Beating Obesity One Step At A Time

by Jennifer
(Oregon)

Nobody seems to escape the feeling of dread, of hesitation and of dislike whenever physical activity particularly exercises are mentioned. In time, most of us will learn to love exercise for its many health benefits but we must admit that changing deeply-ingrained lifestyle habits can be a difficult struggle. Even getting up from the bed early on a weekend morning is an inner struggle of seemingly epic proportions, more so with the thought of getting on the treadmill or running a few laps around the park.


Well, at least, these things are my own personal experience with physical activity in general and exercise in particular. Every day for the first few weeks of my fitness plan, I had to fight the urge to burrow under the covers and forget that I have to lose more than a few pounds or else risk going to an early grave. Being in the cradle of sleep, after all, was so much easier than dealing with leg cramps, cantankerous moods, and cold air.

Slowly but surely, I came to the love the sense of euphoria, of accomplishment, and of exhilaration after every run. It was a slow process, of course, but each step had gains that even I could not have imagined.

So, how did an ordinary individual like myself – married and with 3 kids – came to love running and other types of exercises? I must note that I am not exactly athletic, far from it, and I once tipped the scales at 155 kilograms on my 5’2” frame after giving birth to my third child. In short, I was considered obese and, thus, at risk for many chronic degenerative diseases like strokes and diabetes.

The turning point came when I was watching my youngest child playing with her siblings. I suddenly realized that, if I continue on the path I was treading on, it will be akin to robbing my children of their own mother. I have to do something to start being healthy again, if only for my kids!

I decided that since we lived near a public park with well-paved sidewalks that running was the best form of exercise where I was concerned. Plus, I am a sociable person so the thought of running into and with neighbors seemed a good idea. Add in the fact that running did not require expensive exercise gear and I was all set.

It was slow going at the start but I soon achieved a rhythm that suited my schedule as a stay-at-home mom and my physique as a petite, overweight individual. Indeed, finding your own peace, so to speak, with your chosen exercise routine is essential to achieve success. If you are uncomfortable with the basic movement, then change to another one lest you become discouraged and just give up.

Also, I started out in bits and pieces, in a manner of speaking. Instead of immediately gunning for a 3-kilometer marathon, my initial goals were to complete a lap around the track and then gradually increase it by 1 lap until I can run as many as 5 laps in one session. Build up your physical stamina and your mental confidence and, in so doing, build on your gains.

You will only be successful in any exercise routine when your motivation comes from deep within yourself and when you build on your gains, one step at a time.

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