One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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3 Steps to a Healthier YOU! – Step 3. Move More

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3 Steps to a Healthier YOU! - Step 3 Move More

You do not need to join a gym to lose weight. You do not need to "workout" for hours a day. You do not need to wake up at 5AM for a 5 mile jog.

You do NOT.

I’m serious. I’m not trying to sway you from adding an exercise routine your plan, it’s good for you to exercise. You know that, we all know that. But when it comes to weight loss, for me, it was more about the food. I was eating too much and I got lazy. Not a good combination. I started just doing less and less because I didn’t like the body I was in, the body I put myself in.

While working on my self-acceptance and my diet mentality I also decided I had to just move more. At the time I wasn’t into "working out." I didn’t have a gym membership and I had no desire to get one. I made a decision that I needed to find a balance between the food I ate and the activities I wanted to do.

Wanted, this is key. In my opinion, if you are forcing yourself to workout, forcing yourself to go running, or forcing yourself to hit the gym then the habit won’t stick. You need to enjoy it. The activities you choose must fit into your lifestyle or you’re setting yourself up to fail, just as you would by going on a crash diet. We need to think long term. Am I willing to do these types of activities all the time? Are they part of a lifestyle I want to live? If not what’s going to keep the weight off when you decide to stop them? Or better yet, how long can you even keep at them?

For example, in my yo-yo era I would routinely say things like, "I’m going to wake up at 5AM every morning and jog" or "every night before bed I’ll do 100 crunches."

Want to know how long that lasted? Ummmm yeah, first of all I STILL can’t wake up at 5AM, I’m better off not going to bed at all if I need to get up that early. And the before bed thing, well, I can barely remember to brush my teeth I’m so tired by the end of the day.

My problem was, just like the ‘start on Monday’ diet mentality I was setting unrealistic goals that as soon as I failed would give me permission to abandon all forms of exercise. Instead of trying to be something I wasn’t, a 5AM runner, I needed to start with activities that fit my lifestyle and fitness level at the time.

I simply needed to start moving more.

Sounds cliche, doesn’t it? So will my next piece of advice.

I truly believe the first step to moving more is turning off the TV. I LOVE television as much as the next guy and I’m not going to lie, I watch a lot of it. But I decided early on in the toddler’s young life that I did not want my child to live in a household where the TV was on 24/7. So I shut it off. What a novel idea right? Well, BOY did a whole bunch of opportunities to MOVE MORE present themselves.

First… the Dancing. I’m going to take a side bar here and urge you to shut off the TV, blast your favorite music and dance like a complete lunatic around your house at least once a day. I’m SERIOUS! No one’s watching and if they are get them involved. The husband now dances with the toddler and I. We have a blast. We get our heart rates up, we have fun, sometimes we laugh so hard we cry. Just think about it, a few songs go by and you just "moved more" for 10-15 minutes, getting a bit of cardio in and maybe even some strength training in if you are carrying a little one like I used to.

You think I’m crazy now, right? I don’t care. It’s fun, it IS crazy and it got this lazy butt off the couch. Not to mention it gave me a fun way to interact with my son who still LOVES to dance. I mean really, the kid will break out like Fred Astaire in the middle of the mall if there’s a good tune on. :~)

Ok, back from side bar. Sorry.

Other opportunities that present themselves when you decide to shut off the TV…

  • Cleaning
  • Taking a family walk
  • Going to a park
  • Heading out to the backyard for a game of catch
  • Reading books to your kids
  • Organizing your closet or junk drawers
  • Cooking a healthy meal with the family TOGETHER

I could go on and on here, but I think I’m making my point. All of these things have you moving more than passively watching TV. You’re thinking "yeah, ok, reading really burns more calories than TV watching, ok Roni, you fell off the rocker on that one." You may be right, but to that I say it’s not always about burning more calories, it’s about being actively engaged and "doing" something. I think too many of us go through life mindless, like we are on autopilot.

wake up…. turn on news… get kids to school… go to work… come home… turn on TV…. order dinner…. send kids to bed…. pop in Netflix movie…. grab snack…. plop back in front of TV…

rinse….repeat

day in… day out

BORING! Mix it up a bit! Turn on the music, take the family out for an after-dinner walk, play with your little ones while waiting for dinner to cook. Anything, but please be engaged!

