Channeling My Inner Athlete

I’ve always been active and considered myself athletic. With two older brothers looking out for me–both athletes and both several years older than me–I could throw a football in a perfect spiral and sink a layup in basketball before I was in fourth grade (i.e. before most of the boys my age), and I swam competitively from age 9 to age 13. I never believed there was anything physical I couldn’t do, and do well. Okay, except for skiing and that’s only because it hurt (my knees turn in when my feet are straight, making it painful to ski for any length of time). My fall from fitness had nothing to do with being unable to exercise and be active and everything to do with just not moving my body.

It became abundantly clear to me a few years ago that I needed to stop with the excuses and start moving. Last year, from spring to late fall, Mr. W and I decided to try to walk every day (at least, when the weather cooperated) for at least an hour. If we weren’t able to walk outside, I generally tried to do some sort of physical workout indoors, though I confess the word that best described those workouts was sporadic.

As part of my goal to lose weight and become more fit this year, I’ve committed to being active every day. In order to track our activity, I created a chart using Post-It flip-chart graph paper and taped it to the wall in a prominent place (using painter’s tape!). The chart is divided into 7 weeks, and each week is divided into days. Mr. W and I write our activities on the chart in brightly colored markers. It’s very satisfying to watch the chart fill up!
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The Fit Writer

According to the frightening statistics on the website of the Center for Disease Control, there has been a “dramatic increase in obesity in the United States” in the past 20 years and “about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese.” Prepare to be shocked as the U.S. map on that page shows the changes in percent of obese adults per state from 1985 to 2010. As of 2010, at least 20% of the population of every state is obese and in some states, that number is over 30%. We’re not talking merely overweight (people with a BMI of between 25–29.9), we’re talking at least Class I Obesity (30–34.9 BMI) and higher.

I’ll admit it: I’m one of those statistics. I spent nearly 25+ years mostly sitting at a desk in my previous profession, especially in the last 10 years. And now, well, let’s face it, writing isn’t the most active of careers (yes, I’ve seen those “treadmill/desk” combinations, but personally, I’d rather shoot myself than use one).

In January of 2010, Mr. W and I made a “get fit” pact. We modified our diet and began exercising regularly. We both lost a respectable amount of weight that year and have kept it off (I lost 28 pounds and dropped two BMI levels). While Mr. W only has a few more pounds to lose, I’ve rededicated myself to making this the year I lose the rest of the weight–50 additional pounds. I thought I’d post updates occasionally on my progress. Who knows, maybe it’ll provide inspiration to others to start moving and to make healthier choices.

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