Yesterday I was driving across the parking lot at our gym and I had to slam on the breaks to avoid an overweight man on a mobility scooter zipping across the parking lot. This was in an area that homeless guys tend to hang out, like the guy who uses a knee brace and crutches as props for his begging corner – but that guy can’t seem to remember which leg he keeps the brace on. Anywho! Back to the scooter guy. How many people do we see on scooters who can actually walk?
While I whole-heartedly believe there are people who need a mobility scooter, I can’t remember the last time I actually saw a handicapped person using one who actually was not able to walk. I know they exist, but I believe these aids are hurting people more than helping them.
Maybe they start off using them because of an injury, or to help them be a little more mobile. But, it encourages more laziness and dependance – which can lead to even more weight gain. I believe that’s why we end up seeing so many heavy young people on scooters. It just becomes easier to use the scooter – and the more they use it, the more muscle strength and stamina they lose.
Scooters are an electric crutch that someone can get stuck with if they aren’t purposefully working hard to get away from using them. Of course I’m not suggesting that it’s going to be easy for these people – it will take work, but in most cases it’s totally doable. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of conveniences that have taken away one of the best exercises known to man – walking.
It used to be, that if you had to go to your neighbors, you’d walk – not drive your golf cart 5 houses down. Our neighborhood is relatively small. Houses are built along a 1.4 mile road that circles a lake. It literally could take me 5-8 minutes to get to the opposite side of the neighborhood on foot. Yet, jumping in the car is the knee jerk response when I’m going to the tennis courts just a half a mile away.
We realized just how spoiled we are when Steve did Fat March, a walking show for weight loss reality TV on ABC. Even when they were off camera, we walked pretty much everywhere if we wanted to go out to eat or hit the mall. I remember looking for a gym while visiting and calling around to see what was close by. When I found a gym about 2 miles away, the reality that I had to walk there sunk in. Of course it’s not like I can’t walk 2 miles, but I already missed being able to jump in the car and get there quickly. Steve laughed because, by that time, he’d already walked several hundred miles – what was 2 more!?
Although increasing your activity shouldn’t replace a purposeful exercise routine, it sure as heck is an important part of maintaining a good quality of life. If you don’t want to be stuck in a scooter when you are 70, you need to stay on your feet as much as possible when you are 40.
Impatience Makes Us Fat
I think the major problem with Americans today is we are always in a hurry. We don’t want to spend 10 minutes walking somewhere when we can get their in 2 minutes if we drive. Our impatience makes us lazy and it reducing activity. If cars weren’t so darn easy to jump in and out of, it would be much different. Even in the horse and buggy days, it might have been just as much work, and take as much time, to saddle a horse than it was to walk. So even then, walking was probably a smart option. Now we’ve gotten so smart we are acting dumb. We aren’t as aware of how our convenient and fast lifestyle is affecting our health and activity.
This blog is NOT to dump on people who use scooters. It’s not to judge anyone for where they are in their life. It is to ENCOURAGE people to NEVER give up on doing everything you can to have the BEST quality of life possible. Whether you can walk, but can’t run – or you can only walk with a cane. I just never want anyone to give up on their dreams of staying mobile and healthy. Even if you are completely healthy, it’s my hope that I can make you more aware of ways to protect your health and mobility. Here are some tips. Pass it along if you think they may help others.
A Dozen Ways to Increase Activity Throughout the Day
2. If you are going out to a nearby place to eat – walk, don’t drive.
3. Walk to neighbors and save the golf cart for golf.
4. Take walking tours while traveling.
5. Avoid taking a cab when downtown in big cities.
6. Skip the elevator and take the stairs as often as you can.
7. Don’t take a grocery cart, just out of convenience. Use your muscles and carry a basket when you can.
8. Walk your dog instead of just letting out in the back yard.
9. Trade sitting and drinking coffee with a neighbor or friend for a nice walk. Walking is one of the best ways to get exercise and catch up with a friend.
