for ALL sizes and ALL ages!
excerpt from Don't
Weight, Eat Healthy and Get Moving NOW!)
"What good will exercise do for me? I will never be skinny anyway."
Oh, no, another casualty of "The Lie"! All the advertising shows athletic
thin people in the health clubs. The lean and perky fitness instructors
look nothing like the average person. The fitness industry tells us
that the main reason to exercise is to lose weight. The Lie is that
you have to be thin to be fit and healthy.
The truth is that when people
have a healthy eating style,
exercise regularly and reasonably, then some will be small,
some will be medium, and some will also be large.
However, the truth does not sell health club memberships to a fat-phobic
society, so they keep telling us the lie.
Wait a minute. If weight loss is not the reason to exercise, what is?
The reason to exercise is to feel better and
be healthier! To demonstrate this point, I would like to
tell you the true stories of three clients. Out of respect for their
privacy, I will use fictitious names.
Betty came into my office at the mental health center downtown. She
was an intelligent professional woman who was suffering from a mild
depression. She had delayed seeking help because she was afraid of being
put on anti-depressant medication. We discussed other alternatives.
I asked her if she would be interested in trying a naturally occurring
substance provided by her own body, endorphins.
Betty decided to start an anti-depressant exercise program. She added
a daily walk to her life. This was not easy. She had to do a lot of
problem-solving to fit a walk into every day. Each time she walked briskly
for at least twenty minutes, her body would release endorphins. Since
endorphins are the body's own natural mood elevators, she felt better.
As her depression lifted she was able to make other improvements in
her life. But it all started by adding enjoyable movement into each
Kathleen did not come to see me. Kathleen did not go anywhere. She
was a beautiful super-sized woman who found walking difficult. Life
was difficult. Mostly, she stayed in bed watching TV and reading. Kathleen's
friend called to ask about a custom-made exercise video for her. I went
right into my bedroom, climbed into bed, and started designing a fitness
program to be done in bed.
Sitting up against the headboard with a cushion at my back, I demonstrated
and videotaped exercises for the neck, shoulders, arms, back, abdominal
wall, quadriceps, calf muscles, and feet. Then I showed a full body
stretch out ... in bed.
Yes, Kathleen could do this work. Her TV was right there. Her own personal
trainer was available anytime she wanted. Soon I had to design a workout
to be done in a chair. Kathleen called her workout "Sitting Aerobics".
The next workout using a walker was her favorite. I am planning a freestanding
workout at the time of this writing.
I can hear the smile in Kathleen's voice as we have our weekly counseling
sessions. She has changed her outlook. She now feels empowered to affect
That brings me to the last client I wanted to mention in this section.
As I was walking down the driveway to my studio, I saw a woman walking
ahead of me. I have a long driveway, so I could not see her very well.
She had on her short winter jacket with the hood pulled up. The bounce
in her step and the youthful curves to her round figure gave me the
impression she was in her twenties or thirties. Who could this hooded
Just then Doris turned around. Doris? Oh, yes. She was scheduled for
a personal training session in a half-hour. Doris had been coming to
my classes for five years. She had been exercising all of her life.
Doris was seventy-six years old! As her bright eyes peered out of her
wrinkled face, she told me, "As long as I keep moving, I keep young!"
How can exercise make such a difference in the quality of life? Let
me tell you some facts about regular exercise. Think about your joints.
You know that most of the joints of the body have cartilage. Did you
know that your cartilage does not have any blood circulating in it?
Your cartilage relies on a substance called synovial fluid to provide
nutrients and wash away waste products. The only thing that causes your
synovial fluid to circulate in your joints is movement! That is why
we feel stiff when we sit around too much. That is why we have healthier
joints when we move.
Now, think about your heart. Yeah, yeah, we all know exercise is good
for your heart. But, why? Because your heart beats more slowly when
you are more fit. What is so good about a slower heart rate? Blood only
circulates through the heart muscle between heartbeats. When your heart
rate is slower, you have more time between beats. Your heart has more
nutrients available and has more waste products washed away. When you
are fit, you have improved your own body's ability to strive for optimal
Finally, think about your life. So often life is filled with things
over which we have no control. Sometimes it feels like we are being
run over by a truck. Taking action to improve our lives helps us to
feel empowered. Feeling like we can have an effect prevents us from
being victims. Moving and using our own bodies is one small action we
When you add enjoyable safe activity to your daily life, you may be
small, medium, or large. You definitely will be healthier and feel better.
Many scientific studies have proved that fitness helps people to stay
younger, heal faster, and be more able to meet life's challenges. If
you like yourself the way you are, you deserve the benefits of fitness.
If you do not like yourself the way you are, you might want to get to
know and love yourself through movement.