Don’t Get Up

I tried never to get up. It was hard to move my 300 pound body from the comfy couch cushions. I had to brace myself against the arm of the chair, get my legs just right, and haul myself up. It wasn’t easy. And if I happened to be on the floor, well, just don’t try and watch me get up.

The bigger I got the less I moved. It’s such a shame that that’s what happens to many of us who struggle with our weight. I got bigger, my physical activity became smaller and could be measured in 100’s of steps a day rather than the 1000’s of steps I can measure it in now.

As I moved from average sized to morbidly obese I made real, concerted efforts to move less. In fact, I planned my day around moving less. Instead of embracing those rare moments where I had the opportunity to move, I avoided them. I remember one day, when my oldest was in Kindergarten, and her teacher asked me to supervise a field trip. (This was before we started homeschooling.) I declined, making up an excuse about a conflict. Okay, I didn’t just decline, I lied. Why? I didn’t want to go to the outdoor museum and walk around. I was worried I would be too tired so I stayed home and heard all about her trip when I picked her up from school. I still remember feeling sorry for myself that I couldn’t go.

Looking back I see that yes, I should have felt sorry. Not sorry for myself because I couldn’t physically go, but sorry that I didn’t try. I stopped trying to move around and stayed down as much as I could. And by doing so I missed out on some really wonderful opportunities to make memories with my family. I wish things had been different.

I remember sitting at a social event. And that’s all I did was sit. Other moms and dads were up and about, interacting with each other and their children, but I just sat. And I’m embarrassed to say it, but I often had a plate of food balanced on my lap. The girls would come running over, “Mommy, come watch me go down the slide.” I’d say, “I can see you from here.” I didn’t want to get up.

At home I carefully planned my morning chores. I did what needed to be done in the morning, so when the girls took their naps I could sit on the couch with some chocolate, chips, and crackers watching television shows. I loved my remote control and cordless phone. Two more easy to sit conveniences I embraced. From the time they napped to the time they woke up I only got up if I needed some more food or had to use the restroom. No extra energy expended.

I honestly thought that if I moved more I’d be more tired. Guess what? I was 100% wrong.

When I started down the healthy path I did start to exercise, get up off the couch, and move my body. And you know what happened? Even at a morbidly obese 275 pounds I had more energy. Sure I was tired, but I no longer experienced the kind of tiredness I had in the past. I had finally learned to get up and get moving. Even though I couldn’t move fast or far, just moving at all was a victory.

What got you up and moving? Was it a sudden realization that you were sitting too much, or was there a gradual change in your attitude? Oh, and if you are still sitting?! Try getting up – you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel!!  Diane

38 thoughts on “Don’t Get Up

  1. Amy says:

    No doubt, moving more generates more energy! I honestly do not feel awake if I don’t have the bike ride or walk to take my youngest son to school in the morning. I seriously think about how I will have to handle this when he goes to secondary school in another two years and doesn’t need/want me to walk or bike him any more – I know for sure I will need to do SOMETHING to replace it, or I will waste a lot of my morning feeling like a slug.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..No time! =-.

  2. Michelle@Eatingjourney says:

    I swear, Diane, you write to ME (ha ha ha). I have been neglecting myself this past week..and the first thing that flies out the damn window is exercise. I even commented to one of my friends today ‘I need a good run’. Thank you for writing this and reminding all of us–no matter what size–to MOVE!

    I will go swimming tomorrow. Thinking of you in Oz! ~M

  3. Miz says:

    and I think this still applies to so many of us. I know that my husband had convinced himself he was better off sleeping 30 min more and skipping a workout because hed be MORE TIRED

    it was only after trying it that he realized not only was he not thirty minutes more tired—but that, as you say, he had more energy after all.
    .-= Miz´s last blog ..Tweetsgiving 2009. =-.

  4. vickie says:

    because of my knees (bad) and lower back issues – 215 lbs for me – was as debilitating as much higher weights for other people. I absolutely could not go up and down stairs. Getting in and out of chairs was a real issue. Like you – I PARKED IT and stayed down as much as I could.

    to this day – every additional pound that I get off my body helps.

    I was just not in food enough shape to carry around ANY extra weight.

    I expect to be able to fully function and be active while staying pain free. I expect to feel good each day. and that is a real change from (avoiding things in) the past.
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..Back in the saddle again – the ‘getting over illness’ post =-.

