November 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm
by Irina Gonzalez
You know the old saying “eat less, move more” for losing weight? Well, as someone who’s lost 100 pounds in the past, I am a terrible example of it.
For all of the times that I have yo-yo’d with my weight throughout my life, not once did I fully commit to an exercise program. So far, I’m a lifelong Start-N-Stopper.
I’ll wake up on a Monday, feeling energized and good about the week ahead. I plan out my gym clothes, tell myself that I’ll go every day this week and think that it’ll finally happen. Sometimes I drag a friend along with me, like when I tried running in the morning with my best friend for a couple of weeks. We stopped once it started to get a bit cold outside and, honestly, we got lazy.
I tried going to the gym during lunch. I even downloaded a Couch to 5K running app, per my coworker’s recommendation. But a holiday weekend threw me off my Monday/Wednesday/Friday running schedule, and I never got back to it.
Then, after another coworker’s suggestion, I bought a bike and committed to riding my bike to work. It’s not always the most convenient method, since I have to ride through the busy streets of New York City, but I gave it a try anyway. At first I was too tired, so I tried having avocados for breakfast. This kept up my energy enough for the bike ride but, with avocados not being in season anymore and the weather turning from fall into winter, I haven’t been able to continue this habit.
I started to get really lazy about exercising after giving up on the running and the biking. Until I heard a lecture by Dr. Pierre Dukan, creator of the popular Dukan Diet.
Although I didn’t love his approach to losing weight (it’s similar to the Atkins diet, in which you lose weight mainly by eating lean protein), the Dukan method did impress me in one way: the plan ends with a “stabilization” (a.k.a. weight loss maintenance) portion of the plan. When Dr. Dukan spoke about this portion, my ears instantly perked up.
One of the main rules for maintaining weight loss: walk 20 minutes every day and never take elevators or escalators.
Well, I work on the 24th floor, so the “no taking elevators” approach wouldn’t work for me. But walking 20 minutes every day seemed manageable.
Looking at my hectic schedule, I decided that the best time to do this would be during my lunch break. The easiest ways I’ve found to incorporate walking during lunch:
- Running errands during my lunch hour and walking from bank to post office, etc
- Meeting a friend for lunch in her office building, meaning walking 15 there and back
- Putting on my sneakers and walking for a solid 20-30 minutes around the block
On the weekends, I incorporate walking as much as possible. Whether I’m meeting friends, spending time with my family or even having a quiet day, I try to get outside for those 20 minutes and get in my daily little bit of exercise. Incorporating this strategy into my life has been easy and has left me feeling more energized throughout the day. I love feeling great (and productive!) when I come back into the office after one of my walks.
Recently, I downloaded a couple of our Walking Playlists and find that I’m walking even longer than just the 20 minutes. I even downloaded a new fitness app called Arookoo that has motivated me to keep going by making a fun treasure hunt type of game out of exercise.
Next: I hope to start walking all the way home after work. It will probably take me about an hour but, energized with a healthy smoothie in my hand, I think I can do it.
How do you incorporate fitness into your daily routine? Are you a walker or a runner? How do you find motivation to keep exercising? Tell us in the comments below and be sure to check out some of our playlists, tips and great walking strategies.