Shut Up and Sweat

By , SparkPeople Blogger
No seriously, that headline is the topic of this blog.  If you are following along with my blog posts this month, you know we are discussing a series success factors that worked for my personal success.

Step 1 covered WHAT/HOW much we eat (track it). We talked about looking at food labels, the SparkPeople nutrition trackers, the SparkPeople reports and how those are crucial to your journey.

Step 2 is very simple: Shut Up and Sweat.

I want to discuss the first half of the title first.  This seems pretty simple, right? 

I've been a member of SparkPeople for more than two years now and would you believe I STILL hear people talking about it?  I hear people still talking about weight loss, yet, they aren't doing anything about it.  I've heard of people waiting for a given day, maybe they are planning their next steps, but they are taking no action.  I'm absolutely positive that talking burns calories, but I'm not sure that burns enough to make a difference at the end of the day.

It's time to stop talking and time to start moving. It's time to shut up and sweat!

The only way I know to get the unwanted fat off your body is to burn it off.  The only way I know to burn it off is to sweat, a lot!  If you are like me, you didn't put the weight on in an hour; therefore, it's not going to come off in an hour, right?!  It will take time, it will take work.  It may very well take lots of work and that's OK.  This will be a learned behavior for many of us.  We will have to learn that fitness must be a scheduled part of our daily lives, not an "added something" we squeeze into our already busy daily schedules.

You can start with 10 minutes a day.  This is the principle that SparkPeople Founder Chris Downie started with, remember?  10 minutes a day can carry you miles down the road without overwhelming you.  When you first start your fitness routine after NOT doing any fitness for a very long time, you muscles will get sore, especially if we push too hard too fast. This soreness can be very discouraging. Trust me, I speak from experience.  Set your alarm clock a little earlier tomorrow, or carve out 10 minutes later in the day and do something. You'll feel better for it--that's a promise.  Please know that SparkPeople recommends that you start slow and increase your fitness minutes slowly. 

You say you aren't sure where to start?  You aren't a fitness expert and don't know what to do?  Lucky for you that SparkPeople has fitness experts who have created videos that are easy to follow!  These videos are located here. If these videos seem a little overwhelming to start with, then go for a walk.  That is all I did for several months.  I walked.  As your ability increases, increase your fitness time.  Challenge yourself to do more.  Push yourself.  I promise after you start seeing a little success, you'll want to do more!

Now that you are getting at least 10 minutes of fitness a day, you need to remember to track that fitness on the SparkPeople fitness tracker.  The fitness tracker is very simple to use and has hundreds of exercises listed.  Have you ever considered mowing your yard as fitness?  How about heavy cleaning in your garage? Is that fitness?  According to the fitness tracker, yes, those are trackable fitness functions.  I like to call those FUNctional fitness activities.

For me personally, I've become a runner and love it.  I hear many people who are still in the "talk" mode say that they can't lose weight because they can't run.  I'm here to tell you right now that there are SO many other options when it comes to fitness. There are no excuses.  If you do a little bit of research, you'll find hundreds or thousands of exercises that will get your heart rate up and create a little sweating action!

But what if you don't like going to the gym or can't afford a membership? I agree completely!  Personally, I've lost 100 pounds, and I've never stepped foot in a gym.  Oh, my wife and I paid for our family to have a membership to the local recreational center several years ago, I think we went three times all year.  Sigh!  Did we lose weight that year? Nope.

You do not have to belong to a gym to make this happen for yourself.  Anybody can walk anywhere they can find a sidewalk or park.  The SparkPeople videos are absolutely free online, or order Coach Nicole's DVDs and do those at home. Create a walking group at your church or office a couple days a week event, socialize while doing it. Get CREATIVE to burn the calories that are holding you back. 

Now that you are making a habit of tracking your calories and knowing WHAT/HOW much you are eating, it's definitely time to Shut Up and Sweat!  Use these tools to your advantage and start losing those unwanted pounds.

What was your first step toward fitness? What will you commit to do for fitness today (or tomorrow)?