10. Choose restaurants that are near fun places to walk, like the beach, parks, downtown shops and the mall, so you can take a walk after dinner with your date.
11. Don’t enable loved ones. Dealing with someone who is handicapped is touchy. Although you want to be sensitive, you also need to hold them accountable and encourage them to stay active.
12. Stay active when you get injured. One of the worst things you can do is allow an injury to get you down. A few months ago Steve tore his MCL, medial meniscus and IT band. Although he can’t walk without a limp, and he can’t run, do kickboxing or BCx Boot Camp, he can do the bike and elliptical. He even does legs – carefully. It’s scary, but you have to stay active to rehabilitate injuries.
ENCOURAGEMENT: A Man Who Didn’t Give Up
WALKING WORKS: Steve’s Memory Reel from ABC’s Fat March:
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What’s your take on obesity and scooters? Do you know someone who beat the odds and lost the cane, chair or scooter wheels?
Sometimes our decisions aren’t based on what we like, but what we dislike. I honestly can say I don’t love working out all the time, but my dislike for feeling unhealthy and flabby outweighs my dislike for exercise.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the feeling exercise gives me and am always happy I did it, but the fact of the matter is this: If I could look fit without working out I’d skip it – Duh! But I’m not that lucky so a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
Honestly, I’d have to say my hate for feeling fat is actually even greater for my love for feeling fit. Being fit and healthy should be the norm anyway. We all should be taking better care of our bodies – we only get one!
It’s not always about looks – it’s about how you FEEL. Whether feeling fat means actually “being fat” or not, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is how you feel.
So whether you feel fat when you are a size 4 or a size 24, it really doesn’t matter. What counts is what you do about it to make you feel better and feel healthier.
Heaviness, weakness, exhaustion, shortness of breath, tight clothes, sluggishness, etc can all drive you to do things you never thought you’d ever do – and do them well.
Let your HATRED for those things fuel your LOVE for working out.
Why do we dread eating healthy more than being stuck in tight jeans, complete with muffin top spilling over the sides. I have to admit, I ate enough Mexican food to KILL someone Sunday night – and all I could think about was how I couldn’t WAIT to quit feeling so uncomfortable.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you are about to bust out of your clothes. Between holding your stomach in and just feeling plain crappy, it’s very tempting to reach for a quick fix, like putting on a big baggy t-shirt. Sometimes, we even go as far as buy looser clothing – but if we don’t change our habits, we’ll fill those out too.
Next time you think about how restricting eating clean is, think about how restricting your favorite clothes get when you let your weight get out of control. Suddenly eating clean seems pretty darn freeing!!
I know from experience this is one tough topic to bring up. I’ve had firsthand experience facing the dreaded “Fat Chat” with my own family. With a subject as sensitive as this one, you can’t take it lightly and your words should be carefully chosen. Unfortunately, most people are so scared to talk about it, and they avoid it altogether.
It’s not much different than approaching someone about a drug problem or mental illness. You probably wouldn’t even hesitate if your loved one was anorexic. Obesity is just as serious. It’s not just plain unhealthy, it can cause depression, loneliness, low self-esteem, sadness, tiredness, hopelessness and even social stress.
It will never be a fun topic, but it could cost them their life if you choose to ignore it. Although there are no set rules to follow, there are some tips I learned along the way that may be useful if you face this situation yourself.
10 Tip to Having Effective Conversation
2. Don’t just tell them what they want to hear. Often times, people will complain about not losing weight and swear they are doing everything right. The fact is, they aren’t doing everything right if they aren’t getting the right results. Unfortunately, many people will say stuff like “you are probably just turning fat to muscle” to make them feel better about not losing weight. If they aren’t losing weight, instead of meaningless encouragement to help them feel better in the moment, brag on their effort and encourage them to try something else.
