We have all heard the phrase “A body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest.” This is so very true. I was doing my walk today, and really got to thinking about where we are as a society. And let me issue this disclaimer and say up front that I used to be one of those who was not in motion for sure. I used to be 325 pounds and was a complete mess. I had every excuse in the book why I didn’t exercise. My knees hurt, I didn’t have time, I didn’t like getting hot, you name it, I used it more than once.
Before I knew it I was 35 and on the verge of some serious illnesses that were absolutely preventable and only caused by my morbid obesity and sedentary lifestyle and food addiction. 7 years, a gastric bypass operation, huge lifestyle changes, and some serious exercises sessions later, I find myself at a point in life where being fit and healthy is not just about me, but is my livelihood.
Life couldn’t be better, but sometimes you need a little curve-ball to keep you on your toes, and God threw me one May 18, 2012. Most of you know that is when I had my accident and broke my back. May 20th of this year I had spinal fusion and some bone grafts to repair the damage that would not heal through conservative methods. I am really blessed to be recovering well and doing great.
My surgeon set a goal for me to walk a mile by my 6 week checkup. I’m pretty determined and a bit stubborn as many of you know so I did my first mile yesterday at 18 days post-op.
If you put the last few years of my life in photos, it would look something like this-
I went from this:
Then got hit with this:
Those x-rays were from this past week. But I have progressed to walking a mile!
So there you have it. My last 8 years or so in a photo diary. Where am I going? To being as fit and healthy as I can be and hopefully to running again one day. During my recovery the last few weeks I have found that I feel so much better when I am moving, standing, anything but sitting. In fact, after I did my first mile, still swollen and with about 25 extra pounds on me, I let my son take this: I call that thing I am wearing my torture device!
I was so happy to be MOVING AGAIN! And yes I am a goober who has been wearing race shirts every day since I got out of the hospital. Hey, it motivates me and works for me! Since coming home from hospital, I have lost 8 of the pounds I gained while unable to exercise. That has been torture. For a period of about six weeks my doctor restricted me, a personal trainer, from ANY exercise or cardio except stretching. Talk about going nuts.
I was so glad when I got wheeled into the operating room to realize that I would be allowed to start exercising again soon.
So, here is the point to this long story:
As I walked today, I started to think about how much we all, as a society take for granted the ability TO MOVE AND BE ACTIVE.
Then I thought about the state we are in as a nation.
We live these sedentary lives. We are controlled by 24/7 television, 24/7 access to junk food and fast-food and grocery stores. Exercise becomes a bad word and a thing of dread. NEVER exercising or cooking healthy nutritious meals and eating thoughtfully in ways that fuel our bodies becomes the new normal and it is accepted. Feeding our kids fake food that is made in a lab and not in nature becomes accepted practice.
We replace playing outside and playing tag with playing x-box and other video games. How common is it to see families walking and biking together? How common is it to see parents and kids in the kitchen together preparing healthy meals? We say there is no time and life is too busy, yet we spend hours on social media, and watching television, and doing other things.
All of a sudden, after years of this behavior, we find that we are a nation of obesity and higher rates of obesity-related disease. We find that all of a sudden, or knees and joints are so worn out from the added weight, that even a nice walk becomes difficult. Then we go to the doctor and wonder why us? Why my kids?
It is an awful vicious cycle that we can break. We have to MOVE OUR BUTTS! WE have to teach our children the joy of exercise and let them help us in the kitchen. We need to replace American Idol and NCIS with quality time spent bonding over making a healthy meal or taking a nice walk.
Most of us do not understand how blessed we are to be ABLE TO MOVE and be active until something happens that makes it impossible. I go to Walt Disney World OFTEN and see thousands of people in motorized scooters. I know that some have real medical issues that cannot be avoided and need them, but I also know MANY are just too heavy to move around the parks. How sad is this? It literally breaks my heart to see people still slaves to the disease of obesity, and not able to know the joy and freedom of walking, or running.
I used be one of the people who went to Disney and lived for the food and restaurants. I do not think there is one in the entire 4-park complex I have not been to at some point. I am not in any way judging. I used to be one of the sedentary ones.
I just wish when I was 15-20, someone had explained to me what I was doing to myself with the daily doses of McDonalds and Doritos, BEFORE I required surgical intervention. I wish I knew then what I know now. I am so grateful that I have been able to give my boys the gift of good health and regular physical activity. I just wish I had done it even sooner. My entire mission in life is to help and educate others on this dreaded disease and how to fight it and how to stay fit and active and eat healthy balanced diets. I am not asking for or striving for or talking about perfection. My fitness clients, like myself, do not look like bikini models, yet we are all trying to be as healthy as we can be and it feels really good to be on this path with so many amazing people.
We need to realize the benefits and joy of being active before we damage our bodies to the point that being active is too difficult.
I am today issuing a challenge. If you are able-bodied, then I challenge you to move. It can be walking, running, biking, swimming, dancing- ANYTHING!!!! JUST MOVE! I have created a group on Facebook and a contest. It is called “60 DAY MOVE YOUR BUTT CHALLENGE” and it is open to the public. All are welcome and we will have prizes at the end from some of our sponsors.
We are also giving EVERY CHALLENGE MEMBER 2 weeks of our Online Personal Fitness Training for FREE! This is in addition to ALL OF THE GREAT PRIZES at the end of the challenge! Click here to take advantage of the free training trial!
The main rule is- you have to go at least as many miles at the end of the 60 days as I go. Now this should not be hard since I can barely go a mile right now due to surgery. I want to see if this group can do 10,000 miles in 60 days. I think we can.
I want everyone to weigh and measure at the beginning of the challenge, June 15. Then again at the end, August 15. I can only imagine how many pounds we can burn and how many good habits we can all create if we just commit to move at least 3-5 times per week. It does not have to be for hours at a time or even an hour. None of my post-op workouts has lasted more than 20 minutes.
Who is with us? JOIN THE CHALLENGE AND DO SOMETHING GREAT FOR YOUR HEALTH! JUST GO HERE AND ADD YOURSELF TO THE GROUP! LET’S ALL GET MOVING TOGETHER!
If you know someone who has passed on or who cannot move who you want to do the challenge in honor of, tell us in the group! We want to know!
MOVE FOR YOURSELF!
MOVE FOR YOUR FAMILY!
MOVE FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT!
MOVE FOR THE BOSTON VICTIMS!
MOVE FOR HEALTH AND LONGEVITY!