I have few commenters, but many readers, and many of you are overweight, or at least health and/or body conscious like me. I see in many of your posts that there is a marked move toward depression at this time of year, but it does not have to be so.
October, November, December...the holiday months. They are a lovely and terrific time of year...unless you are fat. These three months are like a no man's land of weight-loss, a dieting purgatory where many of us simply wait them out, getting fatter, getting more depressed, as we wait for the New Year. We shrug these months off as "a loss", figuring what is the point, there are just too many parties, too many cookies, too many good meals to turn down. Many of us can not seperate such celebration from food. It is a HARD time to lose weight, it is a HARD time to say "no thank you".
On the other hand, it is a great time to get moving. It is beautiful outside for many of us, the air is crisp and clean, people start wearing sweats instead of shorts (thank God!), our dogs, our children, ourselves, won't die in intolerable heat! People exchange "let's go swimming" for "let's go apple picking"...this I can do. The mood, the time, it is right for moving. so I say we remove this anxiety about dieting and instead begin preparing, by laying a foundation of better health to build on.
I was contemplating how to move me into action, and then it just seemed simple...move yourself into action! Why am I continually linking exercise and activity to a diet? Why do I continually dump the exercise when I can't, or won't, stay on a diet? Why is the joy I get from moving in fresh air, at the mercy of potato chips? I might not be able to make the commitment on a diet right now, but I know I can make the commitment to exercise and activity, and whether or not I am losing weight in the process is irrelevant, exercise has so many benefits regardless, it just seems right.
Reading the book, Changing for Good , has illuminated many things, but nothing as bright as the fact that solving a problem is a life long thing, it might not take your whole life to defeat it, but it will take a good portion of it to manage and keep it from returning. That kind of commitment can be broken down into separate parts, so each good part of good health is not dependent on the rest. Why not begin with moving more?
There are 92 days in these three months, 13 weeks... a whole season. If we started with just 15 minutes of total exercise this week, and added just 15 minutes more each week, by New Years Eve we will have built an exercise habit of at least 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week!
Think of it, by adding just 2 minutes a day, we can be moving along with a trainload of momentum going into the New Year, burning calories and building muscle, 150+ minutes each week!
This isn't going to be an all or nothing, bust your ass thing. We are talking slow and steady here, building in time and intensity over three months, eventually reaching the recommended levels of adult fitness by the CDC .
Come on...who is with me on this? Don't leave me hanging here! We can do this, who will make this commitment with me?
Many of you might be well beyond just 15 minutes, or ready to do much more...thats cool, we could use people like you to give us inspiration and keep us going, but all I am saying is, here is the minimum, and this is all we have to add each week. For many of us, we can begin to find the time, the place, the activity that we will need to love, if we are going to build a lifetime of fitness. That kind of commitment takes some time to work out, time to build, time to make a habit.
Still not convinced? Consider CHA...
A commenter to my long running, much Googled post God I Hate Being Fat. She gave me the push I needed and put me over the top on this issue. CHA has
commented a lot on that post, and has gone from an overweight 14 year
old girl hating herself, contemplating suicide and cutting... to an overweight girl
loving herself and walking 4 miles a day! This girl gives me hope, as
many people do here, both commenters and bloggers alike, that things, habits, moods, can be turned around and often times it begins with steady, fun, enjoyable movement.
Finally, consider this - If we begin this week, with just those 15 minutes, to find the time, and the places and the activities that move us, and we continue into the next year with this regular activity, by the time Summer rolls around we will have lost 20+ pounds, just by that activity alone! If we combine that with a few modifications to our eating habits, we can lose a whole lot more. Not fast enough weight-loss for you? Maybe, but then...how long have you been trying? If you are anything like me, years would be the answer. Let's get it right, let's do it right. Let's get this down. Let's build an exercise habit...for a life time, not dependent on the latest fad diet, book, pill or weight loss plan. Weight loss and weight management is NOT a temporary, transient, or quick fix thing.
We can come here to share our triumphs and our missteps, we can look for support and share ideas. We can talk about other steps that we can take to build a foundation of better health, and we can do it together. Not just my ideas, but our ideas.
Again, I say, who is with me? Can I get a witness people! Amen!
Let's throw off the shackles of diet! Amen!
Let's free ourselves to enjoy the movement of our bodies! Amen!
Let's get 15 minutes of good exercise this week! Amen!
Let's get me some more coffee! amen?
Look... the bottom line is New Years is only three months away... only three months... but that is still plenty of time to lay down that strong foundation of better health, starting with activity. By the time New Years rolls around, with three months momentum behind us, we will be in a better position to begin limiting calories, go on a diet, whatever. Let's get ready for then...now.
OK, I have said my peace. I am serious. All are invited. We can do this together. Who wants to come along?