What's that, you say? "But, Adora, that's so looooooooong!"
Hmm. Six weeks is long? You realize it's only a month and a half, right? And that you've been gaining weight, feeling miserable about yourself for much MUCH longer than that, right? And that, whether you make the changes or not, the time will pass and you can either love yourself more or you can be disappointed...again.
We tend to make this "battle of the bulge" into something so hard. It's not.
It's really not that hard to make your health and happiness a priority. Seriously.
Oooh, I got you with that one, huh? That's right, I said it. YOUR health and happiness. Uh huh. You heard correctly. Think about it: do you like the way you feel? Are you always getting sick? Do you like how your clothes fit? (I won't use shopping for clothes as an example because, well, I, too, HATE clothes shopping. But that's for another discussion.) Do you get winded walking up a flight of stairs? Is your health in perfect order? What do your numbers look like? Weight? Cholesterol? LDL or HDL? Blood sugar? Strength?
I know. I know. You're just big boned. No? All of your family is heavy. No? You've done everything and you just can't lose the pounds. No? Oh, oh. I don't have time to workout because my life is very busy.
Whatever your excuse, drop it. All of those are, excuse my French, crap.
You are not big boned. Don't give big boned people a bad name, for Pete's sake. There are plenty of people who actually are big boned who bust their butts to stay fit and strong and healthy. You, are probably not one of them so just stop.
So, all of your family is heavy. What does that even mean? Do you get your nourishment through osmosis? You can't control your intake or exercise because you are a surrogate by blood? No, no, no. Time to get off of that train. Fat doesn't begat fat. And neither does lazy. Next excuse.
You just don't get it. You've done all that you can and you just can't lose weight. Let me ask you this: Have you been exercising (that doesn't mean killing yourself in a gym) every day for 30 minutes? Have you been eating all your fruits and veggies and kicking the junk food to the curb? You know, no donuts or candy or fatty meats or fast food. If you can HONESTLY say yes to those questions, then, ONLY THEN, perhaps you should speak to a doctor. But, there's a saying, to pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. In other words, why bother lying to yourself or me? It'll only hurt you.
The last one is my favorite. The issue of time. That's one of the most ridiculous excuses I hear. You mean to tell me that you have time to take care of everyone but you. Truly, that's what you're saying. Everyone else is your priority and you just get to, well, suck. Here's the cold, hard truth. Who's going to take care of everyone if you are gone? See, that's what happens when you don't take care of yourself. Sure, "it won't happen to me" is your motto. You're not THAT overweight or THAT unhealthy. It's only fast food a couple of times per week. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter. Hey, there are very healthy people who also go on to meet our Lord much sooner than expected, but why in the world wouldn't you do everything in your own power to spare your loved ones of something like death? Gut check. Sorry. But someone has to say it.
So, now that we've cleared everything up, let's get on with it.
It's like the worst four-letter word you know. E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E (okay, so maybe it's a few letters more than 4, but you get the idea).
I'm not sure why our country has such a fear of exercise. Perhaps it's because we are oversaturated with crazy, blood-hungry, yelling, psycho trainer shows that make people who truly want to get healthy think that they can only succeed by being screamed at all of the time. (You know who you are Biggest Loser and Bootcamps.)
Let me lay it out for you very simply: Exercise simply means movement. It does not mean that you need to get on the treadmill for 3 hours or do 78493573489 push ups and pull ups. It doesn't even mean that you need to run. Not even one step. All that it means is you need to move more and sit less. Honest. Movement is exercise and it doesn't have to happen in a gym setting for it to "count."
Let's take a for-instance. Do you think that farmers and day laborers go home after work and hit the weights? Or maybe go for a 5 miler? No shot. Their work is exercise. Now, don't misinterpret what I'm saying here. I'm not telling you to go pick up bales of hay for 8 hours a day or build barns or plow or sheer sheep or any of those things. I'm simply saying that the amount of time on your butt should be FAR LESS than the amount of time on your feet. Unless you have some injury preventing you from standing, you should definitely be upright more.
It doesn't even have to be that daunting.
"So you're saying that I have to stand for 8 hours a day in order to get healthy? But I have a desk job."
No no no. You're missing the point. (Though you should look into a standing desk for your workplace, if possible.) What are you doing to get exercise into your life? Do you take the stairs or elevator? Do you park the furthest away from the front door of a store or a spot on the opposite end of your work parking lot or search and wait for a spot as close as possible? Do you walk instead of drive if you go someplace less than 5 minutes away? Do you walk your dog or just let him out into the yard to do his business? Do you sit at your kid's practice or stand? Do you get to appointments on time or a few minutes early so you can get in a few extra steps? At home, do you try to stack all your laundry so you only have to take one trip or do you do it in loads so you have more trips upstairs? How about washing dishes. Do you load up your dishwasher or stand and clean them yourself?
My point is that you can get exercise into your life by doing very small and simple tasks. In fact, you wouldn't even recognize them as exercise because you may not get winded or have sore muscles from doing them.
News Flash: PAIN DOES NOT EQUAL GAIN.
That should have brought on an exhale of relief. You don't have to be sore in order to get healthy results. In fact, if you're too sore, you could do more harm than good.
Don't be an exercise bulimic. In other words, stop having these random hardcore, go-until-you-pass-out, more-is-better bouts of exercise. It's stupid and really not helping your cause. Besides, nine out of ten times, you quit after a couple of weeks.
Instead, integrate exercise into your life. Make it habit and part of your daily routine.
I highly recommend doing something like yoga in the morning. If you're not a morning person and getting up before the sun is not on your bucket list, then make it happen in 2 minute bouts throughout your day. Just stretch, for Pete's sake.
I'm not saying that it's going to be revolutionary.
I am saying that you will see results in 6 weeks. Depending on your dedication, it may not be a big drop in pounds, but I guarantee a much less stressed life. Your anxiety will reduce. Your outlook will be more positive. Your mental wellness, as a whole, will just lighten. (Seriously. Suffer from depression or anxiety? It's proven that exercise will help you.)
So. Ball's in your court.
Are you going to get off the lazy train? Are you ready to ditch the food issues that you have for a happier, healthier life?
I hope so. Your friends and family are counting on it.
Keep sweating and sewing.
P.S. If you have questions about how to make small changes or about how to start a simple, easy-to-stick-to exercise program, please leave me a comment. I would love to help you get healthy in 2015.