50 million pound challenge: Fat and Fit??

Look at that….I’ve been doing a whole bunch of writing about healthy foods and smoothies but I have yet to talk about fitness! And that’s crazy considering fitness takes up a great chunk of my life.

The title of this post was inspired by A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss. It was there where I saw this video.

So yeah…the Wii Fit STILL says I’m overweight. My BMI is 30.1. I work out 5-7 times a week and have a diet that is 50% raw vegetables. Could it be that I am too fat and fit? Er uh…where do I begin with this?

Working out is important. And it’s one of those things that I always knew but ignored. For most of my life, I always made excuses for why I didn’t want to work out.

Hit the jump to continue…

“I don’t have time.”

I don’t want to mess up my hair.”

“I hate sweating.”

“But I fell down on my knee when I was 6 and it still hurts.”

All excuses for why I didn’t want to work-out. I was never an athlete. I was the typical kid in that I spent a lot of time outside running around, swimming and riding my bike but I was never on any team. In 10th grade I tried out for the volleyball team and gave up the 2nd day of conditioning. What a punk, right?

But now you can’t stop me from working out. And I’m tellin’ y’all…if I can do it, anyone can. Many ask what my motivation was. What finally got me to be a regular in the gym. It’s very simple.

High blood pressure. 

While I don’t have the latter, people in my family do. My blood pressure was in the 140’s when I was only 22 years old. The thought of being put on medication scared the devil out of me. I knew changes had to be made. Changes that I probably wouldn’t like. Here’s how to do it…

1. Set a goal for yourself. Be it a dress size, weight or a challenge. Find  a realistic goal to look forward to. It was always easier for me to work-out when I knew I was working towards something I really wanted. I continue to do this every time I work-out too. If I am running outside, I always look at a marker (be it a tree or sign) and I push myself until I get to that marker. It is never easy but congratulating yourself on that little accomplishment does wonders for your self-esteem.

2. Have a support system. This is SO important. And they don’t always have to be people in your immediate life. Join social networking sites for those in the same position as you. Follow your favorite nutritionists or work-out folx on Twitter. Having the support of others really kept me going on those days when I felt like giving up.

3. Realize that it takes time. If you aren’t used to working out, don’t expect for it to be easy the first two weeks that you do it. It takes time for your body to adjust. And it is really more mental than anything. I FORCED myself to work-out every day for a month. After that month, going 4-5 times a week seemed easier.

4. Do not let yourself make excuses. I know, easier said than done, right? Personally, I feel awful on days that I don’t work out when I know I’m supposed to. Even if I can’t make it to the gym, I try to jump on the Wii Fit, jump rope, do some yoga or at least eat lighter that day. If being active is what you seek, make time for it. We make time for everything else, right? If you are a TV watcher, do lunges and squats during commercials. If you work at a desk all day, do mini-ab work-outs. The more conscious you are of working out, the fewer excuses you will make.

5. Tell yourself you can do it! This sound super lame but it really works. Positive thinking goes a long way. Especially when being conscious about health and fitness. Stop obsessing over what you used to look like. Stop fantasizing over having a body like your favorite celebrity. You are already beautiful. Tell yourself this and keeping reminding yourself that being healthy is way more important than how you look on the outside.

I’m no professional. I just want to be healthy. Not skinny. But healthy. Some confuse my active working out for wanting to be small. I have long accepted the fact that I will not be a size 2. Or 6. It is not in my genetic make-up. Where I’m from women are “thick”. Thick is fine but healthy is better.

I challenge you all to work-out to the best of your ability.  Work it out! If you have any tips or ideas, please share them!

Other 50 million pound challenge posts:
Eat This, Not That
Greens 3x a Day
I’m no size 6, but I don’t care
Portion Sizes
Water Water is my friend
Green Smoothies are my BFF

Join the Clumps of Mascara Team!!
Mascara Mamas team

  • Colette

    It's hard for me to actually look forward to working out, what I try to do is look forward to the feeling that I have *after* I work out.

    I am so stressed out all day at work the last thing I want to do when I come home tired is to drag out the yoga mat – yet I know that if I just *do* it, afterward I feel so much better. Relaxed, peaceful & energized. So I guess my tip is focus on the positive =)

  • theladysroom

    The last year and half has been one of the most active times in my life. It's not always easy to motivate myself because excuses seem much better at times.

