It was a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in Houston, Texas. I sat listening in disbelief to my daughter’s co-worker.
“I like being fluffy!” she proudly said. She chuckled in amusement at my horrified face.
“What do you mean?” I asked incredulously. How could she possibly like being unhealthy and out of shape?
She didn’t miss a beat, “I’ve been fluffy all my life. It’s all I know. It’s kinda’ like someone who’s been small all their life. They like who they are. I love who I am. If I could stay fat and healthy, I would. But, I know I can’t. That’s why I’ve started working on my weight…again.”
I let her finish her story. At 52 years old, she stands at 5’8” tall and almost 300 pounds. She had lost 67 pounds before and decided she was losing too much weight. So, she started eating again and packed on the pounds. I had never heard anything like it before.
But, I listened with patience. I wanted to hear what she wasn’t saying and I heard her loud and clear. I agree. It is important to love yourself. But, I wanted her to live a long, healthy life. I have over forty years experience as a registered nurse and I have seen the effects of inactivity and poor diet. Somehow I had to convince her to stay committed to her journey.
“It’s okay to be thick. You can lean down,” I said. “Take some of the weight off so your joints don’t hurt, so you can move around more easily.” I could tell it wasn’t about looks for her.
“Look, you can do this. Getting fit over 50 is easier than you think. You can get healthy and stay healthy.”
She stopped smiling and looked at me thoughtfully. This was the opening I was waiting for. I continued full throttle! I proceeded to share the following information I’m sharing with you today with the same hope I have for her – that you will see it can be done and it really is easier than you think.
Stay AWAY from the scale.
Let your clothes and the mirror be your guide. The mirror is your picture. Once you start getting fit, you’ll see what needs to go. You’ll know what areas you need to work on. Don’t depend on the scale. Your weight will fluctuate because of water or if you’ve simply eaten too much. Let your clothes be your measuring tool. If you must get on the scale, you want to weigh yourself around the same time each day.
Eat the right foods. (You already know this!)
People know what they’re not supposed to eat. You can’t eat a bucket of chicken and a half-gallon of ice cream. Some things are common sense. You don’t need to go cold turkey either. Start by cutting your portions in half. We have to be realistic about what we’re eating and how much we’re eating. So eat the good stuff. Eat a lot of the good stuff.
Get up and move. (You know this too!)
Did you know there’s a difference between physical activity and exercise? Physical activity is any movement that involves contraction of your muscles. It can be leisurely and not require much exertion. On the other hand, exercise is physical activity that is consistent, purposeful, structured and planned. It involves a level of exertion that increases the heart rate. You must be purposeful and consistent about working out! All activity is helpful, but intentional, consistent, structured workouts will give you the best long-term results.
There’s more! Exercise lowers your blood pressure, your cholesterol, your blood sugar, and controls obesity. It prevents chronic long-term illnesses.
Make up your mind.
None of this matters if you don’t make up your mind that you want it. You have to want it. You have to be committed. You have to know that you deserve to live long. You deserve to live healthy. You deserve to have the best body you can have. This whole process is all about you. You may have your children, your husband and your job. But at the end of the day, It’s All About YOU!
Believe in yourself.
I believe you can do this. But, you need to believe that you can do this! You are enough and you have enough to achieve the goal at hand – a stronger, healthier you!
The good news is that young lady has made up her mind and she’s committed to her journey! Is your mind made up? Are you committed to your journey? I’m here for you all the way! Let’s disrupt aging together and live a stronger, healthier life together!