Okay, full disclosure time. I’ve wanted to get fit for the last five years.
I used to work nights. Somehow, the sleep deprivation made it so that no matter how much I eat, I managed to keep my weight at just around 110 pounds. I’m not too tall at 5’4”. That put me at the normal BMI range.
Then I found a better paying job in the day shift and my weight went straight to hell. Or more accurately, the calories went straight to my stomach and hips. The thing was I was sleeping better and feeling less stressed. At the same time, I was eating pretty much the same amount as I did before. But I didn’t exercise. I was the poster child for the sedentary lifestyle.
The first couple of years in the new job saw me steadily gaining weight. Then I got pregnant and gave birth to my second child. I just didn’t not lose the baby weight, I also added some more.
The next thing I know, I’m tipping the BMI index at borderline overweight. Like literally 0.2 away from overweight. And I feel heavier than I ever did before. I’m moving slower. And simply going up a couple of flights of stairs will leave me panting. I hated it.
So I endeavored to diet. And I pushed myself to exercise. My new year’s resolution for the year 2010 was to lose 15 pounds, at least. I gave up after a particularly harrowing battle with chocolates in February.
So that ended up being my new year’s resolution for 2011, too. And 2012. And 2013. And 2014. And, you guessed it, 2015.
Yep, five years later I still haven’t lost the weight.
I still feel heavy. I still hate weighing myself. And I still know there’s no way this should go on. So I’m writing about it. I know I’m not the only one to suffer weight loss and fitness setbacks. I realize I’m not the first or the last person to want to go through a fitness journey. And I know it’s always better to have the support of other people when doing it.
So if you’re in the same boat as me, then let’s do this together. There are so many reasons why we should make fitness our goal this year.
- It will make us feel better.
Who doesn’t want to feel good, better even? Well, you should know that exercise can actually do that. There’s a whole science to why exercise can make you feel good. But take it from someone who actually (finally!) started with a health regimen, there’s a certain *accomplished* feeling after a successful workout. And perhaps the best thing about it is how I feel better able to cope with my daily activities, too. Running after my rambunctious toddler? Pssh. Watch me not break a sweat.
- It will reduce our risk of disease.
Heart disease. Stroke. Type 2 diabetes. Arthritis. Cancer. Osteoporosis.
Feeling scared yet?
There are so many illnesses that can affect your well-being. What can help you lower your risk of getting them? Regular physical activity, that’s what. It can boost your immune system, too.
- It will increase our metabolism.
When you’ve been walking around with a lot of excess poundage over a few years, the words “increase metabolism” can get your heart pumping excitedly fast, believe me. And with regular exercise plus a balanced diet, a healthy weight is possible. That’s because calories are burned during a workout. Also, it raises your metabolism that even after you’ve stopped, you keep burning them.
Starting a fitness regimen isn’t always easy though. But here’s what I have learned over the years.
- Starting small is okay. Before, I thought I had to hit the ground, uhm, literally running. And after a few days of pushing my lungs to bursting with every muscle sore and screaming for mercy, would give up (usually after saying, “Ah, heck. It’s not worth killing myself.” And then I console myself with some sweets. Tee-hee.) Now, I know that even simple adjustments can have a great impact. So I started brisk walking for at least half an hour daily. I lowered my daily calorie intake. And I’ve gotten rid of all the soda from the fridge.
- Exercise doesn’t have to be difficult. Like I said, you don’t have to run if you can’t yet. Walking can be good, too. In the course of your day, you’d be surprised how many calories you can burn by simply taking the stairs to the next floor instead of the elevator. Or walking the few blocks to the grocery instead of taking your car.
- The results won’t be instantaneous. See, it’s easy to give up when you can’t see the results you want. But if you expect to see results after a couple of days or even a week, you might be in for a disappointment. It took me years to accept that I didn’t gain weight overnight. I can’t possibly expect to lose the weight overnight, either.
They say that every year, over 30% of New Year’s resolutions have weight loss as the primary goal. Around 15% of those people plan to do it with a fitness program. Yet many of them lose sight of the goal. Let’s not do that this year.
I’m writing this down so I can make a commitment. You can do that, too. We can be leaner, fitter and healthier this year. Then maybe, we can all start having different resolutions for 2016.