Another side bar… One of the best pieces of advice I received from the toddler’s pediatrician was about kids and TV watching. If I was going to let the toddler watch TV he told me to make it active, not passive. When Dora asks a question or Sporticas tells the kids to get up and jump, do it. YOU do it and get your child to do it with you. You’ll be showing your kids that TV can be an active experience. Now when the toddler watches alone I see him interact with the television, not sit on couch like a brainless drone. He is ENGAGED and guess what, he’s moving more and so am I!

So back to this moving more thing, I truly believe that just by being more active with everyday activities you can make HUGE strides. Shutting off the TV is only one example, how many times are you presented with the choice of stairs vs. elevator? Finding a close parking spot vs. parking far away? Even automatic doors vs. traditional? Starting small will grow and foster active habits. Soon you’ll be wanting to do more and your body may be craving it.

I literally started doing the things I mentioned in this post. Early during weight loss the family would take walks, play active video games and go to the park for hikes. I made my 5 story rule and found other ways to just stay active. Within 2 years I wanted to go the gym, I wanted to increase my activity level, and if you believe this, it actually sounded FUN.

Even at the gym I started slow, maybe 20 minutes walking on a treadmill and some Nautilus machines. Now I’m taking boot camp classes and lifting free weights. Not to mention the running, which I LOVE to do now (but still not at 5AM.)

Listen, it’s not going to happen overnight. If I even attempted to do what I’m doing now 3 years ago I wouldn’t have lasted more than a day. I’m serious. I worked up to it. Just like everything, it was a progression. The best thing you can do for yourself is to start slow and simply MOVE MORE!

<<Read Step 2. Stateless Dieting




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Discussion

There are 39 comments so far.

    Christy

    October 9, 2008

    I love it! Write a book, sister! You have all the right answers! Ya know I am going to post about this on my site (again) so that others will find this. It is important for people to see/read and know.

    Estellia

    October 9, 2008

    I totally agree with the turning off the tv thing…it is hard to do, but it allows you to look at other things to do. I tivo shows that I want to watch with my bf and that occupies the tv, making me do something else.

    Check out Estellias last blog post..Time to recharge my motivation

    Mary

    October 9, 2008

    We don’t even own a tv!! When we moved, we decided to leave it. We knew we were waaaaay to into watching it and it was the daily norm to sit after dinner and watch tv….watch tv while folding laundry, or eating lunch, or any other time…it was sad. So we decided to leave it and now we have LATV….Life After TV! IT’s great! We do still watch tv….Hulu.com has some shows that I like and they are aired about 24hrs after its shown on regular cable. So, I still get my fixes…but without the high cable bill. And we rent movies….so we aren’t deprived in any way. But it sure is nice that the kids aren’t asking…”can we watch tv”?? all the time! Now, they ask “Can we go outside”?? THAT is a great question!!!!

    John's Weight Loss Blog

    October 9, 2008

    I coached both my kids soccer teams this season and while I wouldn’t say it ever gave me a great workout, just getting out and moving and being active felt great. Looking forward to doing more skiing this winter for more of the same.

    Check out John’s Weight Loss Blogs last blog post..A Weight Loss Blog About Nothing

    Charlie Hills

    October 9, 2008

    So, Roni, when are you going to post the “dancing around the house like crazy” videos? :)

    Check out Charlie Hillss last blog post..Psych Out

      Kathy

      July 27, 2015

      It’s about time somneoe wrote about this.

    Christy

    October 9, 2008

    Charlie…you crack me up dude!

    Charlie Hills

    October 9, 2008

    Just doin’ my job.

    Check out Charlie Hillss last blog post..Psych Out

    roni

    October 9, 2008

    Ha Charlie… beat ya to it… http://ronisweigh.com/2008/06/honestly-how-much-tv-do-you-watch.html

    It’s not me at my craziest but still. :~P

    Shannan

    October 9, 2008

    I used to think that if I fould an activity I liked doing, that I’d stick with it. Well, I would, for about a month, and then it would taper off. Maybe I didn’t like it that much? Maybe, but I think it has to do with the whole package, the wanting to be healthy and fit instead of trying to find something that I can convince myself I like just because it’s a requirement to lose weight. I had to throw that thinking out the window.

    I have now found something (running) that challenges me that I love most days and want to avoid on lazy days, but do anyway. Will it be long-term? I think so, because it’s become part of my thinking and part of my lifestyle, not just an “exercise”. It’s a way to improve myself mentally as well as physically. Following a mindless routine wasn’t enough of a challenge, and I’m a competitive person. I love being able to say that I increased my time running, because it’s something I had not done before.

