Positive Change

You ever have a doctor’s appointment where they yell at you and tell you that you really need to start taking care of yourself? Well, two years ago, I did. It made me feel pretty darn terrible about myself and I vowed never to have another checkup like that again. I did two things: first, I changed my doctor, because there’s a way to talk to people and then there’s being a complete jerk when you try to make your point. Secondly, I started seriously looking into a fitness and diet routine I could actually live with.

The diet portion wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I am simply trying to be smarter about food. I’m eating oatmeal for breakfast every day, a meal I used to skip all the time. I dropped soft drinks from my shopping list entirely and stick to water. I portion out my snacks so that I am not tempted to sit down with a huge family sized bag and finish off the whole thing in one sitting. Once I got over my portion control problems, I moved on to diet substitutions. If I’m craving something sweet, I’ll go for an apple now instead of candy. Little things like that go a long way. I still slip sometimes, or treat myself, but I don’t beat myself up over it. I’m doing this for all the best reasons and I’m in it for the long haul; some ice cream once in awhile isn’t going to ruin everything.

I chose cycling because honestly, I hate running. I tended to hurt myself running pretty quickly, too. The extra weight I carried around back then translated to a lot of extra pressure on my knees and ankles, so it was no wonder running hurt. Walking was less painful but I wanted something more. Cycling expends about the same amount of energy as walking but you go faster, which meant I could cover more distance in less time—that translates to a more efficient workout, which I thought was great. It also keeps burning calories even after I stop riding, which is tremendously cool. Plus, runner’s high is actually a bit of a misnomer. You can get it from just about any physical activity, so cycling became something I really started to look forward to.

I like it much better than going to a gym. I love being outside and experiencing the sun shine. There are some great places to ride around here and I’ve seen some really cool wildlife when I’m out on bike paths alone. I don’t mind riding in the heat or the cold, but I won’t go out if there’s too much rain or snow or something like that.If the weather doesn’t cooperate with me for more than two days in a row, I will happily go to the gym and hop on a stationary bike.

I am happy to report that making smart changes like these have brought me down to a healthy weight for my size. Doctor appointments go much better for me now!