Before I started my fitness and weight loss journey the only time I really ran was if I had to catch a bus and if it wasn’t more than a block or two. And even that simple act of sprinting for a bus would leave me red faced and gasping for breath. When I sat on the bus I’d catch fellow passengers giving me looks out of the corner of their eye. I’m sure they were afraid I was about to keel over with a heart attack.
I had to push myself through a lot of barriers before I got to where I am today. I had my share of aching lungs and burning legs. You need a lot of willpower in the early days. It doesn’t happen overnight. It took hard work and dedication. But it was worth every ounce of sweat. When it comes to your health there are no shortcuts .
As you get older your health becomes more important. I learned that the hard way. I was diagnosed a type 2 diabetic just 4 months after I turned 40. It took me several more years to figure out how to get things under control.
It’s easy to tell ourselves we’ll get round to taking better care of ourselves one day. But that isn’t a promise. Or a plan of action. Or any kind of commitment. “I’ll do it one day” is an excuse, pure and simple. As the saying goes; “tomorrow never comes.” And it’s unlikely you’re going to wake up one day exclaiming “today is that day!”
So if you have been putting off losing weight or increasing your fitness level, if you have been delaying, telling yourself you’ll get round to it one day, ask yourself this one question….
If not now, when?
Diets only work when you are on them. There’s a reason diet is a four letter word. When you go on a diet you are more focused on the foods you “can’t” have.
You “can’t” have carbs.
You “can’t” have sugar.
You “can’t” have fats.
So you eat salads for as long as you can until you’ve reached your goal weight or, more likely, you just can’t take it any more. Then you go back to your old eating habits.
Which…. Is the reason you gained weight in the first place. This is the essence of yo-yo dieting. Going back and forth between going on a diet and your old eating habits.
Anyone can lose weight. It’s keeping the weight off that’s the real trick. An easier way around the problem is to make a simple lifestyle change. Portion control or counting calories through an app like @MyFitnesspal can make a huge help.
Many people think counting calories is obsessive, unhealthy or too hard. The truth is a repeated cycle of weight gain and dieting is much more unhealthy and harder.
Through MyFitnesspal, I can eat what ever I want. It’s all about portion control and exercise. Because of this I have maintained my weightloss for two years with no sign of going back.
But exercise isn’t just about being able to eat more food. Exercise gives you a healthier, fitter body.
Remember: you lose lbs in the kitchen and you lose inches in the gym or on the road depending on what exercise you choose to do.
What ever your exercise of choice is, make it something you enjoy. Now you’ll never have to “go on a diet” again!
The scale lies! When you step on a scale it throws out a number and says you weigh this much. But that doesn’t tell the full story. If you ate something high in sodium the night before, or if you worked out the day before your body could be retaining extra water weight. There’s nothing more demoralizing than stepping on the scale and seeing you’ve gained anything from a pound to fi’ve pounds. Especially when you know you did everything right.
To avoid burn out look for those non-scales victories. The extra energy you’re feeling. The way your clothes fit better. Dropping a pant size gives you a huge boost. If you’re just starting out take lots of photos. Those “before” pics can give you a clear idea of how far you’re coming. Especially for those times when the scale refuses to budge. And take measurements. Waist. Chest, arm, leg measurements. Check them at the beginning of every month to truly see how far you have come.
The beautiful thing about fitness is how good you feel about yourself on your journey. It’s not just about the better health you gain along the way. It’s the things you learn about yourself. Like you realize you are stronger than you ever imagined you could be. I just ran five miles. That’s something I could never have imagined doing two years ago. For some it might be just a short run. But for me it’s a reminder of how far I have come and that I can never go back to who I used to be. And nor will I ever want to.
Two years ago I decided to start running for my health. It was one of the most important decisions I have ever made. Because of that decision I lost 40 lbs and got off diabetes medication. I could have just stayed as I was, wishing I was slimmer, wishing I could get my sugar levels under control.
Instead I made a choice. I started small. The first day I ran I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile. But I was out there every day. Walking and running. At first walking much more than running. Gradually I increased my running time and distance until I was running more than I was walking. Then one day I didn’t need to take a walking break at all. Now I run a few times a week. I run anything from 4 to 6 miles. Sometimes I can run longer distances. It may not seem much compared to some runners but my running has taken me to a totally different place, emotionally.
I no longer wish I was slim.
I am slim.
I no longer wish I was off diabetes medication.
I am off diabetes medication.
All this because I made a simple choice.
One day while I was walking I chose to run.
Whatever you are thinking of doing, whatever you wish you could do, just start.
Start while you’re afraid.
Two years from now you’ll be so thankful you did.
We know that it isn’t easy to start something or if you start something to actually stick with it. Believe us, we know. We have been there, tried it and failed. Yes. Failed. So many times we would say, “oh, one day I will try again.” But, you know what? Don’t just try. Just start. Just do it. Grab a partner or friend and do this together. Stick with it. This isn’t lose 50 lbs in a month quickly. This is a health journey and it is for life. It doesn’t matter when you start, it matters that you do. Remember, the years will be passing by. The question is: will you be healthier in five years or at the same weight and fitness level that you are now, (or worse)? We are continuing on our health journey and would love to take you with us!
I have just smashed my personal best. I’m getting more serious about running. I’m even following some blogs about running. I just went for my workout in our local park. I walked the first two laps. Then I ran four laps in a row without slowing. I wanted to do five as five laps in that park is one mile. But I just didn’t have the legs. So I slowed to a walk and walked the next four laps. Then I just went for it. I managed to run the full five laps. That last lap was the hardest ever but I made it. I ran almost two miles. My new personal best!
They say “no pain, no gain.” Well that last lap was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. My legs just wanted to stop. But I pushed through the pain barrier. That feeling of accomplishment is worth all the discomfort. And knowing I’m doing this for the sake of my health just makes it all the better. I’m taking running more seriously now. I want to push my comfort level and see just what I can achieve.
My fasting sugar this morning was 83. I had oatmeal and toast for breakfast. I went for my run two hours after eating. When I came back my sugar was 88. My sugar levels are so much better now that I’m active. For anyone who is diabetic any activity is better than nothing. From my personal experience the more active you can be the better your sugar levels will respond. Getting active is one of the best decisions I have ever made.