3. Encourage them to keep trying. If someone says they are trying to lose weight, but they aren’t successful, encourage them to keep digging and keep learning. Challenge them to never accept little or no results. One time a member came to me saying she hadn’t really lost any weight since she joined a year ago. I told her weight is all calories in vs. calories out. She told me she ate healthy, and I told her she was probably just eating too much. I encouraged her to count up the calories and dig deep to find the extra calories. A couple of months later she stopped and thanked me. She said she had lost 10lbs and discovered she was taking in way more calories than she thought.
4. Be honest. Many people flat out lie when it comes to people’s weight. I’m not suggesting you tell them their butt looks big in their jeans, but I am suggesting you don’t lie to them. There are many loving things you can say to someone without lying like “I’m sorry you feel bad, you know I love you no matter what” or “I have fat days too, do you want to go for a walk with me?” And sometimes, it’s best to say nothing. Many times people are already lying to themselves. If you confirm their lie, they will start believing them – and begin to accept their situation (weight), instead of thinking about fixing it.
5. Empower them with knowledge. You’ll never get anywhere with opinions. However, education is empowering. No one is motivated to do things until they understand. They must truly grasp why, and how, those things work. The more someone learns about weight loss and how it all works, the more willing they are to apply it because it makes sense. They will learn it’s just science and it works – and it will work for them too.
6. Don’t allow them to make excuses. This isn’t a fun one, but I’ve had many people make a long list of excuses they were holding on to with a death grip. With every excuse they gave me, I had to explain why that excuse wasn’t a valid one. (Ironically, they already know this) When my own mother finally accepted her situation and decided to do something about it, her motto was “no more excuses” as she realized she had been making excuses for YEARS – and it was only prolonging the inevitable. She went on to lose over 80lbs.
7. Whatever you do, do it in love. This is the key to any type of confrontation. If you don’t have love, you can’t be productive. If you address their weight and make it clear it is because you are concerned for them, you are worried, you want to help them, and you want them in your life for as long as possible – who can really be mad at that? However, if you come across judgmental, you might as well right them off. They will tune you out as fast as a staticy radio channel.
8. Help them. Never tell someone what to do if you aren’t willing to help them. If you really care, your actions must speak louder than your words. If they aren’t ready for your help, let them know you are there for them when they are.
9. Let them know they CAN do it. Most people who are overweight truly think they were born that way. They think they have some kind of health issue preventing weight loss or that their body just won’t lose weight like everyone else. My sister thought she was just born a big boned girl. I had to convince my family that her weight was a direct reflection of calories consumed. At first my mom whole-heartedly believing she didn’t eat that bad. It was only after my sister lost her first chunk of weight, when she came to live with me, that she confessed all the junk she was eating (and hiding). Low and behold, after losing a ton of weight, she found her smaller bones hiding behind the fat.
10. Ask them what they need. Don’t assume what your loved one needs, ask them. Ask them if they’d like the accountability and find out if they enjoy the support. Be honest with them and let them know you only want to discuss it, but only if it’s helpful. Let them know how much you care about how they feel. Not everyone is motivated by the same things so find out specifically what encourages them the most, as well as what discourages them.
As with any sensitive subject, there’s always a risk of hurting someone’s feelings. But feelings heel and your chat may save their life. Be patient, loving, kind, understanding and sensitive. They may not respond overnight, but know some of life’s biggest challenges bring about big rewards.
What If They Don’t Respond?
If you brave this subject, there is one last tip I’ll give you: Release them. If they don’t respond or they are not ready, you have to let it go and release them from guilt. Everyone wants to be fit and healthy, but if they give you a million excuses, and it’s clear they aren’t ready, it’s important they don’t have that extra guilt weighing on them.
Let. It. Go! Don’t harass them, don’t keep inviting them to the gym, don’t push it. If you are leading by example, your lifestyle will remind them – and if you were genuine, they will call on you when they are ready.
The seed is planted. Now you just have to wait for it to sprout.
When is the right time to bring up someone’s unhealthy weight?
Here’s what some of my facebook friends had to say:
Abominator D Goheen when their shirts don’t cover their bellies.
