Actually, that's not true. People say it's easy all the time. They are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Boy, are they wrong.
I've had a LOT of conversations over the last year about time and choices, and every time I have another one, I think, "I should blog about this." In fact, I started this particular blog entry in March :) (yet another illustration of the time I don't have)
Anyway, I don't know if you're like I am or not, but as much as walking has been "easy" (relatively speaking); it's also been really hard in terms of time. As an example, I generally read about 100 books a year, give or take a few. Last year, my Goodreads "2012 read" tag told me I read a grand total of 16 books. And most all of them were "assigned" reading -- that is, they were for one of the book clubs I'm in. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure that I read a single book of my own choosing last year.... But I digress. My point is that losing weight or getting healthy or even just choosing to exercise in general has taken a LOT of time. Let's look at my (not comprehensive) bulletted TIME list:
- Less time for book reading
- More dirty dishes on the counter more of the time. I think I've mentioned this before, but I swear our dishwasher was never empty this last year. It was always full of clean dishes that I only unloaded when the counter was so full I was forced to make the swap.
- Lots of calendar-juggling for showers. This sounds funny, but was seriously a problem for a while. Historically, I prefer to work out first thing in the morning, shower, and then get on with my day. In a perfect, Pinterest-worthy life, that's certainly what I'd do. But that's not the real world. At least, not in my life, anyway. And so "needing to take a shower" because reason #985 why I didn't work out. IN THE PAST. Now I shower when I can. If I have time for a shower but not for my hair, I wear a hat. Being healthy is more important and that is (starting) to come first. I'm rather proud of this, even though it's inconvenient and I'm not that cute. (Pro tip: being 70 pounds smaller makes it less imperative to be in cute clothes and have my hair done. Skinny people go out in sweats or sweats-equivalents all the time, and still manage to look cute too.)
- Working out creates additional laundry and/or laundry scenarios. So if you work out more, guess what? You either need more workout clothes, or to do laundry more often. And if you buy anything other than cotton sweats and t-shirts, you don't want to dry your workout clothes. So you have clothes on the clothes horse and/or wear clothes with wet waistbands or whatever. Either way, laundry matters in this new lifestyle.
More evidence of the passing of time:
I cut this up! No more big girl stores!
- Closet maintentance. I now find myself spending inordinate and heretofore-unprecedented amounts of time finding something to wear (that won't fall off), culling clothes for either the consignment shop or Goodwill or a friend, and shopping for new regular and workout clothes that aren't too expensive but will serve the purpose for now as this isn't the final size I'll be. Seriously, it's exhausting, and I'm not even one of those clotheshorsey girls!
There's more, but I don't want to read long blog entries any more than you do. The point is that it's not easy, and it does take more time. Actually, that's not my point. My point is this: it's worth it. It's really, really worth it. REALLY! I feel better, I look better, my husband smiles more, I smile more, .... seriously, it feels so so good to have lost 70 pounds. And even though I have more to go, the "how good it feels" is providing the motivation now. So yay!
If you want to read additional, professional comments on "time," I copied and pasted the text below from a recent SparkPeople article. I thought it was pretty good reading, actually:
Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in one area (like TV time) to make room for another (like a trip to the gym). It's hard at first, but you get used to it. Really! Eventually, your desire to be fit and healthy will outweigh your desire to be a couch potato! Where can you cut back in order to make time for exercise?
1. Financial Fit Tip: Plan for the big stuff. When you go on vacation, you don't just wake up one morning and decide to shell out thousands of dollars for last-minute flights and hotels, and you don't leave your co-workers unprepared for your absence. You plan. Planning your big expenditures ahead of time will save you serious dough. Whether it's a car, a vacation, or a home remodeling project, sock away money each month in an account set aside for that specific splurge. A couple hundred dollars set aside over the course of a year has much less impact than a couple of thousand does at the last minute.
Apply it to Physical Fitness: Just like you wouldn't go on a vacation at the last minute, you wouldn't wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon, either. If you're new to the exercise arena, take it slow when it comes to working out, and work up to greater challenges. You're more likely to avoid injuries and burnout if you ease into exercise. If distance running is your goal, find an online training plan that will help you build up gradually to your desired race length. If you want to do 20 push-ups or lose 100 pounds, start with five and go from there.
Apply it to Physical Fitness: Many people feel that working out isn't worth their time if they can't get to a gym for a solid hour. But it's time to rethink that mentality! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercising for 10 minutes at a time still counts toward your weekly goal of 150 minutes of activity. So take that short walk to the post office, or climb the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator. The little things do matter and add up to something bigger!