Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Setting a pace, being sustainable

Sunday, I swam 500 metres of front crawl at the pool. I did that full distance without stopping for a break. This was a new accomplishment for me by quite a bit. My previous maximum was 150 metres before I would stop at the end of the pool, gasping for breath.

I realized that I was going too fast. When I learned to swim, I felt like I had to go fast so that: a: I could breath often enough, and b: I wouldn't sink. I had a lot of trouble slowing down and on a couple occasions even had to stop and tread water because I caught up to another swimmer in the lane and had only one speed.

This is a lot like weight loss. How many of us start off eager and excited, roaring out of the gate? We lose weight at a break neck speed those first few weeks and then fizzle out. I'm sad to say that some of the bloggers that started out at the same time as I did haven't blogged in months. I always wonder what happened to them, and I wonder if they started off too fast and fizzled out.

When making the choice to change your lifestyle, the steps have to attainable and sustainable. It's great to lose 3, 4, 5 pounds those first few weeks, and many do. To expect that rate to continue is unrealistic and setting yourself up for failure.

You have to make changes in steps that you can achieve as well. I do think it's good to overhaul your diet in one step, but it's probably best not to start training for a marathon that same week. Make sure the changes you are making are things that you can incorporate into your lifestyle.

It shouldn't be too hard to lose weight. Seriously. After the first couple weeks of adjusting, it shouldn't be something you always think about and work at. If you do, it's going to be exhausting and at some point you're going to get tired of it and quit.

Find foods that you enjoy and fit into your new lifestyle. Find exercises that you do for the joy of doing them rather then to burn calories. Life is so much more then burning calories and losing weight.

We should be losing weight so that we can live life better. Not living life so that we can lose weight.


  1. A very well written post that underscores what is important in deciding to get healthy. Very well written indeed!

  2. Congrats on the 500mt. swim!!!
    You are totally right on losing to live. Great Blog :D