Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Time to Get Moving

A month ago my doctor recommended that I take an online weight management class offered by my clinic. It's structured really well: I "attend" weekly classes by logging in to a website with my computer while wearing headphones that have a microphone feature. All class members are given a large colorful workbook and other resource materials. We're asked to participate verbally, by entering text, and by completing online question tools.

When my internal medicine doc suggested that I take this course, I had a mental image of me sitting in front of a computer screen while writing in a book which contained all that diet and weight information that I supposed I already knew. Which I thought was a really boooooorrrrrrriiiiinnnng way to learn anything. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this class was far more interactive and interesting.

Last night's class focused on the importance of being active and contained this little gem; I wish I could remember to whom I should attribute it, because it's a real goodie:

Those who can't find time to exercise will be forced to find time for illness.

Whoa. That's a powerful way to reframe the importance of exercise in health management, don't you think? I was reminded of the many, many testimonials about the therapeutic value of exercise sent to me by readers. For some, the focus on gentle exercise altered the effects of their autoimmune disease immensely.

I was told to examine my own exercise habits during the class which made me squirm in my comfy recliner (having my feet elevated and a plump pillow snugged in behind my back). Because I am not inclined to leave my favorite chair (also conveniently positioned squarely in front of the television, I might add....) at all right now. Oh, sure -- I am conscientiously following my physical therapist's directives, but those exercises are easy stretching moves that don't raise even one drop of sweat on my brow.

At the end of class, we were asked to set goals for the week ahead. Each week we have this assignment, but this time we were told to set exercise related goals. And we were told that we had to share this goal with those that would keep one accountable.

So. That means you fine folks. Are you ready to keep me on track?

I decided that I would commit to taking Lulu for walk for a minimum of ten minutes in duration every day this week. After I had written it, I thought my goal looked pretty pathetic, but after thinking about it I realized that the biggest challenge for me in this isn't the fact that I'm walking Lulu, and a ten minute walk is very doable for me right now. For me, the really hard part is the commitment to doing something EVERY DAY. I strongly dislike anyone telling me what to do. Even myself. Which causes my Bratty Inner Child Julia to make her very unwelcome appearance.

I promise to keep ya'll up to date with my progress this week even if it includes a confession that I didn't meet my goal. I'll tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Are you ready for this, Lulu?

Apparently not.......


Anonymous said...

If you are lucky like me, Lulu will be your best trainer for your daily exercise. Our dog is the one who insists on our 20 minute walk EVERY DAY. Sometimes we cheat with a short version of we have been out late. She has done her job well enough that I sorely miss the time, since I am in a cast for 2 months. (boohoo).

I read somewhere that dogs have a new job description: psychotherapist and physical trainer. Absolutely true.

Good luck to you and Lulu.

Marion said...

Exactly. My dog is my exercise partner and trainer and she does NOT let me blow off the walk. Period. I swear she watches the clock too. When it's time it's time and we best be headed out of the door.

Sue said...

Good luck Julia. I prefer to walk outside but we bought a treadmill for the family room to use on those days when the weather doesn't cooperate. I feel much better than I did a year ago, lost a significant amount of weight (with the help of my old weight watchers stuff) and I have been able to reduce my BP meds by half. Some days it is hard to exercise but I am in my 50s so if not know when. Wish I had a dog to walk. My cat refuses to get off my bed.

Shara from Seattle said...

I can't, don't want to, don't make me! Which is why I'm still running from the diet doctor. I've been on diets - rehash- lifestyle changes- rehash however way you like it I won't be participating so Good for you girl. "They" aren't getting the time of day from me.
My connective tissue means I pull things. My osteo neck arthritis, brain cyst makes moving my head a dizzy experience. I do traction, I see a gal to readjust my pelvis and neck twice a month. The way I have knocked around in 4 or more car wrecks, assaults and utilizing my super Neanderthal strength for a girl, jumping off buildings, Shero handling belligerent men, able to toss them around like tissue, I'm done with exercise. Seven years ago I sprinted two miles in twenty minutes in my sleep. Now, I'm just pulling out of a depression so deep I was lucky to start taking showers again. I wish you all the best Julia. I would go nut's with just the pressure of telling everyone my progress. Remember Oprah?

Cindy said...

I promise you: If you make exercise a healthy habit, you will LOVE how much better you feel. I find that if I don't move my body daily, within a week of inactivity, my body feels as though it aged 15 years within a matter of days. I am excited to hear how you do in the days/weeks ahead. As Churchill once said, "Never, never, never give up." (....or words to that effect)

Nan said...

That sounds like a perfect plan, Julia. You and Lulu are no strangers to walking either. You just need to get back into the routine, with small, realistic goals. And what better way to make yourself accountable than to tell all of your friends here, who are beside you all the way!

The most uplifting activity I do now, is walk my dear doggie for 30 minutes each day. Nothing like it. I look forward to hearing all about your new adventures with Lulu!

Anonymous said...

Do you feel more fatigue after exercise? It takes me days to get over a short walk. I ran all the time before Sjögren's entered my life.

Jo D said...

I just found your blog and OMG, thank you! Real talk from real people that isn't all doom and gloom. I struggle with exercise as well, and that quote really hit me. I am really struggling with fatigue and flu-type pain that hits every work day about mid-afternoon. But I have to start working movement more into my day. Thank you for your post of accountability and for sharing your journey.