Sarha Chalmers I would say when u know it is affecting their health not a great chat to have but it has to be done when u care for someone
Malinda Wilkerson Blevins You can help-give them info-nothing works till they make the decision…it is honestly something they have to WANT to do.
Laurie Colón I’d say no chat is needed. Not like they don’t know already. Why hurt them. Just plain cruel actually
Stan Black When you can point out how it is negatively affecting thier life, health, and welfare.
Skinny Aint Fit never !!!! unless its a loved one and the health is in jeopardy
Robin Testa Sullivan I have never done it unless the person brought it up first. I know what its like on the other side, although nobody ever said anything to me…think they just tiptoed around the issue like the elephant in the room, LOL.
Share your thoughts and experience with us below!
Some of the best experiences take a little work. Whether you are hiking through challenging terrain to see a beautiful waterfall or zipling across a mountain top to get a breathtaking view, it takes a certain level of physical activity, strength, stamina and balance to have fun sometimes.
We were reminded of this when Steve and the guys went white water rafting. Before the group hit the water, we noticed one group was very overweight. We were concerned they weren’t physically fit enough to do the grueling Class 5 trip. Then, while the group was in orientation, the head guide said “We encourage aggressive self-rescue”. That’s when we really got nervous!
Being Out of Shape Can be Dangerous
All of the wives drove down to a couple lookout points to shoot photos of our men going by, we noticed the guides in the other boat were struggling to get their heavier passengers safely around the falls. We were right! These people were really struggling.
One woman was completely laid out in the boat, while the others were so exhausted they weren’t even paddling. Since thy weren’t able to paddle, the raft wasn’t always going where the guides needed it to avoid trees and rock – resulting in the boat going over the falls backwards and sideways, spilling people out of the boat and putting everyone in danger.
Being Out of Shape Isn’t Fun
Not only did it make it scary for them, it spoiled the fun for others around them. The guides were working overtime to make up for their lack of paddling and other boaters had to stop and help save them every time they went off course or fell into the rushing water.
Being Out of Shape is Risky
Not only does being fit allow you to be more active and do more things, but it also helps you do them safely. Hiking through difficult terrain is challenging enough for the physically fit, but can be downright dangerous for someone who isn’t strong enough to save themselves if need be.
Being Out of Shape Puts Others at Risk
Not only do you risk injury if you aren’t able to perform certain tasks safely, but think of the others who will attempt to come to your rescue. Can they save you if you are too heavy for them or not strong enough to hold on? They may risk their own life trying to make up for your weaknesses.
Being Out of Shape Can Make You Miss Out
You don’t have to be an extreme vacationer to benefit from being fit. Even something as simple as sightseeing can be a complete bomb if you get tired easily from the endless walking. That’s when cardio pays off big time. The more fit your heart and lungs are, the longer you can last on excursions.
Being Fit is Just More Fun!
It’s easy to think of working out as actual work, but think of it as an investment on a more fun future. You don’t have to go kneeboarding or take adventurous excursions to put your fitness to the test, but I guarantee your vacations will be the most fun vacations you’ve ever had when you are fit enough to enjoy every second of them.
Being fit is not just about looking better, or living longer. Being fit is about living better.
Thank you Steve for such a GREAT anniversary weekend in the mountains! Thank you for holding me accountable and helping me stay fit enough to experience life to the fullest! What a FUN vacation! What a FUN 18 years!!!
We often think of guilty as a verdict, not a feeling or state of being. The dictionary uses words to describe guilty like “responsible, deserving and ashamed” – however, most of us don’t need a judge and jury to convince us of our guilt, especially when it comes to our health.
Someone posted this question on our club’s facebook page: “Why is it we always have more guilt about missing a workout than a workday?”
The answer is easy. We can run from our boss, but we can run from ourself. We face ourself in the mirror every day, knowing in our heart what we should and shouldn’t be doing. Just as someone can possibly fool a jury, they still walk away knowing who really is truly guilty – and whether they admit it or not, it will haunt them forever.