    Make the activities you do part of your daily life, just like dancing around while you clean or taking a walk during your break. It’s not a chore when you find something you like doing, and it shouldn’t be something to fear.

    Check out Shannans last blog post..Week 6, Day 1 Report Posted & Links…

    Bonnie

    October 9, 2008

    You’re spot on, Roni!

    Check out Bonnies last blog post..Brian

    Charlie Hills

    October 9, 2008

    Sorry, Roni. I’m going to have to see something a lot crazier than that.

    :)

    Check out Charlie Hillss last blog post..Psych Out

    Heidi

    October 9, 2008

    Roni and All-
    Check out this article: http://bmimedical.blogspot.com/
    This doctor emphasizes the truth over and over that exercise is good for you, but exercise is not what leads to weight loss.
    We need to keep that in mind- it really comes down to what you eat!!!

    Charlie Hills

    October 9, 2008

    So true, Heidi. And it’s because we have the capability to eat far more calories in ten minutes than we could ever hope to burn on a treadmill. I’ve got a package of cashews sitting here. Four servings, 640 calories. I could it it in three minutes. I can’t think of any exercise that would take care of that in even ten times the amount of time.

    Exercise has intense benefits and we all need more of it. But trust me, I’ll never forget the nine months I lost sixty pounds and didn’t exercise a single minute.

    Check out Charlie Hillss last blog post..Psych Out

    SMK

    October 9, 2008

    Its all about finding something you like. I started exercising regularly about 3 years ago after I finished college and was at my absolute fattest. It was hard but me and my FI did it together. The problem was that we would be dedicated for a few months and then we’d stop when the initial motivation wore off.

    In January 2007, on a whim I joined a rock-climbing class that also focused on discovering success strategies. It was there that I finally found a form of exercise that I absolutely love and I learned a little more about myself. Although its physically challenging, I always look forward to doing it. I have also built amazing friendships with my climbing partners. Almost two years later, I still climb 1-2 times per week along with my other forms of exercise that I don’t enjoy as much (cardio etc).

    Now if only I could keep my eating in check :)

    madison (follow my weigh)

    October 9, 2008

    ooh thanks for this roni! i just cancelled my gym membership and right now i’m in the mode like i need to get up at 5 and do some sort of workout. i have a pretty sedentary job, but being there for 10 hours, and then commuting one hour there and one hour back, by the time i’m home i don’t want to do ANYTHING (just sit on my butt and watch t.v., well not exactly but i just want to “relax.”). so since i’m sedentary all day but feel pooped at the end of the day, i feel i need to do something really active at 5am. it hasn’t happened yet though hahah

    Check out madison (follow my weigh)s last blog post..its thursday!

    arielle

    October 9, 2008

    I always measure my workout in the number of songs I’ll listen too. I know that’s not your point with the dancing, but it really does make things go faster if you think about running for six songs instead of thirty minutes. Six songs is nothing!

    gharkness

    October 9, 2008

    Welll, I don’t often comment on blogs, and I don’t know why I clicked through on the 5-story link. I thought it had something to do with limiting the toddler to five story-books so you could get up and move and be more active. But NO, it’s about taking the stairs! What a great idea!

    I have the misfortune to work in only a 2-story building, with absolutely no need to go to the second floor more often than once a month, but in the future, when I do go to a high-rise building, I WILL be looking for stairs to take.

    Wonderful, wonderful!

    madison (follow my weigh)

    October 9, 2008

    hey roni, how do i get my twitter box thing on my blog like you do on yours? i tried messing with it, but didn’t work~ do i need my own url (and not wordpress) to be able to do that? THANKS!

    Check out madison (follow my weigh)s last blog post..its thursday!

    roni

    October 9, 2008

    I’m not sure what you mean? You can copy and paste the code generated by the tool to any blog.

    So the steps are go here… http://ronisweigh.com/ronis-resources/tweet-eat-post
    Put in your twitter username
    click submit
    copy and paste code generated for your blog.

    Does that make sense?

    Dana

    October 9, 2008

    I’m soooo lacking in the exercise category. Husband and I have been trying to walk about 30-45 at night.

    I read a comment by someone not long ago that they sit on the exercise ball and do hand weights while watching tv. I thought that was a great idea.

