Ever since graduating I have treated any sort of dumbbell or weight machine like the plague – let me just say, it has been heavenly. My head now rests on a normal neck rather than a stump, and the bulkiness that I amassed during four years of heavy weightlifting while in college is disappearing (it’s still baffling to me where it goes…). Now, a year after graduating, I’ve lost 20 pounds from my heaviest college weight. There is a simple, yet extremely difficult, solution to losing weight: exercise regularly and eat less. More important though than losing weight is being fit and feeling good. Unfortunately, our culture makes it hard to reduce our intake: portion sizes are huge and commercials and advertisements encouraging us to buy processed, sugary, salty “food” dominate the media.
I read an NYTimes article a couple of weeks ago about the mathematics of obesity. Investigators at the National Institue of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases revealed that it takes a dieter about three years to achieve their “steady state.” Patience! This is the key.
Clearly I didn’t return (almost) to my pre-college weight by simply avoiding weights – and it didn’t happen overnight. For me, the journey started the summer before my senior year while recovering from ACL surgery. Leading a much more sedentary life during knee rehab than I was used to, I realized that I had to adjust my diet. Likewise, being lighter would mean less strain on my knees and body, hopefully leading to a quicker recovery and lessening my propensity for future injuries. During my road to recovery, I learned a lot about patience, hard work, and listening to my body. In a way, my injury was a gift – it taught me so much more than I would have learned otherwise.
In the following “Fresh Ways to Exercise” posts, I will share some of my favorite workout routines, how I changed the way I exercise, and how exercise is accessible to everyone, can be done everywhere, and most importantly…it’s fun!
P.S. According to Gretchen Reynolds, the first 20 minutes of exercise after being very sedentary provides most of the health benefits.
Get up and move!