by Greg Landry
Research continues to indicate that Americans are becoming more sedentary.. and fatter every year. This move toward inactivity and an increase in body fat is even more pronounced in children, who don’t get out and play anymore. Instead, they sit in front of a TV or computer (perhaps like their parents) for many of their waking hours.
We know that there is a very direct, inverse relationship between a person’s level of activity and the percentage of their weight that is fat. less activity equals more fat, and more activity equals lees fat.
I received an email message recently that I’d like to share with you. It’s a weight loss and fitness success story that makes you want to start exercising while you’re reading it.
It’s from a 48 year-old lady, Elizabeth, who lives in Lexington, Kentucky. She is living proof that less activity equals more fat, and more activity equals less fat. Here’s her letter:
“Greg, I’m writing to thank you for your inspiring articles and to tell you about my journey (a rough one) to fitness. I was at a healthy weight in my early twenties and had my first child at age 26. I remained about 30 pounds overweight after she was born.”
“I managed to gain 15 more pounds during the next four years, mostly because of several diets I tried. After the birth of my second child at age 31, I was 60 pounds overweight and very frustrated.
Over the next 15 years I tried numerous diets (even eating just rice) that ultimate led to me being 120 pounds overweight.”
“I started reading your articles two years ago and it finally began to sink in. I finally realized that exercise wasn’t just about the calories I was burning during exercise. I finally realized that I would never lose the weight and keep it off without some real exercise in my life.”
“I reached a point in my life where my weight was ruining my life. I got to the point where everything was a struggle, none of my fat clothes fit, I didn’t want to see anyone because of the way I looked, and even walking made me breathless. I decided that I would either make a drastic change at that point or I would give up. I chose to make a drastic change.”
“I knew that exercise needed to be a priority and so I changed several things in my daily schedule to make that happen. I started with very little but I was very consistent. I worked up to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise in the morning and 30 to 45 minutes in the evening. On Saturdays, I take a less intense, but longer walk throughout my area of town enjoying all the sights. I’m up to 8 to 10 miles on my Saturday walk. I also weight train three days a week. Please don’t get the impression that this was easy. I went through MANY difficult struggles but it definitely got easier as I progressed.”
“I’m now 12 pounds from my goal weight. Greg, I can’t begin to explain how my life has changed. Everything is different. Even the way people talk to me. It’s almost like people didn’t even see the person under all that fat. Probably best of all is that I have energy to function now. I’m not constantly tired like I used to be.”
“Obviously, my perception of exercise has changed now. I enjoy it and look forward to it. I’m planning on doing a half marathon (13.1 miles) walk in the fall. Thanks again for your words of encouragement.”
Wow! This lady is unstoppable. Notice that she first realized the true benefits of exercise and then decided to do *whatever* she had to for exercise to become a consistent part of her life.
Exercise radically changes how your body handles fat! When you’re sedentary, all the physiological signals tell your body to hang on to the fat and dump the metabolism boosting muscle. When you’re exercising on a daily basis, all the physiological signals tell your body to dump the fat and increase the metabolism boosting muscle. Which signals do you want?
By Greg Landry, M.S., Exercise Physiologist www.greglandryfitness.com
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