So by this time I was standing along a dusty road, putting my toe out, getting ready to go….somewhere! I didn’t know where that would be when I jumped into the junk Cadillac of my journey to The Perfect Body, but never mind that. To fast forward, I was in for a long and bumpy ride across country.
No concrete plan
To return to the present, I had decided, at random, that I needed to make some life changes, and the only part of my life I thought I had any control over at the time was probably my body. As a woman, I also bought into all the mythology and perks that go with ‘looking terrific’, the ‘hot body’, ‘pretty woman!’ and so forth. And believe me, I was 58 years old! Do we ever clear the channels on this stuff?
As is the case with many people, however, I was jumping into the car without any clear indication of where I was going or even how to get there.
There is an old saying: When we fail to plan, we plan to fail.
In response to my new concerns I occasionally began to walk the dog before I drove off to work. Sometimes I even made attempts at exercises, such as sit-ups or push-ups. Often, my plans were interrupted by being called in to work early, or by simply not managing available time before work. I would become involved in something necessary or something more inviting than exercise, which was almost anything I could think of. I certainly felt that I was entitled to a package of cookies after a stressful evening at work, and I was not about to relinquish slamming that beer or soda at bedtime.
In short, within a few weeks I had abandoned the entire effort. I became dimly aware of scuttling the project when I came upon a dusty, discarded ‘to do’ list lying upon a bed of dust balls beneath my computer desk. At that point, I began to ruthlessly clear the refrigerator of non-food items and developed a cupboard-cleaning crash course in a futile attempt to convince myself that I was ‘doing something about my health.’
I was disgusted! I had done some exercise, more often than not, for those couple of weeks. It seemed not one thing about my body had changed.
Thinking it over……..
But friends, what is real activity, anyway?
Most of us think we are more active than we are. A new study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise gives us the facts: people generously overestimate the amount of time they spend exercising, and underestimate their sitting time by the goodly margin of 2 hours per week.
Most of us, like me, are not nearly as active as our bodies require us to be. Recorded history before us indicates that people used their bodies extensively as part of daily living. They were employed as farmers, lumberjacks, builders, hunters. They gardened to put food on the table. Even people like teachers and lawyers walked to and from their offices. People generally wore their joints out before they wore out their brains. This makes perfect sense, as physical activity sends blood to the brain, keeping thoughts flowing through the channels. Today we see just the opposite situation, and individuals are ultimately sidelined by brain freeze-up, wandering, witless, into extreme old age, alive via managed medications.
If we take a look at other cultures than the USA, old age seems not nearly the consideration it is for Americans; for example, the oldest picker of tea leaves may be 90, a shepherd walking miles per day might be 85.
Judging from history and example, then, consistent activity is what’s necessary to tune up the human body.
But, today, people are often busy inside buildings; offices or homes. Busy-ness, for a lot of us, involves sitting at a desk for hours on end. At one time in history, people were considered to have ‘worked themselves to death’. In other words, perhaps a woman, through consistent toil and childbearing, simply succumbed to illness and died. Today, in fact, we ‘sit ourselves to death’.
.James A Levine, MD, reports:
Researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Deciding on a concrete plan
I decided to form a concrete plan to change my body and my health potential. Yes, I was somewhat apprehensive about the time and effort it would take. I had no guarantees, but maybe this would be a first step in living the life I really wanted to live.
One step at a time…
Obviously, a flurry of activity from sit-ups to scouring the cupboards was not going to work. I needed to put a system into place, and work within it. I needed to plan, instead of random activity whenever it was convenient.
The best people, they’re afraid, they question themselves. Many, if you corner them, will admit that they wonder if they’re good enough. But what separates them from the rest is that they jump off the cliff anyway. Sprout wings on the way down. Kamal Ravikant