(Speaking for myself only, your mileage may vary, different strokes for different folks, etc.)

It’s possible to change your eating patterns, but more importantly, it’s possible to change your eating preferences.

Transforming your body and mind takes time. If you try to rush the process, you’re doing it wrong.

Muscle is beautiful.

There is no such thing as not having enough time to exercise. If you can’t find the time, MAKE the time. This is entirely within your control, and telling yourself otherwise is simply an excuse.

When you put the right foods into your body, you will experience long-term positive effects. You could eat junk food and feel good for five minutes, or you could eat something healthy and feel good for hours.

As your body gets stronger and you stay committed to your health, every aspect of your life will improve. Every. Single. Aspect.

It feels amazing to treat your body like a partner instead of an enemy.

It’s better to find your own diet and fitness path than to follow a rigid set of instructions. It’s easier than you think to do this.

Working out isn’t easy or comfortable. Don’t expect it to be. If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re cheating yourself.

It takes about three months to establish a good routine and see the beginnings of the changes happening in your body.

Perfection doesn’t exist.

Keeping yourself in shape and healthy fills you with self confidence, and self confidence is the best feeling in the world.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t start now. If you need to start over, that’s okay: start again now.

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Melanie
13 years ago

Thank you, Linda. I read this just before leaving work, and when I got home I made myself go to the gym and do 7.5 miles on the elliptical instead of sitting around on my ever-expanding ass. Thank you for that.

Josh
Josh
13 years ago

Wait, that wasn’t a double entendre at all. Maybe I’m too much of a high horse this evening. ;) Scratch that bull crap about my high school English teacher being proud. I give me an F-.

Jenny
13 years ago

I think Julia might have been referring to “luxuries” like not having to work a double and/or swing shift, not being a single parent, not living under the poverty line, being able to afford a gym and two cars and child care… some of the things that make fitness a leisure-time thing.

That said, and totally acknowledging that I’m on the luxury cruise myself and tend to make all the whiny “I have no time” excuses! — you DID preface this list with the fact that it is YOUR personal list! I don’t think you needed to be reminded to do that. I really appreciated the post.

kelly west mars
kelly west mars
13 years ago

Gave in + bought Shred @ Best Buy this afternoon, brought it home + lo + behold the damn DVD player isn’t working. . .

Instead of Shred, I am going to bed.

I think I read that in “Does My Butt Look Fat, Cat?” by Seuss.

Michele
Michele
13 years ago

I enjoyed the post. Going to print it. I say keep the fitness tips coming!!!!

Rae
Rae
13 years ago

Crazy. I’ve been on a high about exercising lately…but I blame it on new-toy insanity. I suck at videos because it’s the same thing over and over. I love my yoga class because it switches up all the time. And lately I’ve started working out every morning. I love it.

I have no idea who I am with that. Glad I’m not alone

dorrie
dorrie
13 years ago

Jesus, are you fucking kidding me? You post a supportive and compelling call-to-action list and get shit on? Give me a break.

Linda, keep going with your bad self. And thanks.

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

I think I get why some folks are taking the list the wrong way and it’s a language issue. Looking at the list, I can see why you inserted the subtitle: without it, it wouldn’t be obvious that it’s a personal list that applies to you. All your statements say “you”, not “I”. A simple change from “you” to “I” would really personalize it and make sound less like a lecture. It would also make people more receptive to it. Obviously most people are fine with it, but the ones that aren’t are, perhaps, reacting to the way you’ve stated things.

Stacy
13 years ago

Wow. Little head explosion over here in this comment section. I honestly think your achievements this year are amazingly admirable and you have set the bar pretty high, kudos.

Before I got myself into a better routine to lose some recent baby weight it was hard for me to be happy for you (basic insecurities) and for that I am truly sorry. (please note: i never commented at that time, you know, if you can’t say anything nice…) It was very brave of you to take this on for yourself and to share it with the world — vulnerable!

