Sunday, June 21, 2015

Up to the Sign and Back

A quarter mile into the walk, I was already huffing and puffing.  Then I saw a hill out in the distance and totally thought about turning back.  But I ignored the easy choice and decided….I’ll just go up that hill, see what’s next, maybe go further, maybe not.  Once on top of the hill, I looked down the winding road and it was flat.  So I decided to go a little longer.  As I continued to walk, I saw a sign far off in the distance, and again made a decision….I’m just going to go up to the sign and back.  Breathing heavily, and sweating the whole way, I went up to the sign turned around and went back (secretly excited I would be going down the hill this time instead of up).  This was years ago, on family vacation up in Deer River….walking 1 mile up the road.

Today, I revisited that route.  Boy, was it different.  No longer out of breath.  Sweating a little, but actually enjoyable.  And once I got to the sign, I thought….wow, that was a really short distance, and began to recall how difficult it was that last time.

Whether you are overweight yourself, or know someone that is, there’s something to keep in mind.  Walking is a simple thing we do each day.  But for those that are extremely overweight, it can be a difficult and dreadful task – even 1 mile, or even a couple blocks.  But over time, walking gets easier.  At first it’s one sore step in front of the other, breathing heavily the whole way.  But the more you do it, the more your body (and your mind) gets used to it - which makes the next time easier, and the next time after that. 

Forget the stress of knowing it should be done regularly - just doing it more than you would have done before, can be the best choice you make. Build enough of those choices up over time…you and your body are ready for more.  You decide to go up that hill. You decide to be brave enough to walk with another person (even if you can’t quite carry on a full conversation yet). Your mind starts getting used to those new choices.  And then you get to the point that you begin to look beyond what you are able to do now.  You stop at a sign/landmark that was once a big deal.  And then you look around the curve to see what’s next.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Baby Steps - Put it Over Greens

Today I was in a situation that has happened many times before.  And will happen many times again.  Sitting in a restaurant not by my choosing, and staring at a menu consisting of burgers, pizza, sandwiches and tacos.  Choices, choices, choices.

One little baby step towards lifestyle change….put it over greens.

Barbacoa taco over greens
You can get that baracoa beef taco trio.  You can have some of the pizza the family wants to order.  Just ask for it to be put over a big pile of greens….or a big pile of greens on the side - so you can scrape the pizza toppings on top of it, for example.  

You get the flavor you may be craving, the greens to start supporting your health, and the good feeling of having made that one small change.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fill your feeds with motivation

Not too long ago, I realized a majority of the posts showing up in my Facebook feed were about friends on a night out (drinks, dinners, happy hours), family, or some random page I liked in the past.  I didn’t check Facebook too often - but when I did, it wasn’t really helping me shift my focus towards health.  In some ways, it actually took things in the opposite direction – presenting many opportunities for a night out doing things I didn’t need to be doing.  Then I thought, why not use it as a tool for motivation!

It didn’t take long to shift the balance of what showed up in my feed.  I started by brainstorming who I see as health-focused friends and role models (which is an interesting exercise in itself).  

Then, I went to their profile to see what pages they followed (see the “Likes” section). I clicked on a few that caught my attention, read the last couple posts, and if it was something I wanted to see on a regular basis, I “Liked” it.  Soon my feed was filling up with ideas to try or just simple motivation.

P.S.  While I was writing this post, I was thinking maybe even I should have a page to share information like this.  So I decided to create a Facebook page for  If these posts are helpful, and you want to see more – add it to your feed.  I will try my best to share my experiences in a way that gives you ideas to try and motivation for changes you may want to make.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Work in Progress can still be celebrated

I was asked by the owners of my gym to be member of the month yesterday.  My immediate reaction was “Oh wow. Really! Already?”  You see, most of the time when I’ve seen this type of recognition it is done when there’s big accomplishments involved, and sometimes there’s even a before and after photo.  No matter how many small changes I’ve been making towards the bigger goal, I didn’t see myself like that yet.

But as I started filling out the About You questionnaire, it started sinking in that it was time to celebrate a bit.  My answers alone showed great progress.  And then I pulled out some pictures…


It was the first time I went back and looked at photos when I was my heaviest.  It felt like it was a long time ago, yet I knew exactly how I was feeling then just by looking at it. 

I remember that day. I was travelling for work at the time.  I had eaten horribly during the day, went out for happy hour (taking a cab because I didn’t want to walk), ate some more, drank some more, came back to the hotel later and ordered even more food.  And then in some weird counter-intuitive moment, I decided to take a picture.  If anything as a reminder in an “I’m never going to do this again” moment.  Just for me - no intention of ever sharing it with anyone.  But I’m glad I did.

If you’re trying to make any changes in your life – I recommend taking a few random snaps when moments like that happen.  I can look back at it now, celebrate the progress up to this point, and keep moving forward.