You don’t have to hate working out.

At a church retreat a few months ago, I competed in a fifty-yard quick race. And I got second-to-last place. Wake up call! How embarrassing.

It was another reminder that the agility of my youth was fading. That my laziness, my lack of exercise in the past year had taken a toll. In 2009, I regularly get on our elliptical. I started by at least making myself get on that thing for 200 strides or five minutes. Then it went up to 10 minutes. Then 20 minutes. And now, I’m up to 45 and increasing resistance and speed. I know that’s not much for some people, but it’s a breakthrough for me! At the beginning, what really mattered was consistently working out, even if only for five minutes.

Before, I would get turned off because working out can be boring depending on your environment. But by taking baby steps and making a plan, I’ve found it’s grown on me.


  • Eat up to 1500 calories a day.
  • Burn 500 calories at least three days a week.
  • Avoid carbs after lunch.
  • Eat a big serving of vegetables and some meat for dinner.
  • Snack on an apple, nuts and Multigrain Cheerios to avoid hunger pangs.
  • Eat cereal or oatmeal for breakfast.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Keep a food journal.
  • Make a list of what motivates me to get healthy, e.g. avoid diabetes and other diseases in my genes, fit into my clothes, etc.
  • Focus on long-term change and good habits.
  • Be influenced by friends working to live a healthy lifestyle.

I started setting small goals and sticking to them instead of worrying so much about the big picture. Mayo Clinic articles and calorie calculators are useful, too.

What motivates you to exercise? What are your tips and goals?


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