I am in a better place now, personally, and I can say: You rock! Way to go! I exercise and eat well but you are still in a place I will never see, again, different strokes, but, perhaps the people who poo’d on your posting are actually just insecure right now and not able to feel happy for someone else’s good fortune or good results. Whatev.

My favorite is this: **It’s better to find your own diet and fitness path than to follow a rigid set of instructions. It’s easier than you think to do this.**

I could write a posting about that one, and perhaps I will, but I’ll email you first for permissions and all.

I, too, exercise at 9pm, after the baby is asleep and sometimes without even bothering to make dinner for my husband or myself — taking the time for yourself to do something that makes you feel strong (not just physically) is telling yourself that you matter. And for me it says that my health, mental and physical are more important than folded ironed laundry and brushing the damn cat.

You also wrote recently about getting out of old ruts and you really have! Look how far you’ve come!

And also, while I feel nose-scrunchingly jealous about your new jean size, I do find you quite inspirational. In the same way, my recent 12-10-8 Jean size is inspirational to a size 16-18 who wants to be a 12. But, I hate numbers. Bah.

Melis
Melis
13 years ago

Sooooo wishing this post didn’t make me feel like a lump of crap but, well, when you are sick and meds make you gain, it’s easy to feel like crap. HOWEVER, I do plan on printing this post out and sticking it on my fridge. I *NEED* stuff like this.

Josh, I love you. Thanks for making a “thick girl” grin tonight.

Ashley
13 years ago

I read this post and got off my ass, I was planning on getting off my ass anyway, but this post helped me work a little harder, so thanks for that.

I am also glad you cleared up that this is YOUR blog and not Julia’s, anon’s, or anyone else for that matter. I wasn’t sure for a minute there.

Erin
Erin
13 years ago

A sign, perhaps? I just ordered 30 day shred and two other 10 minute videos in order to get back in the workout routine- my baby is 5 weeks old, and I need to get on the horse at 6 weeks.

Then I come over here and read this- I need to do this for me.

Josh
Josh
13 years ago

Whoah Sundry! What’s with all this PC crapola? To quote the great band 311, (and if anyone doesn’t like them they can choke on whatever large phallic object is handy) “Fuck the neigh sayers cause they don’t mean a thing.” You should pull some Maddox up in this bitch and put a quick stop to any negative fluster clucks. You don’t have a damn thing to explain to anyone, alright. This is where you step in and say, “Hey world, I just kicked some serious ass and maybe you all need to shut up, admire my shiny, golden, godlike glow, and sit back while JB gives me a BJ for once.”

Then you go and brush your shoulders off, or whatever the kids are doing these days, and take a big steaming shit on anyone who says you haven’t earned the right to brag. Everyone has hard shit in their lives, myself included. And there’s no reason at all to get a whole bunch of sand up your vagina because someone else did better than you. Screw that. That’s the whole point of an inspirational post. So you, or anyone else can say, “Hey look. It wasn’t easy but I know you want to do this, and I already did, and I know that you can too, so don’t give up!”

Even if I am an avid supporter of the thicker ladies, (skinny ladies, I like you too, kind of) that doesn’t mean that I don’t derive inspiration from your crazy fitness psychobabble. I downloaded that song from 28 Weeks Later and now exercise to it. I’m as big a tool if not bigger than anyone else who reads your site. I have actually stopped mid order in Hardee’s and switched from a big ass size to a normal one because I thought it would be embarrassing if I gained a bunch of weight while a working mother of two was losing hers. I talk shit, but I find inspiration from your accomplishments too. And nobody can take that away from you. And as a fan, and someone who looks up to you, it frustrates me when they talk shit and you don’t smite them with a furious vengeance.

I’ll snap my fingers and bob my neck to that one, while I erroneously pronunciate “Youz go gurl!” Don’t make me pull out an around-the-world with my finger snaps.

Josh
Josh
13 years ago

Melis: You’re welcome, and every thick girl rocks and deserves to feel attractive and not bruise people with their pelvis.

