Monday, 11 June 2012

Three Special Steps

Picture of a woman holding an apple
Has anyone ever heard this song, "Three special steps"? The theme song from Special agent Oso the cartoon? Well my little boy sang three special steps and it changed my thought about healthy living and losing weight.

I used to love exercising when I was sixteen. I remember waking up and going for a run around the neighborhood. I always ended up doing a couple of crunches and stomach exercises. I was so fit and honestly didn't need to exercise that much. My Mom usually laughed at me and advised I spent that time eating instead of burning away the little fat I had. Fast forward many years in time; Post-pregnancy fat settled all around my body and I now had zero tolerance for exercising. Didn't particularly like the belly rolls that came with having a baby, but the new bum looked great! So I didn't mind. Then one evening I was going for a party with my husband and I decided to wear an old outfit. The reality of my new body hit when I looked in the mirror and saw folds on every side. I was completely thrown off but my husband tried to console me saying I looked great. Love is definitely blind! That was it, I resolved to do something about my belly rolls and lose the weight I had be carrying around. 

I tried everything from registering at the gym- that didn't last for a month, to participating in the biggest loser challenge at work - which was for a hundred days only, to dancing to an exercise routine at home. That didn't work either. So here I was not overweight but not fit either. I started looking out for creative ways to keep my body toned and healthy in a rhythm that works for me and most modern women. In the words of my son's favorite song, I decided to come up with three special steps.

Step 1. Cut down on carbonated drinks, increase my water intake and eat only what I absolutely need. That sure was hard work because I loved soft drinks and biscuits and those were the first to go. In order to ensure I could keep up, I decided to reduce my intake to a few times a week. Incredibly difficult at first and then it got easier up to the point that I did not really feel like eating junk anymore. The result, trimmer sideline, freshener skin and less holes in my teeth.

Step 2. Get my body moving a little more. Now that was the hard part. I still could not bring myself to exercise during the weekdays so I resolved to incorporate exercises into my regular schedule. Less elevator more stairs. Less seating at the office desk doing IMs, more moving around to talk to my colleagues. I started walking around the estate in the evening after work a couple of days a week. Jogging would have been better but I knew I would not sustain it. Cleaning my house by myself once a week instead of asking the Nanny to do it. Trust me, some house chores like sweeping and cleaning really does it for your muscles. The result, less flabby arms and more toned thighs.

Step 3. Sleep more. This is really hard when you work full time and have kids to look after or when you enjoy partying till late. It is important you find time to take a nap or shut down and sleep, everyday. Remember how you feel when you wake up from an afternoon nap? yes, refreshed and ready to take on the world. You need that feeling more often to keep your body functioning right. The result, clear white eyes and a smile to go along.

I don't always keep my three special steps but I strive to remain true to my commitment most of the time. Your body is a finite medium that will diminish quickly and painfully if you don't take good care of it. It doesn't have to be a major lifestyle change it just has to be a deliberate effort to incorporate healthy steps into your daily routine. My little boy sang three special steps which changed my mind about how I live. 

What special steps will you take today to change yours?

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that, doing it AGAIN!! Those are the surest three steps ever.
Uzo O