Do you remember that mantra, Be kind to your knees; you’ll miss them when they’re gone? I’ve got another one for you: Do what I say, not what I did.
This is my cautionary tale and it has to do with the fact that I used to be a runner.
A fair-weather runner, that is. I only ran once the snow was gone and the weather began to warm up.
Once there were several days in a row with no snow or ice on the ground – usually late March – I would lace up my Chuck Taylor All Stars (pretty bad for running shoes) , drive to a nearby track (no one ran in the streets in those days), and run.
I was pretty faithful all summer, but as soon as the wind or snow would cut through my cotton sweat suit, usually in early November, I stopped. Then I took 4-5 months to get back out of shape.
Maybe you’ve had this experience, too, but every year it got harder and harder to get back into shape in the spring. And by “back into shape,” I really meant back down to a reasonable weight.
Every first March run, I would congratulate myself if I could run a full lap on the track without stopping. I’d be satisfied the rest of the season by building up to 8-10 laps without stopping.
But running all that weight off every year – on Chuck Taylors mind you – took its toll. And that yo-yo dieting didn’t do me any favors.
Finally, Mother Nature came calling in the form of two aching knees that needed to be replaced. Youth WAS wasted on me!
It took me 50 years to learn to eat right and exercise year round.
So don’t be like me. Be kind to your knees and the rest of yourself … year round. Starting now!
Biggest Loser Updates:
*Dan Tomlin’s biggest success was not with his battle of the bulge, but with his St. Ambrose track team. They finished 4th in the NAIA National Indoor Championships. He’s feeling good about his team. And he’s feeling good about his weight, even though it’s not dropping as fast as he’d like.
“The fact that I dropped 15 pounds during the indoor season is pretty encouraging,” Tomlin says. In fact, he lost 4 pounds the week he was at Nationals, despite eating at buffets all week.
Tomlin says he’s developing some good habits during the fitness challenge. He has not been eating between meals or late at night, and he’s watching his portions.
The outdoor track season starts soon and is less stressful.
“I’m going to get pretty focused on a better diet and add more exercise,” he promises. “I’m going to break through some barriers that have been there for years.”
*Amy Jones also has maintained a positive attitude, despite experiencing a few setbacks. As a mother of two young children who works fulltime at a job that can demand both early-morning and late-night hours, she’s trying to fit a lot into her day.
“For a while, I kept thinking of all the things that were going wrong,” she says.
Recurrent colds, flu, two pulled muscles, and a bum knee seemed like life itself was conspiring against her. Bottom line: she hasn’t lost the weight she had hoped to by now.
“But as I was working out recently, I thought, What if I hadn’t been trying to get in shape? What kind of results would I have had then? That made me feel a lot better!”
Good attitude! Life can get in the way and you’ll have setbacks. But if you stay positive and get back on track right away, you will be in control. You won’t cede that job to your weight or a bad attitude.