Sarah
Sarah
13 years ago

You’re so right, but what are those of us with a miserable lack of willpower to do? D:

I think I’ll print this list out too, it’ll give me the push I badly need. Thanks :)

Jem
Jem
13 years ago

This was great! I totally hear you. I’ve been crash dieting and binging the last few years, and in the past 2 weeks I’ve been working on not doing that, but for good, and it’s going really well so far. I’ve lost about 10 pounds and now I just need to exercise – you’re right, not doing it is just an excuse.

And I like the part about coming up with your own exercise plan…it’s the same with food, I think. I won’t follow a “menu”, just what’s healthy and works for me. I can’t stand those diets that involve weight loss bars/shakes…it’s so much easier, healthier and more fun to eat some baby carrots and some hummus, or whatever. Exercise plans never work for me because they don’t suit me, but when I do what I WANT to do, and just make sure I do it regularly, it works out so much better for me…like a different activity 5x a week, or whatever. Walking, dance class, running, rock climbing, swimming. It’s all doing good, so it doesn’t matter what you do. Anyway, thanks for that! Very inspiring.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
13 years ago

As a working single mom with very limited help from friends and family I got fit. I did it at 5am. I did it at 10pm. I walked or ran on my lunch hour. It was my priority. Sometimes all I had was a crappy set of free weights and a VHS tape. My kids deserved a happy strong mom. I needed every minute of that exercise time. Yes it was great that I fit back into my jeans. But it was even better the example I was setting for my kiddos. I’m printing the list too.

Tara
Tara
13 years ago

I really, really needed to hear this, so thank you. I’ve been on a fitness rollercoaster for over a year. I’ll get all motivated for a while and get good results, but not fast enough, then I get discouraged and lay off the exercise and start eating crap again, regain weight, and start over. . . lather, rinse, repeat. I think I’ve finally decided that I need to just accept that (a) I need to figure out a way to eat that is healthy and a longterm, lifestyle change, something I can stick with forever; (b) I need to work out consistently, period; and (c) results will come when they come. If I keep working, there will be improvement, but it won’t be easy and it won’t be instantaneous.

I find you inspiring. Thanks for sharing this!

Bethany
Bethany
13 years ago

I think I’ll be printing this out. All wonderful tips that are SO HARD to remember sometimes.

But clearly they’re true, because you do look fabulous in your flickr pictures!

Jen
Jen
13 years ago

I, too, can’t believe the amount of crap you get for writing about health and fitness. It’s not like you mentioned HOT DOGS, for fuck’s sake.

Susan
13 years ago

Thanks Linda! This post is just what I needed. I printed two copies and taped one next to my full length mirror and the other on the door of the fridge.

Keep rocking with your bad self.

dabby
13 years ago

I just started reading your blog and Wow! Thank you for that, it was exactly what I needed to hear. I’m actually going to print it out and stuck it on my refrigerator in hopes that it will keep me on track.

Becky
Becky
13 years ago

Linda…you rock!!!! Thank you for the inspiration….

For the haters….bite me.

Josh…I have missed you!!!!!!!!

kms552s
kms552s
13 years ago

Linda,

I think you are an inspiration to a lot of moms. I had my baby Feb. 4 of 2007 and worked my ass off to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It took 8 months, but I was successful in that journey also. I love reading your blog and don’t understand the negative comments. I too am a mom that fits a workout in any chance I get. Even if it is just 25 minutes at 5am or after the kiddo has gone to bed. A healthly strong mom for my kid is worth the work.

You rock Linda.

Maria
13 years ago

I’ve started trying, in baby steps, to eat healthier. My husband has lost 35 pounds since March so once this baby comes I’m going to feel all sorts of ridiculously obligated/fired up to try to be healthy (lose the baby weight). For me it will be battling the resentment that he has more time, blah blah, less babies coming out his vagina, blah blah. So for now I am working on the eating better food, feeding better food to the family, etc. Food is comfort for me and having a newborn is really hard so I see an interesting battle ahead of me.

I just have to remember that I’m carving my own path.