  5. Marcelle says:

    Very interesting entry. I can’t relate having been an aerobic instructor during my fat days….but can imagine that most obese people don’t want to move as it takes too much effort.
    thanks for always making visiting your blog such an informative one.
    .-= Marcelle´s last blog ..Morning Surprise =-.

  6. Monica says:

    This was me too. I really thought that if I moved too much then I’d be so tired I couldn’t do anything else all day long. I do get tired but I’ve started moving and to my extreme surprise I do have more energy!

    It’s so tempting to just sit though.

  7. Joanna Sutter says:

    I can relate to this feeling of not wanting to get up. Some days when I’m not feeling all that confident, I still don’t want to get up and walk across the room where others can see me.

    But as one of my personal trainers told me, if you start THINKING like a fit female your attitude and actions will reflect what your mind tells you to do.
    .-= Joanna Sutter´s last blog ..I Scream for Protein =-.

  8. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    Great Diane! People do not realize that just moving will give them more energy & make them feel better about themselves! We have to get away from the self-fulfilling prophecy stuff & move past it to the light of health! And a victory, like you said!

    I think for me, I got tired of seeing what I saw in the mirror & being so unhappy with myself..
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..YOU Will Motivate You! =-.

  9. Sunny says:

    Again, it was the realization that I WAS killing myself. And at 57, time was running out. So I got my arss off the loveseat, and started dancing. Now, a day is not complete without at least 45 min. (total, at a bare minimum) of dancing done. 🙂
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..Thank you, Blog Fairy!!! =-.

  10. Michelle says:

    Diane, you inspire me every day. I read your blog all the time and always come away motivated! It’s like I wrote the blog since many of your postings relay exactly how I do feel or have felt in the past. I’m just at the beginning of my journey, but I’ve lost 4 of the 52 pounds that is my goal. It’s a start! Thanks for inspiring every day!

  11. Fran says:

    I have been active a bit all the years I’ve had overweight. Till March this year I went to the gym once or twice a week. But then my best friend signed me in for a 5K run which was organized at work. I was always talking to her about wanting to exercise more and lose weight and she thought this would help me and it did.

    I started out with 3 runs a week and now I workout 4 to 5 times a week and I feel great. I also started to lose weight slowly.

    I’m grateful to her forever for getting my but of the couch and the day I’ll reach my goal weight I’m taking her and the hub out for dinner: my biggest supporters!
    .-= Fran´s last blog ..A day in my life: Sunday November 15th 2009 =-.

  12. Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny says:

    What Joanna Sutter said above rings true: “But as one of my personal trainers told me, if you start THINKING like a fit female your attitude and actions will reflect what your mind tells you to do.” That’s how blind spots get revealed! Sometimes, we need to rest. Other times, that sabotaging voice has won again. Resist the urge 5o sit still by shifting your thinking. Walk proudly across the room! In fact, do it twice just to show that “voice” who’s boss.
    .-= Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny´s last blog ..Stop Pretending! 5 Steps to Help You Reveal a Blind Spot =-.

  13. Gina Fit by 41, Maybe 42 says:

    In a way, this is an example of “like attracts like.” The less I move, the more tired I am. The more I move, the more energy I begin to generate.

    I had also been sedentary, especially after the flu. I was tired of being tired, so I took the advice from what I was reading and decided to just start moving. For 10 min. a day, I put on fun music and just “dance.” I then added a 10 min. walk. Energy is up (without coffee). I’m not dragging in the morning anymore.
    .-= Gina Fit by 41, Maybe 42´s last blog ..The Green Smoothie aka Shrek Shake =-.

  14. Dawn says:

    This post hit me on so many different levels, for myself and for loved ones. It makes me think of myself when I was about 40 lbs down (still in the 300’s) and I had decided to join exercise classes. I remember spending a week every night practicing how to get on the floor and back up again because I knew during classes I would be required to do that several times and I didn’t want to take longer than everyone else.

    It also makes me think of Mike and how he still tends to sit in his recliner and not want to get up and will get the kids to wait on him sometimes. But it also makes me realize how far he’s come from where he was before and how proud I was of him during our Disney trip this summer. From all his walking he did he was able to walk everyday at Disney without any trouble.

    It makes me think of my sister too and how every time I see her she’s always sitting and having people wait on her. She’s always blamed it on her health when really it’s been because of her weight.

    It really does make a different to move our bodies and does give us more energy to move even more.

    I love your posts they always make me think.
    .-= Dawn´s last blog ..Titles are tough =-.

