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July 19, 2011

Good Question

First, a little look at the weather here in The San Fernando Valley:

bob-needs-fan.jpg

Dude! It's hot!

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So, Karen S. asked me a question on Twitter the other day and it really got me thinking. I mentioned something about walking and she asked:

Can you pinpoint the moment when you went from "this sucks" to "this is amazing." I can't get to the crossover point.

If we're being completely honest here, which we are, I'm not sure there is an exercise tipping point. Or if there is I haven't found it yet. Instead it's more like any activity that you have to do, it has benefits and irritations. There are days I do not want to do it. The biggest hurdle is making time for activity every single day, even for me, and I work from home. While I no longer commute three hours a day I still have to move exercise to the top of the list or else it won't happen.

There's that whole law of motion thing going on -- you know, an object that sits on its butt stays on its butt. If I miss too many days in a row I feel inertia coming on strong, so I try to keep moving even if it's just a little bit here and there. That's how I've have made the transition from sedentary to active. It was definitely a process, it did not happen overnight. It's taken me about a year to really make this my life.

The benefits are worth the trade-offs, though. All the blabby stuff everyone tells you about exercise is actually true. Stamina and fitness will improve and so will sleeping, energy levels, even blood pressure improves. But everyone already knows that stuff. Maybe it's enough to keep some people motivated every day but I need a little more.

So here's my motivation: alleviation of embarrassment. A few days ago I saw one of my neighbors in the parking lot and she was struggling with her groceries so I offered to help carry some of them up for her. We both live on the top floor of the building, up three flights of stairs. In the past I would have been huffing at the top of the stairs (and really embarrassed) but now it's no big thing at all to go up some stairs carrying heavy bags. I wasn't even out of breath. This is a major accomplishment and one I feel really happy about!

I still have a ways to go in the physical fitness arena, so when I notice improvements I hang on to them. Usually it's enough to get me out the door and on the pavement. On days when I don't feel motivated I just do it anyway and hope that motivation eventually shows up.

Has anybody else been walking and seeing improvements in your life? (Comments are open today.) I'd love to hear what keeps you going even on the days you want to stay in bed.

ALSO! Is anyone else watching Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition? If so, do you also think it is nuts to lose 150 pounds in three months? I wonder if they'll do a follow-up special later in the year to see if people are maintaining their weight. I can't imagine that would be a lifestyle anyone could sustain for long, but I guess anything is possible. The lady in last night's show looked amazing at the end. I am such a sucker for a good transformation story!

Posted by laurie at July 19, 2011 7:42 AM