Monday, October 12, 2009
Growing up I was an active kid, never had any extra meat on my bones to worry about, as a matter of fact, was just plain old skinny. Then the years passed and while I didn't have a lot of extra meat on my bones, I had more than I did and I began to not like it. When I took a look at what was going on I realized that all the things I did as a kid and even in college, I wasn't doing anymore. Sure, I went for walks and did the occasional hike and canoe trip, but nothing that could be considered a real work out with any regularity. As I crept closer to 40, not only was I seeing an increase in the numbers on the scale, I was finding that things I used to do with regularity with ease were now a struggle. A friend of mine shared a SparkPeople article with me an BAM! I was hooked. I joined up, started posting my weight, exercise, food and joined a couple of teams. At the end of a year I was at my goal weight, posting on the message boards and ~gasp~ not only leading teams but creating my own. I've gotten others addicted to SparkPeople as well. Sure, it can be a real eye-opener when you post all your food for the day and see you've consumed enough calories for a small family, but it's the only way to see what you have to change. I've gotten used to logging in for my Spark-fix in the mornings and using a video to get me jump started when I need a little oomph. I no longer have to enter my stuff in before I do it, because it's become a habit and I know what my ranges are. The best part? I can do stairs with no problem, I did the hike from the lower to the upper falls at Taq. in the UP (8 miles- branded a "moderate intensity" hike) without getting out of breath... and even my stress test that I had to do when I had some health problems this summer had the cardiologist commenting about how good of shape my heart was in.
The best part about this? I've made the journey from having very little fitness in my life to being 40-something and being in the best shape of my life. My arms don't have that little swing that I've started to see in my friends, my legs are able to get me up multiple flights of stairs without making me pant and the rest of me is in pretty good shape too. I never would have thought that at my age I'd find fitness something I enjoy, I always thought it would be something that I'd make myself do when I needed to... now I realize that when you see the effects and you choose things you enjoy, even boot camp can be something you look forward to.
I'm running the Dump The Plump program at my work and we're in double digits now for our ten week sessions. Sure, we haven't hit all 4000 employees at my facility, but those we have gotten into the program have lost 2500 pounds! That's over a ton!!! It's amazing what sensible tips (like keeping a food log... and of course, joining SparkPeople) can do for people... it's not a diet, it's a LIVEit! It's about the glow you get from seeing the positive things in your life and knowing that it's no longer a workout but something that's fun. It's about making tiny changes in your life that have huge impact and it's about embracing fitness to invest in your future. Who knew it was that big of a deal?