Joanne
13 years ago

You and Oprah suffer from the same problem – people are jealous, I think, and sad that they can’t do it. I count myself among these people, in a way! I remember years ago, Oprah had on Bob Greene, her trainer? And he said people said that to him all the time, “she’s Oprah Winfrey, of course she can lose weight and get fit”. He said, and I’ll never forget it, “It’s not because she’s Oprah Winfrey, it’s because she has a pair of shoes and she’s willing to lace them up and walk”. Don’t mind the haters, Linda, you do look great and obviously it’s making your life better, too. Good for you.

daranaco
daranaco
13 years ago

I’ve always believed that the hardest part about exercising is getting in the car and driving to the gym (or putting on your shoes and inserting a DVD). For some reason the mental hurdle is my greatest challenge.

I also have a personal rule that I have to try each form of exercise (cycling, kickboxing, etc) at least 4 times before I decide that I don’t like it. Otherwise I’m making the judgement based on the fact that I don’t like exercising in general, not on the particular activity.

Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

pam
pam
13 years ago

this came just in time, as i’ve started a new lifestyle (not diet!) on monday to lose the baby weight and the wedding weight. babies are nine months old, wedding is three years old. no time like the present!

thanks for the inspiration!

Brooke
Brooke
13 years ago

Wonderful post. Being good to your body brings about priceless rewards. A diet rich in protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies coupled with exercise in ANY form – at least 3 times a week – will do each and every body good.

Perhaps I should remain neutral on my very first comment, but I cannot resist:
Any person who has time to read a blog, has some time to be good to their body. Oh, you’re reading while at work? Get up, go take a stroll around the office, up the stairs, around the damn parking lot. Yes, even in your heels.

Anais
Anais
13 years ago

I’m printing this out right now and taping it to my fridge!

Carrie
13 years ago

Thanks for the post. Will you be my virtual trainer? : )

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

“You and Oprah suffer from the same problem – people are jealous, I think, and sad that they can’t do it.”

Ewwwwwwww…

I’m doing the Shred – in fact, I was the first person who recommended it here – and taking care of myself but this comment right there? Major turn off.

If commenters and this blog turns into the Oprah show, I’ll be very done with both. The high horse? Unattractive and a sure way to lose people.

trackback

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suzr
suzr
13 years ago

wise words Linda. i’m starting to realize most of this myself. it’s slow going (and i’m a LOT bigger than you’ve ever been. i pretty much have always been overweight), but if i want a better life for me and the people i love, this is what needs to be done.

thanks for posting your list.

Tori
13 years ago

Ok, so last night, my husband and I bought the 30 Day Shred DVD in our quest To Do Better 2008. I finished doing it about an hour ago and my leg muscles haven’t stopped quivering yet. From level 1. I don’t know whether or not to thank you for the recommendation or go across the country and kick your butt. You know…in a few days, when I can feel my legs again.

Anonymous New York
13 years ago

Your post stopped me from eating the last whoopie pie in the fridge last night, effectively wasting my 30DS exercise. Instead, I had some raisins.

I think I’ll post this in my closet, so when I get home and take off my work clothes, I immediately change into my workout clothes.

Thanks for reminding us we’re ALL worth the effort.

Joslyn
Joslyn
13 years ago

Linda, thank you so much for this. I read this site a lot, but can’t recall if I’ve ever commented. I’m at a personal low point right now in regards to health and weight. I “keep meaning” to get some exercise in, but that doesn’t amount to much. This helps. I appreciate what you’ve done, and I’m thankful that you are so inspirational. Thank you.

Trenches of Mommyhood
13 years ago

You? Are my fitness guru.

I just started Level 2 of the Shred yesterday. Ouchie mama.

And like you, I have zilch time. Working full-time, a horrific commute, and 3 boyz at home. But I’m MAKING the time. Like you said before, it’s 20 minutes. I CAN do it.

So, thanks.

