Thursday, February 25, 2010
Diet and exercise. Diet and exercise! Diet AND Exercise!! DIET AND EXERCISE!!!
I've been hearing that ALL my life. My dad was an exercise fanatic and my mom was always on a diet. I started dieting at the ripe old age of 12. I wasn't heavy, just not as thin as some (including myself) thought I should be. I'm 42 now and have seen the failure of my sporadic exercise history and yo-you dieting past.
While in college, I went home for Christmas break and joined a diet program with my mom. I rode the stationary bike every evening for an hour and lost over 30 pounds before returning to school a "very pleased with myself but still noticing every flaw" size 5. I often remember those weeks and wish to return to that kind of "success". Then I take a reality check and remind myself that I am no longer 19 years old and that was part of the reason why I had so many health issues in my twenties.
Now I live in Florida, am a member of the YMCA, homeschool three kids, actively participate in my church, help lead two homeschool co-op groups, deal with health issues and food allergies, weigh too much, have high blood pressure, and exists in a general state of exhaustion. I need DIET AND EXERCISE!
Chapter three puts it so well. It is a lifestyle. A lifestyle of healthy activity choices and a lifestyle of healthy eating (diet) choices. I remind myself that diet actually means the sum total of the foods you consume. A bird has a diet of seeds and nuts. A wild cat has a diet of raw meat. I need to have a diet of healthy foods.
I have been making some major changes in my diet. I have been making good choices. I have been realistic. Because of my blood pressure I have been making more things from scratch, I already did more of that than most, to minimize salt. I just need to keep reminding myself not to rush. I keep reminding myself that this takes time.
Exercise is another area in which I have been working hard to make some major changes. I'm going to be honest. I've come up with a few REALLY good excuses not to exercise. It's hard work and hurts! It's inconvenient. It doesn't work with my schedule. I know I need to break down all these excuses for good.
Let's all be honest. Working out, exercising is painful. We've all heard it and experienced it, "No pain, no gain!" I don't like pain. I could go into a long description about the pain I endure while and after working out. The problem with the kind of complaining is that it encourages nobody -- least of all me. The truth is that even though exercise may be painful for a time, the pains in my legs would be there even more if I don't exercise. Breathing will become more difficult if I gain more weight, which is what will happen if I don't start moving. Countless other painful things will happen, if I don't exercise. So I'll make that trade. I'll scratch that excuse off my list.
I belong to a YMCA which has a heated pool. I love to swim and I love the water aerobics classes they offer there. The problem is that I don't love the 40 minute drive that it takes to get there and home again. I have so many things going on that taking 2+ hours to get a 60 minute workout is really out of the question most days.
That was my excuse anyway until I found a $10 bicycle at the local Salvation Army Store. It's stuck in seventh gear. It's rusted and kind-of ugly, but it gives me a great run around the airport I lived next to. That's part of the excuse taken care of -- no more drive time. The rest of the excuse was taken care of by giving myself permission to ride for 20 minutes a day. What a breakthrough!! Twenty minutes is WAY better than nothing. That takes care of inconvenient and not in my schedule.
I starting again. I'm thinking things through. I'm focusing on getting healthy and I'm getting it done. That's what we all must do, right?