  15. brenda says:

    hmmm, I remember not wanting to get out of my car much. I would chose the drug stores with the drive-thru windows, fast food with drive-thru windows, and even driving circles in the Walmart waiting for someone to be backing up closer to the store so I wouldn’t have to walk so far….So glad those days are gone for good 🙂
    .-= brenda´s last blog ..tag tuesday challenge =-.

  16. Erin says:

    For me, I grew tired of the wishful thinking. There was a sense of longing for the ability to say that I was FIT. My moment of change was when I bought a scale and saw a number that truly frightened me. Almost 300? OMG! I was done! I started making lifestyle changes – dropping the soda, cooking instead of drive-thru meals, and I found a job which required WAY less commute time. Those 3 changes alone enabled me to melt down 30 pounds in 5 weeks. Those 30 pounds were motivation to keep going and incorporate exercise, as I knew that weight loss is both nutrition and exercise. I joined the gym, enlisted the help of a magnificent personal trainer, and while I’ve had a few setbacks, I’m making progress everyday.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..That’ll wake you up in the morning, boy! =-.

  17. Jill Knapp says:

    Great Post!!
    Unfortunately I had to get the wake up call having the Dr. Say you have type 2 diabetes to kick me into getting into shape and finally taking the weight off. Now after losing 100 pounds there are struggles with keeping it off. It’s a daily focus for me. It’s hard to lose weight. It’s a daily test. But what you win when you do is priceless.

    You look fantastic by the way. I know your must feel wonderful!

    ~Jill
    .-= Jill Knapp´s last blog ..Please Vote!! =-.

  18. GeorgiaMist says:

    Sounds a lot like my story. I don’t know what actually lick-started me into moving — but I started walking the 1/4 mile to and from my mailbox. I struggled. At 298, everything is a struggle.
    But I kept walking.
    Now, at 234, walking up to 4 miles is no problem.
    .-= GeorgiaMist´s last blog ..Ramblings… =-.

  19. Robin says:

    I will say, even though I find it harder to do normal moving activities I don’t avoid them, I don’t let myself. I know if I do I am only making things worse for myself. Like this weekend, I am spending the entire day in Boston. I know this may be hard but I’m doing it anyway.
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..One Piece at a Time =-.

  20. Jenn@slim-shoppin says:

    It’s like they say “a body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion.”

    When I was sedentary, I would drive 2 blocks to the store rather than walk! Now, I look for ways to move more, can I ride my bike to work? Can I walk there, can I run up and down my stairs at home, etc…

  21. Kat says:

    I had been watching my weight creep up and feeling so out of control and had become completely sedentary. I was very lucky to go on a girls spa trip to Rancho La Puerta a few years ago. I had a horrible time physically. I struggled to do the smallest morning hike they offered, I was the last person to finish the hike and ended up with horrible blisters. Then I had an awful experience in the pilates class. I felt embarrassed and left out. This trip was a real catalyst for me. I realized that if I didn’t make changes, that I would not be around for much longer. It got me moving and I have kept on moving since then. I am still overweight, but now 60 pounds lighter than that first trip. I still have a long way to go, but my daily exercise helps keep me healthy.

  22. Diane says:

    Moving for me was not an issue till after pregnancy, when something in my hormonal make up made my arthritis flair badly. Then when my son was born and Autism entered our lives, sensory stimulation became a huge issue. We had to avoid loud noises, strong smells, vibrant colors or a meltdown would occur. So I would do a lot of indoor exercise tapes or ride my stationary bike as often as I could. Sadly it was never enough to kick the weight loss in or to help build up the muscles enough to take pressure away from my joints to relive the pain. Things are getting a lot better – walking is my “drug” of choice.My joints will never allow me to be a runner, but that does not mean I will never be in great shape !
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..So what do you eat when you don’t eat grains ? =-.

  23. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I have always been very active. The only period in my life that I was a lot less active was a very stressful, hectic, & painful period in my life. It was also during this time that I made bad food choices and therefore gained quite a bit of weight. While I never completely stopped exercising, I now realize that two to three 30 minute workouts per week were far too little. Because I exercised less, I had less energy. It was a vicious cycle…

  24. Debbie P says:

    Great post, Diane! You always sound like you’ve read my mind! I have used every excuse in the book to keep from having to move any more than necessary. I have had to push, and pull my way up off my butt for as long as I can remember.