Kalin
13 years ago

Thanks for writing about your fitness journey! It’s been really inspirational. I’ve even ordered 30 Day Shred and plan to *gasp* unwrap it and use it when it arrives, which has been kind of a ridiculous stumbling block I’ve hit with other workout products.

ML
ML
13 years ago

I don’t see a high horse. I see celebration. And you have been a real gift to me with all your honesty.

I also see dedication to think this through so it sticks. Loosing my 65lbs in the last 14 months reminds me of coming out of other addictions, too, and taking each day as a reward and celebration in itself.

I think body image touches on alot of pain, but I think you, Linda, have been really successful at being honest about the juggle it takes – and the rewards there can be – as a mama who takes care of herself.

I, for one, will be printing this out,too, and putting it next to my own inspiration/proud of myself list I keep in the bathroom (the only place of possible privacy to read. :) )

I have another 30lbs to go and I will be reading daily for all you have to say. Thank you so much for including me in your journey. You have been a huge part of my own celebrations!

Jennifer
Jennifer
13 years ago

This is the quote that rings most true with me:

It’s possible to change your eating patterns, but more importantly, it’s possible to change your eating preferences.

I think I may have emailed you to acknowledge your inspiration the *first* time you embraced diet/fitness (before Dylan!) because partly thanks to that inspiration, I figured out my eating patterns and got my cholesterol down from 253 (danger danger!) to 183 in just six months. A big piece of that was thanks to your blogs where you evaluated food choices. During my own journey, I have indeed changed my eating preferences to include good, healthy, low-fat BEANS! I really love them now; I seriously think they are the miracle food! And they’re CHEAP!!!

And re commenters who don’t like posts about fitness/diet. Hey, it’s your blog, and this is important to you and has become a big part of your life. That’s what people blog about, right? Their own lives? You go.

ML
ML
13 years ago

P.S. The link? Was breathtaking. Truly speechless and moved. Thank you.

Mary
Mary
13 years ago

Thank you sooooo much for this! I am going to print it out and put it in a spot that I can see everyday.

lisa-marie
13 years ago

So are you going to become a personal trainer, now?? With inspirational points like those, you’d be very successful!

Sara
13 years ago

Thanks for reminding me that it is an on-going process and that I need to find what works for ME. I love your emphasis on the LIFESTYLE part, because there are SO MANY BLOGS out there dedicated to 12-week challenges, where people weigh and calculate every morsel of food and workout consistently for 12 weeks, then wake up in a tub of frosting wondering what happened when it’s over. Gee, maybe I’m speaking from personal experience here! Yes, I think I AM.

I just really appreciate your focus on making this an on-going process and new way of life, and that you blog about all the challenges you face (vacations, JB going out of town, etc.) and still manage to keep rockin’ it. I really like your Gather articles, too.

Once I have this baby (20 weeks to go!) I am going to get both 30DS and Turbo Jam, but there’s no reason why I can’t clean up my eating and be more active STARTING TODAY.

You are an inspiration!

Melissa
Melissa
13 years ago

I’m a total lurker..but I have to say..

I AMAZES me that on a personal blog someone can say “I’m a busy working mom who really wants to be healthy and fit for the rest of her life and these are the things I find work for me.” and people will come out and make snotty comments about “luxuries” and “high horsedness”.

Man…

kelly west mars
kelly west mars
13 years ago

Fixed the DVD player + am on the way to Target for the hand weights. . . I must know how you put up with hearing all that mandatory jibber-jab you can’t skip out of every single time you work out???

BLAH BLAH BLAH I MUST SAY I AGREE BLAH BLAH BLAH That’s enough talk, let’s begin BLAH BLAH BLAH!

Think I’m just going to leave my dvd player on the the work out section because holy crap, I could have finished the work out in the time her lips flapped.

JLS
JLS
13 years ago

Ok, fine…geez. Stay out of my head, will you?! :)

Holly
13 years ago

kelly . . . CRACKING up about your rant over jillain’s jabbing. I spend the first 10 minutes of every workout trying to fast forward or AT LEAST MUTE her too!