    However, if you find something you LIKE doing, the exercise part becomes less of a drag. If you like to dance, make a CD mix of your favorite high volume songs (a complete CD) and get in at least 45 mins of crazy dancing to yourself a day. It will make a difference in how you feel and the way you see yourself.

    Not everyone has the luxury of working near home but in order to push my physical activity, I opt to walk or bike to work 3 times a week. It's about a 45 minutes commute total (walking). It always feels good knowing my workout is out of the way and it's natural. And I'm being green too–using my car less and less. Trust me, your body responds differently to grass roots workouts than it does to gym equipment (even though I go to the gym occasionally too).

    And a good support system is key–but so hard to find. I find that people support you in the beginning but then they leave you in the air. I've joined many online communities and I'm inspired for all of a week or two and then I slack off because it's not a personal connection.

    All in all, baby steps will get you where you want to be. That and determination. At CalorieCount.com the motto is:

    "Slow and steady wins the race."

    Take your time!

  • Stephanie

    I used to have a set work-out routine when I was in high school. Come home, ride my work-out bike (a hand-me-down) for at least an hour while watching a tv show or two on my computer, do some crunches, do some push-ups and I was doing this everyday.
    Then my cousin moved into my house, then I got a job, then high school ended, then I got a boyfriend, then my bike broke, all these things threw me off.
    I gained a lot of weight, my bp went up, and I lost motivation and got depressed. My boyfriend tried to help "Let's go running today," he would say since he's out of shape now too and stopped running after he got mono.
    I'm tired of finding excuses and I want to feel good about myself. My dad keeps trying to give me diet pills but I'm scared to death of them, especially with my already high blood pressure.
    I'm going to make more of an effort, and I'm already trying at it, now that I feel like I have more energy.
    It helps to know that you were able to force yourself into doing what you though was right, I'm going to print out this page and keep it around to remind myself there's no reason to feel bad for myself and make excuses.

    Thanks! I love your 50 Million Pound Challenge posts!

  • Nicole

    Thanks for the info. This was an excellent post. I can relate to the bad family medical history. I am making changes in my life now, so that my daughter will see an example of healthy living NOT yo-yo dieting. I take it day by day.

    Good Luck to everyone!

  • BrooklynShoeBabe

    You can be fit and so-called fat. Not everyone is built the same.

    But, I'm with you. I need to get healthy. *sigh* My last physical didn't turn out so well. I'm about to be diabetic if I don't lose some weight and eat better. (My long pitiful story, lol, is on my blog.) I'll join your 50 Million Pound Challenge Team!

    We can do it!

  • BrooklynShoeBabe

    I do have a tip…you can find exercise videos on YouTube. I try to do Walk Away the Pounds two or three times a week in front of my computer while my little ones zone out on their umpteenth viewing of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

  • Anonymous

    I'd just like to say that setting a weight goal might not be the best thing for some people.

    I do moderate-heavy exercise about 3 times a week and eat a mostly healthy diet. I have actually gained at least 10 pounds (it's been a while since I last bothered checking) since I started my current exercise regimen. (Before that, I did light exercise every day or just about, also eating mostly healthy, and my weight stayed constant.)

    Sure, this weight gain is all muscle tissue, but if your goal is to be X pounds, you might not feel very motivated when you see your scale go up after a week or two of working out.

    So my advice is to focus more on other markers of health (such as how long you can do an activity without getting tired or your energy level or degree of difficulty) than on the numbers your scale shows or your BMI. Mine, for instance, calls me overweight. While I, like most women, would love to lose some fat off certain areas of my body, I'm 5'8" and a size 8. Most people assume I'm about 20-30 pounds lighter than what my scale says.

    If you really need a numerical motivator, try adding a couple minutes onto your exercise routine each time instead of looking at a scale.

  • Black Girls Run!

    Great post! I agree with the first comment, it's easier to stay motivated if you focus on feelings you will have after you workout. Good luck with the 50 million pound challenge. I know from personal experience how challenging it can be to lose weight. However, once you lose it the right way, you have a greater appreciation for your body and health.