(Editor’s Note: Today’s blog is written by Sylvia Atkins, administrative assistant in the Experimental Statistics Department. She has lost 90 pounds, and she attributes walking to helping her keep off the weight and stay on track.)
Competitive sports were introduced to me early in life as I watched my older brother play football, basketball, and track & field. I am also, as my close friend reminds me, very stubborn when I set my mind to something such as weight loss. To accomplish this I knew I had to do two things, eat less and move more.
To face this new goal, I made a game of it. Some days I’m a winner; other days, not so much. But the schedule has 365 games each year.
I tackled eating healthier first, and several weeks later tackled the activity. To be successful, I learned the most important component in keeping the weight off was to add some sort of activity. My choice is walking. Couch potato, not a walking Forest Gump, would have been a better description of me. Now I look forward to my walks. I try to walk no less than four days a week. I walk around the campus after work.
As I walk, I have become a GPS, “Can you tell me how to get to Nelson Memorial?” Or, “We’re trying to find the new Tiger Park?” I don’t think my directions helped the folks looking for the interstate, however. I also have a little extra money in my pocket; apparently no one else wants to stop to pick up pennies. The scenery changes constantly. I enjoy smelling the different flowers blooming.
Although I walk each day by myself, I am far from alone. I have a hidden team playing right along with me. They are my family and co-workers providing support, my boss checking the radar on suspect rainy/thunderstorm days, and all of my fellow employees that honk and send a friendly wave as I walk past. Each and every team member at one time or another has helped me as I go for the gold, I mean goal.
So if you know someone trying to get into a healthier groove, please cheer them to the finish line. That support makes all the difference.