Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Real Kick-off Week

May 17, 2015: At My Great Godsons Dedication
By Laurie Epps

I'm finally doing it! I'm making it to the gym almost every day. The first week, I went 5 days that week. My efforts are rewarding me with immediate weight loss. I'm not going to bust 300 pounds, and I couldn't be more delighted. Much easier than I thought it would be, I'm making new friends, and I'm feeling much better about myself. 

Already, I've noticed that I walk a little taller when I enter a room, and it looks like my unwanted tummy is dropping. If you're in that dark place that I was in, you might be intimidated by the gym, or going it alone.... don't be. Your friends and like minded people are at the gym.

I know that the gym may not be feasible or palatable for a lot of folks, so today, I'm going to talk about the best reasons to strive to get in shape.

I wouldn't of had the guts to take the first picture on today's blog, but that's the confidence the gym has given me. While I work out, I imagine myself already be the slimmer, more confident vision of myself that I know is there. The whole reason to go to the gym is to unleash her on an unsuspecting world.

If you need to get in shape, here's five helpful tips that helped me:

  1. Don't wait for anybody else. Sure, I started this blog with the intent of getting in shape with my daughter, but with a job at the mall, a boyfriend, and college courses, I just couldn't compete. I had to do it for me.
  2. It doesn't really matter where you start, just start. If a gym doesn't work for you, walk. I know, I know. I don't know who started the positive PR campaign about walking, but if you're far enough out of shape, it could be the spring board to get you ready to try a gym. For me, I was sick with miscarriages and cancer for 5 years, and I associated the walking with that time, trying to regain mobility. The results are slow if you start walking first, so if you want quicker results, the gym might be the way to go.
  3. Don't be afraid to try something new. It's not just about weight loss, it's also about self-image and self-awareness. Now, I know especially for some of the moms out there, this sounds self-ish. But it's not. You can't take care of your family if you've let yourself completely go. Not feeling well all the time from excess weight, loss of energy, loss of appetite, depression, and weird body aches isn't any kind of life. Decide your family and friends are worth it. Come back to the land of the living.
  4. Know who your cheerleaders are. This tip is a power-hitter. If you're surrounded by a bunch of people that constantly put you down, it might be time to weed your friendship garden. The Bible talks about surrounding yourself with the "right" kind of people, and if you want to have a more positive life, you need to surround yourself with positive people. Enough said.
  5. Make it part of your daily routine. I know this sounds simple, but it's the hardest part. At first, go every day. Use the lightest weights they've got if you must. Just sit on the bike, walk on the elliptical, or treadmill. Just go. Half the battle is already won if you've just made it through the gyms doors.

Doing the leg press at Gold's Gym
By the first Monday after I started going to the gym (which was only 5 days later) I'd already lost 4 pounds! It was crazy to me because I'd not changed my eating habits at all. I still haven't. I know that eventually I'll have to, but for me, I felt I could only change 1-2 habits at a time. I decided to start with exercise, because as a former athlete, I knew it'd just make me feel better.

By the Saturday after I started back, I didn't wimp out. I made it through the cardio completely, and I did a full round of weights. I posted it on Facebook. I know that seems weird, but I've been using social media to find out who my cheerleaders are, and also to hopefully encourage somebody else.

What's your story? What tips would you share with a newbie to fitness? Join the conversation.

Laurie Epps is featured in dozens of news articles, and literary journals both on and off the web. Laurie is also included in a number of short story anthologies, and does some ghostwriting for prominent professionals nationwide. Laurie is also active in a number of writer support groups and networks with writers from all over the country.

Laurie is a single mom, and is still raising her two youngest daughters, Ellen and Chloe. Laurie’s grown daughter, Melanie resides in California. Laurie is also a proud momma of three furry-babies; Laurie has turned in more than one manuscript with cat fur on it. When not teaching or writing, Laurie gets in as much beach time as her budget will allow, loves to attend the Opera and Ballet, and she enjoys cross-stitch & knitting. Laurie’s sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and the Dallas Cowboys.

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