If you enter “What weighs 100 lbs.?” as an internet search, things like this come up: “Twelve gallons of drinking water, a hellfire missile, a large dog, three cinderblocks, a typical semi-truck trailer tire and a two month old baby horse.” So when I tell people I lost 96 lbs., it’s not at all unusual to get asked a few questions. I’d have to say the top three inquiries are variations of: How did you do it? Did your skin sag? & “How much time each day do you spend working out?”
I always try to answer these types of questions honestly, but carefully, as I want to encourage people to get fit, not scare them away by saying I try to workout ninety minutes a day. There are a couple of important sides notes to this: I didn’t start at this level of fitness, I built up to it, and while I know that sounds like a lot of time, no one ever asked me when I was heavy, “How often are you sitting around doing nothing?” Apparently, as I was carrying around a two month old baby horse, the answer was more than ninety minutes worth. I just try to make my workouts like brushing my teeth, something I just do without question. I try to wake up before the boys in the morning, and like to get in my first workout of the day, which tends to be thirty to forty-five minutes. I call it my “coffee before my coffee.” I really have gotten to the point that if I don’t workout before I start my day, I still feel half asleep. Despite how bad things seem on any given day, I just tell myself that working out will give me the strength I’ll need to get through it.
My morning workout will typically consist of a ten minute yoga/stretch type workout, ten minutes of core and abdominals and then twenty minutes of weights. If you push me, I’ll confess that I’m practically in a relationship with my foam roller too. Later in the day, I will try to get in some cardio: the elliptical is my cardio machine weapon of choice at the gym or a good walk, bike ride, or stationary bike while I watch my favorite programs that I put on the DVR. A lot of multitasking goes into squeezing in my workout time as my life requires the ability to juggle like a circus clown as I’m an attorney, I run a disc jockey service, and have three active boys, which I like to say is really like having six children. I will use the gym next to where my boys take karate, so I can get a workout in while they’re in class. I’ve run stadium steps while they’re at soccer practice. I try to make it a rule, that unless it’s the Super Bowl, I can only watch television if I’m exercising. Forty minutes on the Life Fitness Cycle flies by when I’m watching General Hospital, my life long guilty pleasure. So when people ask how I find the time to work out, the hard truth is that you make the time for the things that are important to you.
Children call it play, not exercise. When I take any of my sons to a birthday party at an indoor trampoline park, for example, I’m always amazed at how all the kids are so excited to run around and you practically have to chase them like a greased pig at the Topsfield Fair to get them to sit and eat. You can guarantee at any party with bounce houses they will run and run and jump and jump until they can’t any longer. When the party is over, they are always a sweaty, happy mess. As a mobile disc jockey, I’m at a lot of parties, and trust me you don’t have to call a table number twice to hit the dinner buffet. What changes? Ask any kid what they love best about school and gym and recess are sure to be the top two answers. When did play become work? When did moving become something you’d want to avoid? As an aside, if you’re at a function, I also can tell you first hand how the DJ would really appreciate it if you’d get on the dance floor and dance.
Much like a child who drinks orange soda never thinks they’re going to drink or ever like coffee, give your self a chance to learn to enjoy a more active lifestyle. You don’t have to workout ninety minutes a day, and not every workout needs to be in the gym. Keep at it, and maybe, you’ll surprise yourself and one day you’ll find yourself a sweaty, happy mess who’d rather the skip the pizza and cake. What have you got to lose?