Summer is OVER, people! At the risk of being a total downer/drama queen straight out of the gates, as of this week, it is officially fall. I've slowly started moving my cardio workouts indoors. So, in order to make my time on the stationary cardio equipment a little less dull, boring, and monotonous, I've come up with a few tricks to make the time go faster and get more bang for my (torturous) buck.
So, you've come to grips with the fact that the only workouts you plan on getting are the continuous long treks up the stairs to refill your pitcher of sangria. But before you get too comfortable with this soothing summer schedule, what if you could bring workout equipment to the cottage that will increase exercise intensity, reduce total time AND won't even take up space in your suitcase?
What most women don't realize is that when they are looking at the faces and bodies of women in physique magazines, most of them have dieted for months to look that way. Or most of them are just days prior to a contest where they have put themselves through rigorous training and dieting to get lean enough.
Experience suggests that policies like fat/'junk food' taxes, vending machine bans, menu labelling requirements, reduced availability of particular foods, simplified or directive food labels, graphic warning labels, zoning restrictions, and advertising restrictions, will not be successful at reducing the prevalence of excess weight.
If everyone took care of those pillars of health, it would take less than 2 and half hours a day to change. A few more minutes to eat and grab health meals. That extra hour of sleep instead of TV, and 40 minutes to make your body and mind switch into a new gear to be ready to interact with friends and family.
Somewhere along the way the lines got blurred. You are either in a hospital sick and dying, or you are a pro athlete and cover model. No one gives praise to the middle ground. No one talks about the family of five who are all healthy body weight, active but not stand outs on a sports team, and who eat healthy everyday.
With obesity the die is usually cast early. The results of a major study in the US have established that a third of children overweight in kindergarten are obese by the eighth grade. Almost every child who was very obese stayed that way as they grew older. An individual should not be easily blamed for conditions that result from their childhood when they have little control over their well-being.
The image of what often comes to mind, and what is often publicized for people with eating disorders is a younger female who is skeletal in frame. In my case, I was a young man who was albeit thin, also quite muscular. I worked in health in fitness. I helped people get fit. I was supposed to be the voice of healthy living.
The year I turned 40, I felt like I was having a health crisis. After having had five babies back-to-back, I was at my heaviest weight ever -- and the most unhealthy self I had ever been. On December 31 2012, I made a New Year's resolution to myself and my family. In these 12 months, I have lost 70 lbs, four clothing sizes and I am looking and feeling much better. I am now lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight nine years ago! True to my word, my family now eats in a healthy fashion and we are regularly active as a family!
Break your dream/resolution down to goals, work toward the goals with daily plans of action. Stay on track, and make sure you absolutely know what's important. For me, it's staying out of the hospital when it comes to my health journey. Tell friends and family what you are doing, and hire a trainer or a team around you.
I don't believe that acceptance means that I'm making excuses. Who are you to decide if my experience is an excuse? That's derailing and dehumanizing. When you present your fitspiration article and ask me, a fat person, why I don't look like you and what my excuse must be, you're asking a question that is none of your business. I get that it's supposed to be inspiring and make me think, but you have no idea what I do for myself and what I'm working on personally. I don't owe anyone explanations, excuses, or anything else. I only owe myself those things.
Have you found yourself working out less than used to a year, or even a month, ago? Will any excuse do to keep you off of the trail or out of the gym? This is of course not uncommon and something that plagues even the most motivated of workout fiends. What I have found is that the feeling creeps in whenever I stop enjoying my regular workout regimen. Over my 20 years of working out, being running, lifting weights or doing the Bar Method, I have found that these are 3 fool proof ways to shake the exercise 'blahs' and get me back out there, sometimes even with a smile on my face.
In my last blog, among other things, I problematized the "30 Day squat challenge." In retrospect, although I stand behind my arguments, I wish instead of simply being critical, I had argued the same points by quoting a writer's work that I admire. I would rather try to live my life acknowledging both the positives and negatives of any situation, theory, or decision.
Who wants to feel constrained as well as deprived of what they love? My advice, flip your mindset, try and find the positive! Instead of "I can't eat cake," think "how great it is that I can eat these delicious berries?" Instead of, "I don't want to go for a run" think, "how great it is that I can run."
In big bold type on the cover of Health magazine is the statement, "Lose 12 pounds this month. Fast! Safe! For good!" News flash -- it is not healthy for everyone to lose 12 pounds of weight. Obviously, I strongly believe everyone should exercise, but exercise should not be synonymous with weight loss.
On January 1 I decided to make some major changes to my family's nutrition and physical activity. I began to think of our five young children, all the proper body weights--but with a frequent propensity to eating desserts and exercising too rarely. They also learned by example, and noticed when I would snack.