Trimming The Fat: Activity in a Sedentary World

I’ve mentioned it before, but because I’m about to cut myself down, I’m going to make a statement. I am a very busy lady. I perform many roles. These roles include, but are not limited to being a 1) mommy to a kindergartner; 2) wife; 3) friend/family member; 4) writer; 5) editor; 6) fangirl; 7) legal secretary and 8) marketer/promoter of my own work. If you take inventory of those roles, you will find one major trend – most of them are sedentary.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have gained weight. Like, a lot of weight. I don’t have body image issues. I don’t need to look cute and sexy all the time. My standard choice of clothing is a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Nothing fancy. So it isn’t about that. It may be a little about money problems and having to pay for a new wardrobe if I don’t watch myself. But not really.

After a trip to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where my son, Logan, learned about the human body, he asked me about how cholesterol works. When I explained, he said, “Mommy, you shouldn’t eat so much cholesterlol [not a typo, just Logan language]”, and I realized the kid had more common sense than me.

Still, being a bit of a food addict (I could be worse, but it’s pretty bad), reversing this trend is difficult. Add to that my mountain of annoying health problems (migraines and my mess of a back for starters). Now add that to the fact that I work at a desk as a secretary all day, then spend every spare minute I get writing and you can immediately see how this has become a problem.

A little over two years ago, I lost 50 pounds. I’ve gained back 40 of them. That is not okay. I need to get back in the saddle. The first time around, I went on Weight Watchers and just started to walk more. So now that’s the plan again. I am taking stock of my habits. It’s the little things. Have to go from the 24th floor to the 22nd? Take the stairs. Take them back up again, too, while you’re at it. Have to run errands? Walk. But how do you inspire yourself to do that?

As a member of Weight Watchers, I’ve invested in an Active Link as a way of inspiring myself and keeping myself moving on a regular basis. I’ve discussed my new health initiative with my family, and they are on board. If I didn’t make my daily activity quota, we’ll go for an evening walk. We’ll try to walk more in general (hey, it saves gas). I’ll walk Logan to school in the morning instead of taking a school bus or driving in. And we’ll try to figure out other low impact methods of adding more activity to our day.

I’ve personally found that going for a walk has often given birth to amazing story ideas. So why, as a writer, am I not doing this more? Well, I live in the big city. Things can come to me. But that doesn’t mean I should allow this.

So, faithful readers – I don’t care what you’re doing, it’s time to get moving! Keep me honest folks, because I’m on a mission to get in shape, so my son no longer needs to worry about my cholesterlol, and I’m dragging you with me!
So finish off your kid’s Halloween candy and let’s get started!

And if you need a handy guide of what not to do in a diet, check out my review of a book on weight loss.

Wish me luck!

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16 thoughts on “Trimming The Fat: Activity in a Sedentary World

  1. I’m your kindred spirit here! Doctors have told me I need to lose weight as I am borderline obese and hovering on the verge of becoming diabetic. And that is AFTER I’ve trimmed down from 15.5 stone to just under 13. Ideal BMI for me is just over 9 stone, but honestly and realistically, I’d be happy at 10.5. I did get down to a shade over 12 a while back, but there has been some backsliding since the Zumba classes stopped. So, Chica, we’re in this together – yes?

    1. We are absolutely in this together! The biggest motivation for me is the fact that my back and my legs hurt so much when I’m at this weight that it’s almost hard for me to get around. With my back, even a little excess weight is probably a bit too much. So, yes, let’s check in with each other and support each other! This is tough but we can totally do this. And we don’t have to be running marathons to be more active! Every step counts! 🙂

  2. I lost around 20 pounds with Spark People before my second daughter was born. More importantly, that was probably the healthiest time of my adult life–I was doing harder workouts, using heavier weights, etc.–really building strength and stamina, you know?

