Saturday, September 17, 2011

Activity as a Lifestyle

It gets pretty cliche, but the thing about WW is that it's a lifestyle change, not just a diet.  That means that for me to be successful, I have to not just look at what happens when I sit down for a meal, but the rest of my life too.

Before I started WW, I lived a pretty sedentary lifestyle.  It wasn't always like that.  I was pretty active growing up - my family hiked, biked, canoed, camped, and skied all the time.  Growing up in Alaska, it just felt natural.  I was on the cross-country running and cross-country ski team in high school.  I was never skinny, but I was in good shape.

Then I went to college, and those habits just kind of died.  Going to the gym wasn't a priority.  I didn't find time to run or bike.  I didn't have a car, so going hiking became a big deal - I had to either find a group that was going (and thus get out of bed before noon on a Saturday) or find a friend with a car.  Because I wasn't making activity a priority, I wasn't going out of my way to make friends with people that made it a priority too.

So over the last 10 years, I went from someone who was outside for several hours at least 4 times a week to someone that could spend all day inside, in front of a TV, without really noticing.  Because I kept eating like a high school athlete, it's no wonder I got to where I am.

One of the things I've had to admit to myself since starting WW again is that I'll never be a gym rat.  I just don't enjoy it.  I can do an hour on the treadmill or the elliptical, but I get so BORED!  And when I get bored, I lose motivation.

What I've found, though, is that if I work activity into my lifestyle, I get it done.  That might mean an active date with Matt - instead of just spending the day hanging out, we'll ride our bikes to the park and have a picnic or go for a hike.  I've been riding my bike to work, which takes about an hour each way.  I could never make myself spend two hours at the gym, but taking the time to bike to work feels like a treat.

And that brings me to today.  I've wanted to start volunteering now that we've gotten settled.  So when I heard about the Great American River Clean Up, I decided it was the perfect way to spend the morning.  Matt and I could hike up and down the river, and the American River Parkway would get cleaned up in the process.

A year ago, I would have heard about the clean up on the radio, and thought "Good for those people, the type of people that can get up early and actually have the energy to do something."  Now I am one of those people, and it feels great!

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