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Taking the first steps

taking the first step

I think we are in that crucial time of the year when people come to a crossroads with their goals. One road leads closer to the goal. One road takes a detour and rarely returns to the right path. The house is no longer clean, the weather is not helping ANYTHING and is becoming the Great Excuse. The cool shoes and clothes and gadgets we got for the holidays are collecting dust. During the next couple of weeks, people will start moving away or towards the goal line. And many people take the road without truly thinking about it or realizing it.

Don’t be that person who looks up in July, 15 lbs heavier, a lot slower, a lot more inflexible, a lot more frustrated, and flooding with negative self-talk. Don’t be that person.

1. Sometimes we have to fake it for awhile. Dress the part. Wear the Fitbit or the Garmin. Put on the new shoes. Even if it’s just to go to the pickup line at school and the grocery store. Put it on. Go somewhere. Look the part. Do this more often and guess what…you’ll WANT to do more to look the part. You’ll want to actually go outside for a walk while the kids are tying Dad to a chair to play cops and robbers. You’ll WANT to pull into the gym for a quick treadmill walk or take that class (standing in the back, yes, we all do it) while the kids are in gym daycare. Nobody said you have to workout ___ number of times or have ____ number of miles or run _____ fast to be a “runner”. Nobody is following you around with a clipboard to check off a list of things to see if you have earned the right to call yourself a fit and active person. Fake it until you feel it. FIT happens in the routine, sometimes. It doesn’t always happen on Jan. 1 or a birthday or a special vacation day.

2. Walking is UNIVERSAL. Quit thinking there is shame in “only walking”. Guess what? I’m going to step on some toes here. Running, especially running with a broken metabolism, is actually causing more inflammation which raises cortisol levels which lays that slab of sludge on your stomach. Running. It causes stress in your body if your metabolism is struggling to adjust itself.  If you are just starting out with fitness, for the love of all the carrot sticks, please walk. Walk a LOT. Walk everywhere. And I mean really walk, not dillydally. Pump the arms, move the legs. Be a human. Walk. Walkers should wear all the fitness clothing, gadgets, and slogan t-shirts like the runners. Be a good walker before trying to go from couch to runner.

3. We are one moment away from greatness. All it takes is a moment to make the decision. A moment to get up, and move. A moment to put down the sugar. A moment to choose green things! A moment to walk outside. Miracles are not reserved for Mondays. Ask anybody who has a fabulous “before/after” story when their “moment” was. They will remember. They will know, with vivid clarity, when they made the choice and made the effort to do something to change their lives. With all the years of “bad” moments, isn’t it time to take advantage of the time we have? Feeling better about yourself isn’t some privilege reserved for the fit people on magazine covers. Every person deserves to feel good about themselves.

4. When all else fails, be kind to yourself. Maybe this isn’t the day, week, or month for making extraordinary decisions. Maybe life is being particularly demanding and just waking up is a Herculean effort. Be kind. Don’t give up. As long as we are breathing, we have a moment to make a change.