January 4, 2012

Weight Loss Tactics for 2012 - Part 3

In Part 1, we talked about distinguishing between physical and emotional hunger because for weight loss we want to feed one while distracting the other.

In Part 2, we talked about losing weight slowly and steadily rather than trying drastic measures that can back-fire.

In this post, we'll talk about the relationship between health and moving around. Since every person reading this post will have a different level of daily activity and a unique level of possible fitness, I'll quote Arthur Ashe, "To achieve greatness, start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." And that's exactly the attitude you should have about being as active you you can. And I'd add, "Use it or lose it." The more muscle tone you can comfortably build, the better your other physical systems will perform.

I probably fall somewhere in the middle. Last spring, I was walking vigorously for 3-4 miles every other day and doing a number of manual activities so I had good overall muscle tone for a gray-haired lady. Then, I fell one day in a fluky accident (a stepping stone shifted under me) and I seriously wrecked my ankle. I was not able to do much for weeks. Then it was hot, then it was cold--you see where this is going. I've done some light walking, but I haven't done serious walking for exercise since. So yesterday morning I headed out and put in about 1.5 miles. I'm resting today but I could have walked again which tells me I did the first walk just right.

I don't think it does more mature folks any good to work so hard you hurt all over the next day. It's better to under-do a little, particularly in the early days, than to over-do. Even though I call this a "rest" day, I will behave as if I am a fidgety, restless person--that does burn a little energy and gives your muscles something to do. It's as simple as getting up every 15 minutes and moving around your space or your yard or your neighborhood/building. If things go well, you'll gradually find you have more energy and are stronger; over time you can gradually ask more of your body but remember to stay within the range of what's reasonable for your level of fitness.

I do my chores one at a time with a sit-down in between.The sit-down and get-up count as squats but the rule is you can't use your arms--sitting and getting up, plus stairs, should be done with legs only because that's much better for your back. Now, if you have any balance concerns just let your hand hover over the rail or support. I have a bad back, mostly from issues I was born with, and I learned in my 20s that I should push my way up stairs with my legs rather than unconsciously pulling myself up with my arms. It feels better and keeps your back and legs strong.

Moving Helps You Sleep

So, be calm and serene and enjoy your day but remember to pretend you are fidgety and move around a lot. What you can do today will help you do more next week!

In part 4, I'll talk about why I choose to eat whole foods and follow what is called ancestral eating.


  1. I had the same sort of accident Nance, resulting in an ankle broken in two places - and my foot, knee and hip badly twisted. They haven't been the same since. I have a rebounder (small trampoline thing) which I find gets me moving without the stresses that aggravate the arthritis that I now have in those areas. It's not the same as walking in the fresh air, but I hope it will get me strong enough to do that soon :-)

  2. Your rebounder is a great idea! I had residual stiffness for months and months but I'm finally walking just fine now. I went 2 miles in heavy footing this morning so I'm pooped now. :-))

  3. Hi, Nance! I'm delighted to find your blog - I accidentally stumbled upon it and I'm looking forward to reading all your archives. I STILL think that at 73, I'm the oldest blog reader in captivity. I'm trying to add 30 minutes of movement to each day as my 2012 goal. Wish me luck! And a bit of determination, too...

  4. Hi, Donna - welcome! The blog is so new you won't have to commit much time to read it all. Also, it's so new I'm still amazed each time someone tells me they read it. :-))