An overweight woman came into our club yesterday with a friend. The thinner one was clearly insecure and nervous about being there, yet the heavier woman was definitely more comfortable in her skin and smiled the entire time. I don’t know either woman but, if I had to guess, I’d guess the uncomfortable woman didn’t want to be there and was battling some guilt – to the point it was making her miserable.
Not everyone is convicted to go to the gym and take care of their bodies – yet. However, when they are, as Mr. T says, “I pitty the fool” if they don’t – because at that point they are responsible to act on that conviction.
It’s not much different than anything else in life. We’ve all been there. We were convicted to apologize but we didn’t. We were convicted to pay for someone’s food, but we didn’t. The problem is, unlike many isolated opportunities, we have the opportunity to act on our health it at any given time. We can make up excuses, but we know in our heart they are few valid ones.
Guilt is an ugly thing.
Guilt causes depression, angry, resentment, frustration and countless other negative feelings. Yet pride in making an effort stems confidence, strength, hope, optimism, dreams, happiness, growth, motivation, inspiration and results. Amazingly enough, very little effort can change how we feel. Doing something is always better than doing nothing.
Unhappiness often comes from not doing what is right – and, even worse, settling for what is wrong.
Before you begin reading this, I want to tell you I’ve BEEN THAT GIRL!! The girl who was SICK of her pants being too tight, who was tired of looking sloppy and crappy no matter what she wore, and who was not QUITE fat enough to actually start doing something about it despite her pathetic misery. Yep! That was me. Fat, lazy, unhappy and STILL not willing to do anything – YET! BUT NO MORE! I finally got tired of complaining. SO, I’m in recovery mode now! Now, you can read and get your own little “Fitness Check Up”. - Bonnie
If you were sick, you’d go to the doctor, but a doctor can only help you so much. They can diagnosis you, they can give you a shot, and they can give you medication – but they can’t force you to take the medication when you go home. This is the same dilemma trainers have.
Trainers can work you out and they can tell you what you need to do when they aren’t there, but you have to actually do it for it to work. If I’m sick and not taking my medications, then obviously I’m not sick enough. Because, if I was that sick, there’s no way I’d forget to take my medication. Sometimes I just have to wonder, “are you sick of feeling fat enough?”
Maybe you just aren’t there yet.
Maybe you aren’t quite miserable enough yet. Maybe you don’t believe you can “get well”. Maybe you think you can kick this on your own. I don’t know about you, but I have to be pretty darn sick to finally go to the doctor. Often times I’ll wait for days, and sometimes weeks, before I finally go to the doctor. Then I beat myself up realizing I could have been well by now – and THAT’s EXACTLY the same thing with fitness.
Whether you are really struggling with your weight and pretty miserable about it or just struggling a little and a little upset about it – don’t waste one more day feeling less than your best! For some people their fat is like a serious illness, for others it’s like a fungus – just something that makes us a little uncomfortable every day. There is no reason to live with either issue if it can be fixed – and TRUST ME, it CAN! There are people dedicated to helping people like you. Whether it’s a personal trainer, an online trainer, a person like me who blogs their heart out to help people online, an online program like our BCx Boot Camp, workout videos, weight loss programs, fitness books – you name it! There are pros that are dedicated to helping you GET WELL, FEEL GOOD and GET STRONG!
Where are your priorities?
You spend money to see a doctor and get medication when you need it, but you don’t spend money on a gym membership, equipment or a trainer when you need it. Aren’t they both health related? If you don’t get healthy, don’t you know it will actually cost you more money to maintain your unhealthy body than it would cost to get, and stay, healthy.
Maybe it’s time to invest time and money into a healthy lifestyle and a fit body. If you don’t have money, then invest the time. The resources are out there, you just have to make the time to use them. There is really no excuse not to get fit anymore. And if you decide to not to do anything right now, remember NOT deciding is deciding NOT to do anything. Just know you will beat yourself up later for wasting this precious time you COULD be feeling good.
