A. Catherine Noon here, with another Happy New Year’s post. I know, we’ve heard all about “New Year’s Resolutions,” set on the 1st and ignored by the 10th. My gym is full of them – the overweight folks who know they need to exercise, but haven’t been coming until January rolls around to create a panicked urge to get on that treadmill; the Weight Watchers new members who make it a fad diet in January to be forgotten by February and its Valentine’s Day chocolates. I know this, because I’ve been that person. “Oh, well, I can always start tomorrow.” “I guess I really should go to the gym and not just pay rent there.” “That donut is full of calories and I shouldn’t eat it mmfphblbl.”
What if there is another way?
There is, Dear Reader, I assure you.
I don’t have a magic bullet for you. But at the end of 2015, my gym had a challenge. If you attended the gym for 25 days straight, you won a free month in February, gift certificate for club services, and guest passes. I did it. I went, even if it was only to take a shower and shave my legs. I showed up. And in the process, I learned some things:
- The gym is where the fit people hang out.
- Showing up is half the battle.
- I don’t need to be Venus Williams to work out.
- Working out works slowly. My first month, I gained three and a half pounds.
- My doctor told me, “Then don’t get on the scale.” So I haven’t.
- I’m stronger now than I was a year ago. I can do plank for between 40 seconds and 90 seconds, depending on how regularly I keep it up. Daily is better.
- Start with where you are, right now, today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t happened yet.
- Don’t set New Year’s Resolutions. Make a decision and stick with it. That’s all.
- Change happens in small increments. Sustainable change is the only kind that matters.
- “Just walking” is enough. Get on the treadmill. Watch Netflix on your phone, or listen to music, or hell, just people watch. But walk. Show up and walk.
We’ve only got one body in this life. I’ve been watching a friend of mine, who is morbidly obese, die a slow, agonizing death. She’s been in the hospital since March of 2016, either at the rehab facility or at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital itself. She can’t walk. At all. She looks like a deflated balloon. All her organs are failing. And every single condition she has is preventable by not being obese.
So if you don’t walk for yourself, do it for D… because she no longer can.
Whatever your “why” is, just do it. Walk somewhere. Walk anywhere.
What about you, Dear Reader? What’s your favorite form of body movement?
– E.E. Cummings
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