    So I’m in the boat of trying to shed a few pounds but also regain that healthy lifestyle. Right now, I like yoga a lot–I feel much better when I do it. Good luck to us both! 🙂

    1. Oh, I know. 2 years ago, I was the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, and even that wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be. But I am absolutely ready to get back there and keep going. I know that with the proper level of devotion, I can do it, so what’s stopping me? Nothing. I just need to start. And the same is true for you! My best friend is a yoga instructor and keeps trying to get me to try it, but I’m scared because of my bionic spine. I need to ask my doctor about the possibilities of yoga with metal rods in your back, because I hear it’s great and also very relaxing (which I SO need). But I’ll probably start by walking more and just being more active in general.

      So, we’re in it together! Let’s do this! 🙂 It helps so much, knowing I’m not alone here! 🙂

  3. Good luck! I’m in the same boat. I’ve lost fifty pounds in the last couple of years, but I want to lose another thirty, and I need to get in better shape. The trouble for me is that I’ve never liked working out and I live in the middle of nowhere, so it’s not like I have a ton of options when it comes to classes and things. I keep saying I’m going to walk more, but I invariably fail. I just need to find something I like doing.

    1. Yes, this is a big problem for me as well. I imagine the time to work out is also a problem for you, seeing as we live parallel lives. 😉 Finding the motivation to do it is tough. Especially if you drive. I live in the city, so I don’t drive, I walk and take public transportation everywhere. So I can do things like getting off a stop earlier on the bus and walking or sometimes, foregoing the bus altogether and hoofing it where I need to go. I imagine that would not be as easy for you.

      Have you tried Zumba? Many people I know SWEAR by it.

      1. I haven’t! I know a few people who swear by it, too – my husband’s cousin and her mom did it for months in order to lose weight when she got married last summer, and I noticed the difference in her mom more than her (because she was already pretty slender). But classes mean commuting (and money), and buying a video means finding a big enough space in my house in which to work out without bumping into kids.

        I’m pretty good at this whole coming-up-with-excuses thing, aren’t I? Maybe I should make that my new career! 😀

        And you’re totally right about the whole time thing. 😉 I wish I had the option of public transportation so that I could forego it, or use it less, but I live in such a rural area that not having a car is an actual economic hardship. My job is thirty miles and three counties away, and I spend five minutes total driving within city limits on my commute each morning. On the other hand, I can’t imagine living in a big city (or even a small one. At all. Though really, I do miss living in town. If Seymour ever kicks the bucket, I can’t see me staying out in the country for long (especially if it’s winter).

        1. Hey, just because they are excuses does not make them invalid. You have a lot of good points there regarding things that could get in the way. I wish I had some good suggestions, but I have exactly ZERO experience living in anything but a big city. So, not very helpful. :p

          1. We’ve bought a few pieces of exercise equipment over the years, and my favorite is probably the bicycle. The only trouble is that the last time I used it, I walked funny for three days because the seat is so horribly uncomfortable that it caused serious pain if I sat on it for longer than five minutes. If we can find a new seat that fits it, we’ll be in good shape. 🙂

  4. Good luck — you can do it, Justine! You’re inspiring ME to do something about those 45 pounds I gained over the last 8 years. (I call it my quinn weight — shhh!)

  5. I feel your pain. A few years ago, I lost 70 pounds. Guess how much I gained back? Yep. All of it. Because I tried to rush. I didn’t focus on health, just numbers on the scale. I’ve lost 40 pounds over the last year. It’s slow, but at least I’m going in the right direction by making small changes a little at a time. Your post has encouraged me to get moving once again. It’s time to watch what I’m eating and incorporate more movement into my day.

    I have confidence you’ll be successful because you’re doing this for the right reasons – your health, your well-being, and your happiness. I wish you the best of luck. Keep us posted.

    1. I’m so glad I could help encourage you to restart your weight loss journey. Thank you so much for the show of support. I think the important thing is to work with other people and to maintain some accountability – otherwise I could just lie to all of you and you’d never know if I was doing it or not. Though I posted this last week, I officially started yesterday. Everyone was sick in my house, there was a lot of takeout going on and tons of Halloween candy. I know myself – I can not start in that environment. I could never maintain it. As of yesterday, I have taken off on this journey. I think every couple of months I will post an update so everyone knows how it is going. 🙂

      Thanks for following the blog! I hope you visit often and enjoy it!

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