    It’s only been since I’ve been dropping some weight I realized the statements you’ve made are true. The more you move the better you feel! I’m still working at increasing my activity, but I’m doing a lot more now than three months ago…and noticing a huge change in the way I feel!

  25. Leah says:

    I have caught myself being lazy and I think to myself, “You know..the extra steps would help you along your weight loss journey!” 🙂

    Since I’ve began exercising I’ve also noticed that I seem to be able to care more for my house and get things done because I’m able to endure being up and around more. It’s a great feeling!

    Very good and true post!

  26. Mia says:

    For me it was an all-of-a-sudden moment. When I was 16, I had major knee surgery and was told that I could no longer do athletics. That was the start of a 50 pound weight gain~ At one point, I had lost 25 pounds during a semester in Grad school only to regain it all back, in pure fat no less, over the Christmas break! I was crushed! It was shortly after that that I quit dieting and started exercising even if my knee still bothered me. I would live with it! Lo and behold! The more I moved, the more weight I loss and the better my knee felt! Now 20+ years later, I still move! I can’t run or walk anymore but I can ride a bike! And I do, a lot! I find something that I CAN do and I do it! No matter what. Keep moving.

  27. John W. Zimmer says:

    I think you are right. My wife and I are starting to do walks around the block with the dogs. I normally don’t do this because I reasoned that it does not benifit me too much. But I have reconsidered and I am going to count the walks with my wife and dogs as exercise because it is good for them too!

    After all my wife and I are going to spend a lifetime together – what good is it if I get into shape and she is still trying to find a way to work exercise into her routine.

    On the dog walk days I’ll come home and use some dumbells or do some bag work.

    One thing about getting older is one is supposed to be getting smarter too! 🙂

    Very motivating post.
    .-= John W. Zimmer´s last blog ..Appetite vs Hunger; That is the Question =-.

  28. Lori (Finding Radiance) says:

    I think part of the issue is that people tend to go all out on their first exercise attempts, and then become totally miserable. Instead of taking it slow and working up, they expect to jump in and be an athlete right away.
    That was my biggest hurdle. Once I realized it was okay to go slow and build, then I began to love to move!
    .-= Lori (Finding Radiance)´s last blog ..NROLW, bagels, and books! =-.

  29. MackAttack says:

    for me it was a scary blood clot. I’ve always been active but now I have to think about it to make sure I don’t get another one. There is no free pass. I have to move or I could get another blood clot and die. Since I have an office job this is especially pertinent. I could easily sit for hours. I know I can’t now!
    .-= MackAttack´s last blog ..Desserts is stressed spelled backwards =-.

  30. Alixandra Hice says:

    No kidding it’s hard. When I was at my highest weight of 220, I was in the same miserable boat. I could barely make it across the living room to answer the phone without getting winded – how then, was I supposed to exercise? But when I had the diet and fitness epiphany, I knew to be truly successful, weight loss would be better achieved with regular exercise. At first it was tough. Just walking gave me terrible leg cramps and shin splints. I would get half-way through my walk and have to stop and limp home. It was discouraging! But I also knew it wasn’t going to correct itself or get better on its own, without some effort on my part. So I just committed to do something every day. Some effort, the best I could for as long as I could. It seemed like it took awhile, but almost magically – it did get better. And I began enjoying physical exercise. I’m not going to lie… I will never be an athlete, I’ll never run a marathon, and somedays I’d really rather not exercise, but by and large it is a very enjoyable part of my daily routine. At 51, I have my limitations (weakening knees, slower reflexes, older body), but I work around them. I usually power walk outside for 90 minutes, or do an exercise DVD or two (The FIRM or Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds, or Kathy Smith, or Denise Austin), or lift free weights, or work the treadmill on an incline – but I do something. And if I don’t feel like going long, I try to at least do 30 minutes of something. I’m always glad when I do, too.

    So the moral of the story is that no matter who you are, how heavy you are, how old you are, or what you limitations are – you can still make an effort to do something. Then repeat the next day. And the next. And pretty soon you’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.

    Thanks for you post and inspiration and for giving us a platform to join together in our common goal of health and fitness. Casa Hice loves you! XO
    .-= Alixandra Hice´s last blog ..Alix’s Beauty Tips =-.

  31. Hanlie says:

    That was me a literally a year ago. This week last year I started eating live foods and suddenly got a surge of energy that got me off the couch and on to my feet. I let my cleaning lady go, because I knew I would be able to handle the house and laundry by myself. I unplugged the television and got moving. It’s been a wonderful year!

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