Friday, January 6, 2012

Swim to Lose Weight and Stay Fit

Showing up is all it takes.
Swimming is a terrific way to tone the body and get in shape with very little stress on the joints. This makes it the perfect exercise for any age; all you need is a swimsuit and to find a suitable time at the pool, many have designated adult swim times or family sessions. However, sometimes the prospect of getting in the pool, especially if you consider yourself less than accomplished, can be daunting. The following is my response to a question on how to start on a major weight loss target, and highlights my main mantra which is, "keep on showing up".
"Let me take your points one by one. The first one about not swimming too well. That means you do swim a bit, and a bit is all you need to get this thing rolling. When I came back to swimming after 30 years off, I started easy, I did what I could because I knew that as time passed I'd get a little bit better and a little bit better until I was really getting somewhere. Now when I say easy, I mean easy, like 25 meters and then a rest, then another 25 meters and so on. Never push it past where it's fun, and don't put pressure on yourself, just wait, keep showing up at that pool and doing what you can, and soon what you can will be quite a bit. It's the keeping on that's the trick. Forget the "burn", who needs to be in discomfort all the time, just keep on "doing what you can" and the consistency will win the day. It's like water on stone, the outcome is never in doubt, and the little drip will go right through that stone.
As for your second point "how do I even get started", well you have started, you know an exercise you can do and improve on, and you need to focus on the first 5 lbs. not the rest. If you look at too big a task, you'll say, "oh forget it, it's too tough to lose 96 lbs.". But how about 5 lbs. to start, is that do-able? Then let's do it!! And when we've got that wall knocked down, we'll go for 8 lbs. next time. So take it in little pieces, that's what I'm doing with my program, I do what I can and I don't fret over what I can't, that would be a waste of my energy. Let's do what we can, set a "do-able" target and GO FOR IT. But don't tell yourself, it's "only the first or whatever", IT IS THE ONLY TARGET!! Focus, keep it in front of you and REACH it before you even think of the next step. Water on Stone!!"