Start Wherever You’re At

A Year From NowI talked to a teller at the bank the other day who said she was trying to decide on a New Year’s resolution and was thinking about a weight loss resolution but she wasn’t sure she was at a good starting point.  That comment has given me a lot of food for thought over the last few days.  For instance, how will she know when she is at a good starting point?  Is she thinking she is going to lose weight before she starts???  I really did not understand her thought process.  I did talk to her briefly about my own weight loss and assured her that now is the time, no matter what.  Hopefully, she will think about it.

Thinking of that conversation today got me thinking that I needed to express that same advice to my readers.  Like most things in life, if you wait around for the perfect time to start a diet and exercise program, you are never going to start.  Life will always bring you circumstances that can get in the way, if you let them.  If you make the decision to start a diet and exercise program, you can make it work, no matter what point you are at in life or what you have on your plate.

For me the key was starting right where I was at.  If I had waited until I was in what I thought was good enough shape to exercise, I would still be waiting.  I started where I was at and did what I could do.

I thought I could give you some examples of things I started doing at the beginning of my journey, and still do today, and maybe it would give you some ideas of things you could do to get your own journey started.

I started with something very simple.  Instead of driving up and down the aisles in a parking lot looking for the closest space, I started parking a little further away from the store.  Gradually, as my fitness level improved, I parked further and further away and now, I park out past the employee parking and power walk or jog to and from the store.  Consequently, my Dad hates to go to the store with me now as he knows I am going to make him walk.  I know it doesn’t sound like much, but remember, every little bit helps.  Of course, I do not employee this practice at night or if I am in an unfamiliar area.  Safety comes above all else.

I also made it a habit early on to walk to the mailbox rather than stopping car as I drove into the driveway.  Again, something very small but it’s a small step that factors into my overall success.  I walk to the mailbox whether it’s raining, freezing cold, or scorching hot.

Take the stairs.  If you feel like you are able, taking the stairs at the mall, at the office, or in a hotel is a great option to sneak in some exercise.  Even if you can only do one floor on the stairs and you need to ride the elevator for the rest, something is better than nothing.

I think a lot of people are under the misconception that in order for exercise to be beneficial, they have to carve out an hour or more per day to devote to exercise.  This is simply not true!  Think about it, if you are completely sedentary like I was, any movement is an improvement over what you are currently doing.  Even if all you can do is park a little further from the store, it’s a start and starting is the important part.

Once you start, you will be amazed at how quickly your momentum builds and before you know it, you will have a regular workout regimen.  I would like to hear your suggestions for ways to get started, no matter what point you are at.  The more ideas we all hear, the better.

Start Where You Are

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