The waiting is the hardest part . . .

27 02 2014

Sam ZizziIn our fast-paced society, many of us struggle waiting for anything. In line at the bank, the grocery store, in traffic, or at a doctor’s office. We consider it a waste of time to wait. And in this program, you may often be forced to “wait” – either at the start of your program while your facility gets their house in order or during your program due to a planned or unplanned absence. Ultimately, you don’t need an exercise facility to be active and you don’t need a dietician to eat well. Yes, these professionals can be incredibly helpful, but let’s not use this as another excuse why we can’t be healthy.

What you do while you “wait” can make a big difference on your momentum, and your success, in this program. Here are a few tips on what to do while you wait, or anytime you have a break in routine, or at the end of your program:

For your exercise:

1) Get moving! You have already been medically cleared to exercise, so don’t limit yourself to only being active at your assigned facility. Take walking breaks at work, watch videos at home, play tag with your kids, or walk your dog more – whatever it takes to work towards at least five days a week of 30-60 minutes.

2) Get off your butt every couple hours. Your body is smart- if you sit all day long, it shuts down to conserve energy which causes you to burn fewer calories at rest. So, at home or at work, try to limit your sitting to 1-2 hours at a time. Get up and walk, stretch, do a few push ups or yoga. Whatever it takes. Move it or lose it.

3) Keep doing these small things even when you go to the “gym”. Most of us are awake for 120 hours per week. If you go to the gym twice a week for an hour, that means you are active for <2% of your waking hours. So, think of being active and going to the gym as two different things – both of which contribute greatly to your physical and mental health. Commit to both!

For you diet:

1) Track what you eat and drink, from almonds to zucchini. Yes, we know you don’t like to keep a log of your food and drink, but it is the #1 strategy to gain awareness, keep yourself accountable, and to lose weight. And your dietician can use this information to build your plan.

2) Eat within 2 hours of waking. We are talking breakfast here. Do it! This nourishment kick starts your metabolism and turns your brain on. Your friends and co-workers will think you are smarter, and your body will thank you!

3) Ditch the sweetened drinks, including soda, sweet tea, and sports drinks. Water is your friend. Sparkling water is a good substitute. Also, drinking a glass of water before a meal can help reduce your appetite and much you eat.

4) Make 1/2 your plate fruits and vegetables. And check out the following site to evaluate your portions. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management/better-choices/decrease-portions.html

Ok, don’t be overwhelmed. Pick 1-2 of these ideas at a time and build them into your weekly schedule. Keep at it. When we have talked to the “biggest losers” in our program, they all said that their #1 strategy was “sticking to it” no matter what. So, if you are going to commit to being healthy for your life, does it really matter that the facility is on a one-month waitlist or that you were out with the flu for a while? Stick with it no matter what. This time can be different if you make it so.

For answers to your specific nutrition questions, contact Cathy Shaw at catherine.shaw”at”mail.wvu.edu or email Sam Zizzi to ask your questions related to motivation or sticking with it. sam.zizzi”at”mail.wvu.edu. (Substitute the @ symbol in each of the email addresses for the “at”)

-I borrowed the title of this blog from one of my favorite Tom Petty songs, so thanks to Tom for the inspiration.

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

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One response

27 02 2014
Anonymous

Thanks for this article. It hit the nail on the head for the things I am dealing with now after a year and a half on the weight management program. Also, as a result of your article, I read the above related articles. They too tackled many of the issues I am dealing with now.

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