Apples, Pears and Oranges — and I’m not talking fruit salad here!

One of the things I’ve decided to do (now that I’m back on track with weight loss) is to dedicate a specific time to exercise and get myself moving. If you’re like me, there are times where exercise is the last thing in the world you want to do and, like me, you’re able to come up with 50 reasons why NOT to excercise vs 2 good reasons to get off your butt and do something about it. Until very recently, my mantra was “I’ll get there tomorrow, I’ll get there tomorrow”….and tomorrow came and went… and I was still sitting on the couch watching Jerry Springer and Maury (and thanking my lucky stars my life was that much more normal than those on the shows!).

I was laid off in December and, at that time, I had all kinds of plans of getting up early, getting to the gym, making my weekly Yoga classes — but, somewhere in between December and September, I lost sight of my plans and never did anything about “doing” — rather I thought a lot about going, but could just never get my butt to class. These past several weeks, I made a pact with myself — just DO IT for 2 weeks…..just commit for 14 days to do SOMETHING rather than nothing. I started out slowly (only a day or two a week), but now I’m up to getting to my water aerobics class on a daily basis and still making my Yoga classes (with “the girls”) on Thursday nights. The bottom line is once I got into the routine of going and once I realized that making myself move would make me feel better, it became a whole lot easier to get to class and do just ONE hour of exercise. While an hour doesn’t seem like much of a commitment, you have to realize that it is 60 minutes more than what I was doing just a few months ago….which brings me to the topic of my post…..

Getting to any kind of gym or any kind of structured exercise class can be very threatening and intimidating to anyone — let alone a person of size. I’m not going to say that donning a swim suit and parading yourself in front of a bunch of strangers is easy, but I am here to tell you that, once you do it, it becomes a whole lot easier the next time you do it. My water aerobics class is a perfect example of why “doing it” has become easier. I joined a local recreation center close to where I live and that’s where I found a class that “fits” me just nicely.

My class is filled with women and men who, like me, aren’t a size 10 or 12 or even 22. Fortunately, there are several dozen other folks who got to a point of wanting to do something to make themselves feel better and, regardless of what body shape they were, they took the chance and made the commitment to just “do it” for themselves. Today, I looked around the class and recognized that I was being joined (mostly) by apple, orange and pear shaped folks and, like me, they were there, on a regular basis, having fun and feeling better about themselves. No one seems to care that I have flabby legs, or a sagging belly or a droopy butt — as a matter of fact, when I walk into the pool area, I feel as if I’m walking in fully clothed because no one blinks an eye when they see me coming. I’ve met some very nice people at these classes and have made acquaintances with people whom I probably would have never even talked to…let alone become acquainted with and have developed a sense of wondering where these people are when they aren’t in class.

I can’t believe a similar group isn’t happening somewhere near where you live and it’s out there — just waiting for you to find it. The worst thing about “thinking” about doing something is when you get to the point where that’s all you do about it….you think, but don’t act. Making a change in your routine and making a commitment (to anything) isn’t always easy – but it’s funny, once you do it and once it becomes a habit, you may find yourself wondering how you managed to get by with whatever it was you weren’t doing before you made the commitment. My point is….if you haven’t made a commitment to exercise and you find yourself “stuck” with where you are….at least look into what’s available in your area and set a goal date of when you’ll make the first step to check out a structured exercise program.

One of the best reasons to get into a group class is to have some kind of accountability. It’s much like going to a support group where folks expect to see you at a meeting and, when you’re not there, they wonder what happened to you. Being in a structured group gives you accountability — not only to yourself, but to others. Knowing that others are there to support you in your effort, are non-judgemental (and are more apt to applaud your actions) and are there for the same reasons you are — to feel better — is a major plus in joining a structured class.

If being in a group environment isn’t your thing — grab a friend and walk together or swim together or bowl together — it doesn’t matter what your preference is, the key is to “just do it”. Take it from one who has been much more comfortable to sit on my ass and do nothing — I “get” not wanting to “do it” — it’s a whole lot easier than doing it. I DO relate and I DO know how you feel. What’s worse is knowing you should be doing something and not doing it and then beating yourself up mentally for not doing anything. The exercise piece is the last piece of my puzzle, I think. I feel I need to get my metabolism up and burning and I can’t do that by sitting on my ass and flipping through 300 cable channels. I know “acting” on it can be pretty overwhelming and I think that was part of my problem, too. I’d like to suggest taking baby steps….changes, like this, are not easy — especially when you’re more prone to be prone than up and running. Just think about it — if you’re stuck, I guarantee that if you find something you like to do (exercise-wise), stick with it and it will pay you back 3 fold. I now believe not doing anything and wondering what it would be like if you did do something is worse than not doing anything at all. Fear can paralize you, but facing your fears and acting on them will, in the end, help you get to where you want to be.

I’ll keep y’all posted on my progress. For now, I see minor changes — maybe next month, they’ll be much more noticable and someone else will be noticing the change. I’m happy knowing that I’m doing this for me — and I’ll be the one who will reap the rewards….at least that’s my goal. We’ll see — now get up and make that call! Tomorrow’s another day and you don’t want to waste it!



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