Know Your Activity

See a physician

Please, please, please see a physician when you embark on this journey. And, as long as you are actively losing weight, see her or him at least once every three months, more often if you are on medications. For information about how I goofed this up, please see – Back to the Beginning.

Get started

What are you waiting for?! Let’s get started!

I started by walking, huffing and puffing, around my block. Just do something, anything to get going.

If you are wheelchair bound or otherwise have limited physical ability, do chair exercises. There are plenty of examples on YouTube.

Buy a good fitness tracker

I started by using my iPhone to track steps. I got tired of having to keep my phone in my pocket. So, I invested in a FitBit, totally worth the investment. Find a way to count your steps. If you do not have a phone or FitBit, measure distance of walks; typically a mile is 2,000 steps.

Last month I had an episode of syncope caused by continuing to take medicine, prescribed at a heavier weight, even after I lost weight. I already noticed from my fitness tracker that I was not walking as much as I used to. But I just ignored this. Big mistake. Next time, I will know to call my physician when I see this pattern. I would have been clueless without the fitness tracker.

Exercise after every meal

Exercise after every meal for five to ten minutes. According to my RD, Joy Galloway, walking or lifting weights after every meal helps the body direct your blood sugar into your muscle, redirecting from the internal organs.

I used to walk for 60 minutes in the morning. But I found waking shorter walks after every meal to be much more consistent and effective. It works and it adds up to a lot of steps, especially if you eat seven meals each day.

Start out with five minutes, no more than 12.

Measure your sleep patterns

We all have different needs for sleep. I have always needed between five and seven hours of sleep at night. Many need 7-9 hours per night. Weightlifters need 9-10. Sleep is vital to restoring your body and mind, vital to weight loss, and it keeps me from being cranky!

Measuring your sleep will help you know when you need to make lifestyle adjustments by seeing patterns. You may need to consume less caffeine in the afternoon or you may need more reading at bedtime.

Exercise with purpose

Do not purge!

Exercising after every meal is not a license to purge. Purging is dangerous.

I said before, eat with a purpose.

The same goes for exercise. Exercise with purpose.

You need the physical activity to help your internal organs with breathing, metabolizing and mental health. You do not need to exercise to lose weight. Let your diet do that. Excessive exercise may lead to a loss in vital nutrients. If food is your medicine, you are throwing it away by over-exercising. Please be careful.

Photo: National Park Service, walking trail shared by dog walkers and joggers.

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