compared to what I used to be able to do, and compared to what I used to look like.

If everything works out well, I’ll be doing a bunch of rather physically demanding things this summer. I want to be in shape for it. I don’t want to have to go through major muscle aches, windedness, cramping, etc. when I should be having an amazing time. I’m most interested in gaining muscle strength and endurance by the time June rolls around. I figure that my looks will naturally improve as a by-product of having a body in better working order.

So I put it to you, Dopers of varying levels of physical fitness–if you were me, what would you do to shape up by June 1? I’m willing to suffer for it if needs be. I’d rather suffer now than suffer this summer. Of course, if I don’t have to suffer, than so much the better. But whatever works quickest and best is what I’m looking for. I know you guys won’t let me down!

I would suggest investing in a personal trainer or something. I know a lot of times if I go to the gym without my workout buddies, I end up just wandering aimlessly around or not pushing myself. Even if you enroll in a gym, or buy a set of home weights, you may not have the motivation to keep at it every day, if you use a trainer, you’ll be damn sure to stick to it to get your money’s worth. Also, a good trainer will keep the workouts strentuous enough that you will keep improving and not hit a plateau. It’s just all and all easier than trying to come up with a routine from the internet and from people who don’t know you.