Quit your complaining
Lastly, we aren’t allowed to complain about something we aren’t doing anything about in our house. If I’m sick and I decide to not go to the doctor, I will not get any sympathy from Steve. If I’m eating crappy and skipping workouts then, again, I am not allowed to complain. So, if you aren’t doing anything about your current condition, ZIP IT! It doesn’t matter how healthy you think you eat or why you think you are prone to weight gain or anything else. Unless you are proactive with AGGRESSIVELY trying to find the answers and get fit, like you would if you were trying to beat cancer, then you need to be quiet and accept that you have basically decided to let this thing take it’s course.
Body fat and feeling fat IS like cancer and it can eat up your personality, your energy and your health if you let take over your body. The biggest mistake you can make is to ignore it. Starting beating this today!
It’s TIME to FIGHT!! Don’t go down without SWINGING!
1.) Choose a pro - Trainer, class or program.
2.) Read up on your “condition” – subscribe to my blog and other educational and motivational tools.
3.) Join a support group - find a friend (in person or online) to do this with you
4.) Clean your house - if you had something in your home that caused the cancer, you’d remove it. Maybe it’s time to start getting rid of foods and things in your life that promote overeating and unhealthy living
5.) Follow the prescription - do what your expert says, stick to your regimen and follow the specific prescribed steps.
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This cartoon by Randy Glasbergen says it all! Why is it we convince ourselves that exercise is an option. Do we really have such a low of self-worth that we like being lazy and complacent over being dead?! Maybe the problem is we’ve gotten used to mediocrity and settled on having less than we want. Maybe not looking as good, not feeling as good or not being as healthy as we would like is OK. NO! IT’S NOT OK!
Maybe you just haven’t had your ‘wake-up call’ or maybe you aren’t quite uncomfortable enough and need to put on another 10lbs until you’re REALLY sick of yourself! I’VE been there!! I think, “exactly how crappy do I have to feel to get my butt in gear?! And when was not being happy with myself OK?” HOW RIDICULOUS AND STUPID OF ME!!
Obesity continues to climb the charts. Just this week our local headlines read “15 years ago Florida’s obesity rate was 49.1%. Now the state waddles in at a gut busting 62.6%”. Maybe the headline should have read “OBESITY KILLS: Only 37.4% of Floridians are safe from the epidemic”.
What is wrong with America? I think it’s pretty simple. We’ve taken this whole freedom and rights thing to an extreme. We’ve become greedy, self-indulging, rebelling and selfish beings who don’t want to practice self-control in any area of our lives. We want to have our cake and eat it too. Well, so do I – but in the end, I’m just left with is icing on my face and fat on my hips…and I don’t even remember what it tasted like! (meaning it’s not worth it!) Read the rest of this entry
A child can’t walk on their 1st try. Success comes with practice – and many falls.
I woke up this morning thinking about failure and how our “falls” in life are necessary to grow stronger. It made me think of a child. When trying to get a baby to walk, if he or she could speak, I am sure the words that would come out of his or her mouth would be “but mom, I can’t” – but they CAN and DO!
Of course they only start walking after about a million falls, wiggle/wobbles and tears, but they eventually walk – and before you know it, they are so good at it you have to hold their hand so they don’t run off.
You can – and WILL
Fitness is the same way. When we have a brand new boot camper, the words “I can’t” often come out of their mouths. “I can’t run”, “I can’t do push ups”, “I can’t lift that” – and you know what? They CAN and DO. Read the rest of this entry
Coming from a family where childhood obesity is not a foreign topic, the epidemic weighs heavy on my heart. While many parents hope their child will grow out of it, is it worth the risk to hope the problem will correct itself?
Statistics say the chances of an obese child growing up to be a normal size adult is a grim thirty percent, dropping to only twenty percent if the child has an obese parent. With these statistics parents should be running for help, but they are not. Why? Read the rest of this entry