Time To Work Out

Hamster Wheel Fat Hamster Eating Skinny Hamster Running Watercolor Painting Illustration

For our prompt of “Workout” today, I thought about a hamster running on a wheel and then thought about another hamster who preferred to snack instead. Lately, much of the time, I’ve been this second hamster. While I’m normally a bit more active in the summer months, this season I’ve been a bit of a slug. It’s not that I ever actually go to a gym as one hobby is more than enough for me. I still giggle when people ask others, “do you work out?” as if it’s not immediately visually apparent. There’s only been a few times in my life when I was super fit and super thin, and that was thanks to yoga, which I don’t think is what people mean when they ask that question. It usually relates to lifting weights and building biceps. I’ve only been able to catch a vague peek at those on my own body while lifting weights and then my skinny arms return as soon as I stop. Again, if you have bulging biceps and a perfectly trim build, it’s quite likely you actually work out. For me, my curves are just curves, and I’m quite happy with simply maintaining an average healthy weight.

This afternoon I did feel a bit lighter as I finally got a haircut. I keep delaying it these days as there’s less of a point. If I’m not going to the theatre or indeed really going to any group setting, then there’s nobody to impress. Though actually people will sometimes request a Zoom video chat and so I just slick my hair back and finally shave. I’m sure I should at least pretend to keep up appearances, but I rather enjoy not having to worry about it much. It’s one less thing to deal with these days. But, this morning, I glanced in the mirror after getting out of the shower and I looked liked a castaway that had just washed up on the beach, so I figured it was time to at least make a bit of effort. And I do feel much better now, and would be totally ready to be viewed in public if that was still a thing that was happening in my world.

Instead, Philippe and I have been huddled up at home and well, enjoying lots of wonderful snacks. I’ve started to limit my intake a bit as far as quantity, and that’s enough to make a noticeable impact. And taking more walks is certainly on the list as that’s my only real workout these days. Walks are a perfect form of exercise as I can also enjoy nature and get inspired for future sketches. And indeed, sketching itself is a form of mental exercise. Sometimes, it’s even a bit like mental gymnastics as I try to visualize that odd angle I’m wanting to create or a silly scene with animals. Though the brain is not anatomically a muscle, it can always use a good workout as well. For me, happiness and healthiness have to go hand in hand. There’s little point in being healthy if the act makes one miserable, so I choose the things I love doing most when it comes to exercise, be it physical or mental. After my lovely walk, it’s always exciting to sit down in front of that blank page once again, and put my mind to the test when it’s time to work out.

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Hamster Wheel Fat Hamster Eating Skinny Hamster Running Watercolor Painting Illustration Sketchbook Detail
Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
39 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 4 weeks ago

    Wonderful Charlie! I’ve been lazy with my physical activity too. I was taking group exercise classes at our local YMCA but that stopped in March. I try to do them via either a live Facebook group or by Zoom in my studio. I rarely make it more than once or twice a week. They were a good way to get some socializing in with other retired people and stay healthy. I have not felt like returning to the gym. I’d rather be home and paint.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yeah, nothing really beats staying home and painting! hehe But yes, physical activity is always good as well. I prefer walking… it just doesn’t take as much time away and I get back to my hobbies!

  2. Fascinante, Charlie, me gusto, pobre hamter, pasan casi todo el día corriendo

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Muchas gracias, Eduardo! 😃💕 Yeah, I feel like I spend my day running in circles often! hehe

  3. Sandra Strait 4 weeks ago

    No one is positively certain, who first said, “Whenever I get the urge to exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes away.” It’s certainly a philosophy of mine, or would be if I ever felt the urge to exercise. I have tried regular exercise routines, and despite being assured many times that I would feel and be healthier, it’s never seemed to work that way for me. I just felt tired and grumpy and hated every minute. Though I did enjoy enjoy weight lifting until I got a bulging disc (work related, not weight lifting related).

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      I love that quote! 😃💕 Sounds like something Oscar Wilde might quip. hehe Yeah, the only exercise I enjoyed was hot yoga… that specifically, not even regular yoga. Mostly because the results were amazing. I guess I’ve always just loved immediate gratification! lol

  4. Mary Roff 4 weeks ago

    I think that little guy on the wheel is looking a little bit jealous of the guy with the strawberry. My motto is “everything in moderation”…except of course for the occasions when that just doesn’t work…sigh. It has been really tough to stay away from all those calorie loaded treats all these months. Better days ahead.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Yay for moderation! 😃💕 I agree! And yeah, during these times… it’s harder than ever. I want more treats!! More happy! hehe

  5. Jacob 4 weeks ago

    They are adorable! I wouldn’t mind a big hamster wheel to run in, honestly – I used to quite enjoy the treadmills, exercise bikes and rowing machines. The weight lifting was where they lost me.

    I had my hair cut last week for the first time since the beginning of March. It had become pretty unruly in that time, so it was the most satisfying haircut ever!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Jacob! 😃💕 Yeah, I’m all for cardio… that was my fave in all forms. I like the endorphins and I was always rubbish at lifting heavy things anyway. Yay for the new haircut! I bet that was satisfying. This was my second since March… saves money at least! lol

      • Jacob 4 weeks ago

        Yes, I suppose! More than once I considered cutting it myself but thought better of it.

  6. Lisa 4 weeks ago

    Once I bought a gym membership. It was a lot of money for something I didn’t use. My best in shape time was biking long distance when I was in my early thirties. Long distance was 50 miles or less. I had a hamster the we kept in the bathroom because of his squeaky wheel.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Yeah, I’ve had a gym membership a couple of times, and I’ve no idea why I did it the second time assuming anything had changed. lol 😉 I never went. And funny that it was a bathroom hamster… yeah that squeaky wheel sound is probably best left there!