    Bonnie

    October 9, 2008

    Roni–I think madison doesn’t mean how to get her food log on her website that comes from tweeting her food…..I think she means, how do we get everything we tweet to show up on our blogs, like yours does?

    roni

    October 9, 2008

    Bonnie – Ohhhhh I get it! That all depends on what blog system you use. There are plug ins for wordpress but twitter just uses RSS, So you can just include the feed, but again it’s different for different systems. Or I should say there are different approaches.

    Dawn

    October 9, 2008

    HAHA, I was laughing at the dancing part but only b/c I do it too. DD’s and I turn on CMT or 80’s sirus station and we go to town. They love it when I dance with them and I do too. Turning of the TV is one thing I learned quickly too. In the past year my tv watching is basically down to none. I watch 2 shows each week, Biggest Loser and Desperate Housewives and I DVR both of them and watch BL whenever I can and DH after the girls go to bed on Sunday night around 9. Turning off the TV makes great time for much important things in life like playing and spending quality time with your kids.
    Good luck on your run although I know you don’t need it. Enjoy it!

    madison (follow my weigh)

    October 9, 2008

    bonnie- yup thats what i meant!
    roni- yea it doesn’t seem like wordpress supports it, when i have more time i’ll play around with it though~

    Check out madison (follow my weigh)s last blog post..whoa i have internet?

    Giyen

    October 10, 2008

    I totally think that dancing is the way to go. I watched Gwyneth Paltrow on Oprah not to long ago and she and her trainer danced for cardio. No equipment needed and she was sweating up a storm. She doesn’t use heavy weights and mostly resistance bands.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/17/gwyneth-paltrows-exercise_n_127243.html

    MizFit

    October 10, 2008

    I loved that gwyneth and oprah show :) and we dancedance to YO GABBA GABBA here and it is a great sweaty workout :)

    Check out MizFits last blog post..Poetry in Motion.

    debby

    October 10, 2008

    Uh oh, I kinda got diverted by the comment about hulu.com–more tv for me :} But really, Roni, this series is EXCELLENT, and especially this one–my favorite. I completely agree with you. Just yesterday I was reading a book called The Fit Factor, and they made the same point, about how we eliminate ordinary movement in our day, and then it just escalates, the less we move, the more unpleasant it becomes, and then is a vicious cycle. Oh well, I really don’t need to restate your article! Anyways, thank you. I hope a lot of hopeful weightloss starters will read this!

    Check out debbys last blog post..What an Adventure!

    debby

    October 10, 2008

    P.S. Love the dancing around the house idea! Me and the dogs will be doing a lot more dancing from now on!

    Check out debbys last blog post..What an Adventure!

    Rhiannon

    October 11, 2008

    Hi Roni! I don’t often comment but this is something I’m trying to figure out right now.

    I live on my own most of the time, no pets and no family. The things you’ve listed are things I’d absolutely LOVE to do, but can’t — it’s difficult to go for a family walk or read books to kids if they’re not there. So exercise is not entirely about just the physical for me, it’s about doing things I enjoy with people I enjoy spending time with. So I really don’t want to do solitary exercises like running (I know, you can have a partner but you need to find one first), the gym-not-in-classes, swimming and other similar stuff. I’m trying to find activities that will let me interact with people. I already do indoor rock-climbing once a week and love it, but I’m a bit stuck on other things to do. Any suggestions? I used to hate team sports, but I guess they might be worth trying.. (gulp). I find I’m terrified of those sort of things, though, because you’re not initially up to the standard that everyone else is at.

    Ack. Sorry. I didn’t mean for this to ramble on so much! Any suggestions would be great, and thanks for being an inspiration!

    Rhiannon

    J. Ross

    October 11, 2008

    Speaking of food being the most important part of weight loss…I read recently that ‘diet’ (as in everything you eat) counts for 80% of your health. Exercise is another 10%. The final 10% is genetic makeup.

    I think that really speaks for how important it is to be aware of what fuel you are putting into your body. And like you said, moving more instead of setting unrealistic goals is more reasonable.

    roni

    October 15, 2008

    Rhiannon – Thanks for your comment. I hate to sound obvious, but how about walking with your iPod, or even your cell as you chat with a friend. As the for the dancing… I ROUTINELY dance on by myself. Sometimes I prefer it.

