The "E" Word And A Kick In The Pants
WAIT! Don't run away yet, please. I know it's an intimidating topic. Diet and exercise are scary things to contemplate. A lot of people don't know where to start and can't afford to pay someone to advise them. But it doesn't have to be expensive or scary or excruciatingly painful. I promise.
I lost some ground with my weight loss when my Mom died. For six weeks or so, I just didn't care about anything. Not Weight Watchers, not Zumba, not housework or hygeine or being a Mom. Some days I ate out of control, other days, I couldn't force a single thing down my throat because it was swollen with grief. My weight went up and down during that time, but thankfully, I only gained about a half a pound when it was all said and done. I knew that was a gift and so, I managed to get ahold of myself and regain some of my focus and motivation.
I also knew that the holidays were just around the corner and that if I didn't get my resolve firmly back in place before then, I would become a statistic. Numbers vary, but according to my Weight Watchers leader, the average weight gain between Thanksgiving and New Year's is between 7 and 12 pounds. Do you KNOW how long it takes me to lose just one pound??? Now that I've lost a signficant amount of weight, the losses are getting smaller and smaller each week. I finally reached my 70lb milestone, but I have been working on that since July. No joke. Up a little, down a little. Period. Birthday weekend. Mom dies. Another period. Up a little, down a little.
Needless to say, I don't want to gain any pounds. I need to lose fourteen more pounds to reach my goal and then I can become a leader, which is something I really, really, really want to do. I don't want to set myself back another five months. SO...how am I going to manage not to gain weight over the holidays? How can you?
It's pretty simple really. Calories out have to equal more than the calories in. Some days I achieve that just by living life; vacuuming, mopping, making beds, scrubbing tubs and toilets. But not every day. And so, I have to make a conscious effort to create a calorie deficit.
This is where the dreaded "E" word comes in.
Again, I know this is a scary word and a scary concept. But it doesn't have to be. You just have to start small. I think the number one reason people hate exercise and become defeated so quickly is that they try to do too much too soon. They hurt, they feel sick and dizzy, they sweat and puff. It's not fun. They quit, thinking they are just not meant to be active people.
When I started, I could scarcely make it around the mile long track twice. Now? I'm doing hour long Tae Bo and Zumba classes. And LOVING it. The body is an amazing machine that will adapt to do whatever you ask it to. As long as you're smart about it.
I am a huge fan of Leslie Sansone's Walk Away The Pounds program. It's easy, it's doable, it's cheap and it's done in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You don't have to worry about vicious dogs, sexual predators, inclement weather or leering gym rats. I took off the first 50 pounds doing Leslie's workouts exclusively. At that point, my body needed more, because as I said, it adapts. I needed to challenge it more and moved on to exercise with more intensity. But I still use Leslie on days that I can't get to the studio. She has several workouts that do still give me the burn that I need, especially when I haven't done them for a while.
So I'm going to make this easy for you. I'm going to tell you exactly how I used her program so you have some idea of how to get started.
I started with this series:
About that time, Leslie released this new video:
So there you go. It's not hard to start exercising. And I know you've heard it before, but here it is from the lips of a former couch potato: Exercise really does make you feel better, in a lot of ways. I sleep better, I suffer fewer migraines, I have more energy, it lifts my mood and makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. It's good to know your body will do what you ask it to. It's good to feel strong. I wish I hadn't wasted so many years feeling sluggish, tired and depressed.
I've moved on from Leslie now, but I still feel very strongly that her program is one of the best around. You don't have to kill yourself, you just have to move. And Leslie gets people moving.
You can do this. If I can, anybody can. Fifteen months ago, I would have had a hearty laugh at the idea that I would one day love exercise. I would have laughed harder still at the thought that I might contemplate becoming a fitness instructor. I had just about talked myself into attending a Zumba certification workshop that took place in November, when my Mom passed away. By the time I had recovered my senses enough for anything, enrollment was closed. But I'm hittin' the next one.
A formerly fat chick, stroke patient, couch potato...on her way to becoming a Weight Watchers leader and a Zumba instructor.
Ain't that a kick in the pants?