Within the past few months, I have seen many people who have not seen me since I was a plus-size woman. Many of them asked me how I was able to lose weight without surgery, hiring a personal trainer or going to the gym. As I explained my transformation journey, many said they did not have the time or resources to dedicate to the process. In my opinion, the real barrier is lack of motivation as there are many free resources out there and if we look at our schedules closely, we can make the time.
Without health, we have nothing else. When our bodies are poorly fed with weak muscles, we feel sluggish, tired, and in some cases, depressed. I know this because I lived this way for many years. When I became healthy by transforming my diet, making time for exercise, and dropping the cigarettes, my life changed. Everything got better from my enjoyment of food, my private time with the husband, my increased activity with my children, and my productivity at work.
I understand more than anyone that any person has to be ready before changing their lifestyles. The 5 stages of change theory back this up. Most of us are aware of the benefits of healthy eating and exercise and know the risks associated with obesity. Why are obesity statistics increasing among adults and children? Many of us know what to do to control this. What will it take for our society to be done living this way and make some long-lasting changes? I understand we all need to hit our rock-bottom moment as in my case. Let’s pay attention to how we are feeling today and think about how much better we can feel by making changes in our lifestyle. The fact is, obesity is killing many people.
I hope more and more people start to jump on this bandwagon of health. If motivation is the biggest barrier, here are a few tips to consider:
- Write down what you do everyday from wake-up to bedtime. This includes the amount of time on social media, breaks at work, watching television, etc.
- Find gaps in your schedule. If you find a block of time during the week, schedule a workout that is fun for you (Zumba, roller blading, trampoline parks, Jump Parks, hula-hooping class, etc).
- Consider waking up earlier. I get up every day at 4:15 a.m. so I can schedule my workout time in. People think I am crazy for getting up this early, but it works. I get up and I get a great work-out (from running on the treadmill for at least 3 miles to completing a workout DVD). By the time I leave for work, I have already completed my exercise for the day and I don’t have to stress about when I will fit it in. In addition, I have more energy at work and I sleep better at night.
- Walk during breaks at work. Walking outside does not cost any money. In 15 minutes, I can walk a mile. I typically will eat at my desk and take my 30 minute break as a 2-mile walk. Research supports how healthy it is for you (both mentally and physically) to get up and walk throughout the work-day. This is especially true for those, like me, who spend a great deal of time sitting at a computer.
- Check out Youtube. Many of the DVD’s I do regularly are on Youtube. Anything that incorporates strength training with cardio are great. The more intense the workout, the less time we need to spend doing it. Jillian Michaels workouts are my favorite.
- Limit time on social media. How much time do we spend on social media or playing computer games? Let’s consider taking a half hour of that time to move our bodies.
- There are countless exercises we can do while watching television. My sister, Julie has a TV hooked up to her DVR in front of her treadmill. During commercial breaks, let’s try to hold a plank, do continuous squats, lunges, or push-ups for as long as we can.
- Nutrition is important. I wrote many earlier blogs about this topic. In a nutshell, if we bring our meals to work, cook what we crave in a healthy way, and rarely eat in restaurants, we should feel satisfied while reducing our intake of unhealthy foods.
- Once we get into the habit, let’s keep going. Don’t stop. I used to revert back to poor eating and exercise habits after I lost weight. Let’s be consistent with our routines as that will allow us to continue feeling better as we get older.
Let’s get healthy, everyone. Life is too short. The feeling we get when we see the number go down on the scale or when we fit into our goal jeans is so much better than how that cookie tastes. Exercise will eventually give us energy, as opposed to tiring us out.
For the RUNIT readers who have healthy tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, who have questions on how to get started, or want to share your biggest challenges in obtaining or maintaining this way of life, please feel free to share in the comment section. Let’s work together to improve our health. Let’s start by supporting each other. Come on! Let’s do this!
This photo was taken in 2007 before I made decision to change my lifestyle.
This photo was taken 2 days ago.
Photos may not be used without permission