    I’m not trying to come off mean here, I understand what you are saying. I wrote the article from my perceptive and as I have a family, but to be honest my husband is not active, at all! I do it on my own with my son. I go to the gym alone. I started taking classes at the gym alone. Guess what happened, I found people with similar interests and we started working out! I also found people online in my area and now I have a few running partners.

    So my suggestion is to do the things you want to do and trying to find people who have similar interests.

    I just recently joined a new gym so I’ll be alone for a bit but my plan is to hit a few classes and try to strike up some conversations. It may take awhile, it did at my last gym in the mean time I’ll workout alone. :~(

    Kim

    October 16, 2008

    I am taking a college class called Active Living Everyday, which is part of my Exercise Science degree study. Everything in this post makes sense and much of it could have easily appeared in the book I’m reading.

    You HAVE to be READY to be active to actually become active. But even if you are thinking about becoming active, that is a step in the right direction and hopefully those folks will actually BECOME active.

    It doesn’t take much to get started. I am usually an active person but I have my slumps for sure…sometimes the slumps last a month or more!

    When the slumps happen, I start out small again…taking the stairs, parking farther away at the store, talking short walks at work…and before I know it, I’m back in the groove and I feel GOOD.

    I lost 18 pounds solely by changing my diet. I didn’t exercise any more or any less than I was doing at the time. And I’ve kept that weight off for over a year now! But, you still have to be active. It helps. It makes you feel good and eventually you’ll want to do more activity. You’ll feel leaner, tighter, stronger and have more energy when you’re regularly active…and, of course, it’ll help even more to keep weight off.

    I don’t belong to a gym. But I am lucky enough to have a treadmill, some free weights and a bench at home. That’s all you really need to have an effective workout program, but gyms are great too if you have some cash to spare. I also invested in a fitness ball and took a class to learn what to do with it. Fun!

    One great idea, if you’re allowed, is to trade your office chair for a fitness ball. You don’t want to sit on it all day…start out 15 min ball and the rest on your office chair. Then keep bumping it up to the point where you are on your ball sitting and work for half the day and on your office chair the other half. You’ll really be engaging your core while just sitting and after a little time, you’ll see a difference!

    Good luck!

    Love the site!

    Kate

    March 19, 2009

    I just found this series and it’s really got me thinking. Especially your part here about the mindless, boring, daily routine. I see my own life there, and it makes me sad! We do have our days when we turn off the TV and spend real time together as a family, and it’s great. I”m realizing that it needs to happen more. I hate just seeing my daughter (who’s about the same age as your toddler) sitting in front of the TV – and it amazes me how creative she can be when I just turn it off! Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s harder to find excuses for not getting outside. Thanks for reminding me of this…and helping me realize that I’m okay just the way I am now…

    Anastasia

    June 1, 2010

    It’s just incredible! Your blog is hundreds of times better than any nutritionist tips or whatever, better than, I don’t know, some healthy lifestyle book. It is so realistic and sounds manageable. THANK YOU ! ! ! :-))

    roni

    June 5, 2010

    Thank you! Glad to help. :)

    Adree

    January 2, 2012

    I’m sitting here in front of my computer and tears are coming down my eyes, thank you so much for putting yourself out there as an inspiration. I can relate to everything you’re describing and this gives me hope that I CAN DO IT TOO! Please continue sharing your experiences as you are touching many lives!

    About a year ago we got rid of our TV, and although it was a hard adjustment at first, we don’t even notice anymore. And it’s amazing how much more time we have for other fun things we never did before. The best part is the quiet – no background noise or light is very refreshing.

    Mary

    August 19, 2012

    Hi im 16, over weight, and I just discovered your blog not even 20 minutes ago. The TV thing is COMPLETELY true. We are in the middle of moving right now into our first house (yay) and we’ve decided to not get cable service at least for 3 months, so we aren’t distracted, because we need to put a lot of TLC into this house, and I love being active BUT TV is my sworn enemy, I love wayyyy to many of the shows on the dang Boob tube.. lol Hopefully in about three months I will have lost at least 50 pounds, I’m so hoping to do so, and hopefully your blog (& your food blog) will help me do so. Once I get a bike, that will be my main source of exercising, I love biking. Since the house we are moving to is literally two blocks away from hundreds of crops (the surrounding cities are all farm land, most fruit trees) Ill bike down the main street through all the land and that’ll be about 4 miles everyday :) Im so excited to become more active and have a healthy lifestyle and body. Wish me luck :)