  7. Nellie Nellie 4 weeks ago

    Adorable hammies! Definitely a healthy snack and enough to share! I like the long walk in the same couple of circles, but my mind and heart work out painting and doodling are great meditation! PS I am getting rid of my “cast-away-do” on Saturday!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Nellie! 😃💕 Yay for the heart and mind workout of painting and doodling… it’s so wonderful! And awesome for the upcoming haircut… enjoy! hehe

  8. Marisela Delgado 4 weeks ago

    So cute! I laughed when you said that people ask others if they work out when it’s evident whether they do or don’t. haha haha I don’t know if you ever watched “Friends”, but there was an episode when Rachel’s sister criticized Joey for eating something that would go straight to his hips. He got defensive and said,” I’m curvy and I like it! ” 😊 I ‘ve been curvy my whole life. Okay, not curvy, chubby. haha Super cute, Charlie!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 Yay for curves!! Yeah, I was a chubby kid, but less so as an adult. I liked my face most when I was a my goal weight… more angular. But, it’s tougher as I get older to stay at that weight so I just landed comfortably at a few pounds more. hehe

      • Marisela Delgado 4 weeks ago

        I look at pictures when I thought I was so big and I wasn’t! I don’t know what I was thinking! I liked how I looked when I was running. I was still chubby, but I had lost 100 pounds and my legs, that I always hated, looked beautiful! Funny that when I dropped so much weight and I wasn’t so cheeky, people went bonkers over my dimples! As I get older, they get deeper, though. Now, I am jumping at the bit to be able to work out again. One day soon. Hey, we look good, Charlie. As my smarty pants cousin, Paul, told me once on my birthday, “todavia estas pollita.” You’re still a baby chick. haha If you ever get the chance and the time, pull up Gabriel Iglesias on youtube. His nickname is Fluffy and he makes the funniest observations about being a chubby guy. 😁

  9. Gary Middleton 4 weeks ago

    Great doodle, Charlie. I enjoy my cycling, be it commuting or out for a ride at the weekend. I love to head for the hills. Funny thing is I don’t think of it as exercise.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Gary! 😃💕 That’s the best kind of exercise! That kind that’s actually fun! Awesome!

  10. Julia Tara Fürst 4 weeks ago

    They are so cute 🥰 I think the left one has just started eating low carb as strawberries are low carb fruits and now he never needs to run in the wheel again 😉 (source: 4+ years living low carb) I always admire your paintings!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Julia! 😃💕 So happy you enjoy my paintings! Yeah, we eat mostly vegetables, but I could never live without pasta and bread occasionally! hehe

  11. Klaus Jochem 4 weeks ago

    These guys are really cute. But the diameter of the hamster wheel is way too small. It should be 12 inch to avoid spinal issues.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Klaus! 😃💕 Hehe… yeah, I had to cheap the size so it would fit in my sketchbook! lol

  12. LoriCtoo 4 weeks ago

    Too cute! Your perspective sketching of that wheel is perfect. Everyone of the rungs are going in the right direction. I don’t know what kind of mess I would end up with this. Haha! Have a great weekend!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Aww thanks… I tried to get them right, but the hardest part was remembering which were the rungs and which was the white space. My eyes crossed doodling it! lol Have a great weekend as well!

  13. Mugdha 4 weeks ago

    Hello Charlie,

    The hamsters are very expressive! The one running looks jealous and the one snacking looks so content. Your observation about people asking that silly ‘do you work out’ question is so spot on! Till a few years ago, my hair used to be long – it almost touched my knees. One question that was constantly thrown at me was “Do you like to keep your hair long?”. I was NEVER able to answer it coz like you said, I’d succumb to a fit of giggles probably making the other person feel silly. I’d decided to someday compile a list of such questions to make a book. You reminded me of that fun goal! Thanks!

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this! Oh my goodness… yes! Those silly questions need to be compiled. That’s hilarious about your hair. I’ve never understood what people ask some things! hehe

  14. Linda Calverley 4 weeks ago

    This one made me smile.

  15. shawnthompsonart 4 weeks ago

    Nice painting of hamsters. lol, you workout so that you can eat all the calorie rich food! I really like how you added the primary colours to the white on the hamsters.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Shawn! 😃💕 Yeah, I think being able to eat rich foods is the best motivator indeed! hehe

  16. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 weeks ago

    As soon as I saw this Doodlewash, I thought of Tom Sawyer painting the fence for Aunt Polly. Tom Hamster has been told to race around the wheel when along comes Henry Hamster snacking on a juicy strawberry. Henry stops to look at poor Tom when Tom starts whistling about what a great time he’s having on the wheel. Pretty soon, Henry is convinced to trade his strawberry so he can have a turn on the wheel. You’ve painted the moment when Henry realizes he’s been had – he’s racing on a wheel to nowhere and Tom is scarfing down his strawberry. You and Mark Twain would have been good friends, Charlie.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Hehe!! I love thought! 😃💕 And what a fun interpretation to add a little Twain in! Awesome!

  17. I identify myself, doing what you love the most is very healthy. I returned to my face-to-face work where I am an office worker, I feel that there is not enough time to paint in watercolor and I have felt a little bad, but I have reflected on not giving up and I hope I can adapt

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      I’m sure you can adapt! AND make time for painting too! 😉 There’s always a few extra minutes in the day and these days… it’s more important than ever to make that time to create!

  18. Priscilla DeConti 4 weeks ago

    Love it! I would be the one looking as the other exercises lol Very nice painting!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Priscilla! 😃💕 I’m totally both of these hamsters…. just depends on the season! lol

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