Be a Rebel - Live Fit
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image by Thomas Hawk

At the airport on my way to SXSW I had an epiphany. Despite being on my fitness journey for over 13 years it occurred to me (as I sipped tea and ate steel cut oats in the lounge despite the free cookies and wine) one of the biggest reasons why I’ve managed to defy the odds against keeping weight off.

I’m a rebel and I always have been.

I’ve never really been one to follow the herd. In fact, in my high school and college years I was more likely to do something if it made me stand out versus going along with the crowd.

  • I hated New Kids on the Block in junior high.
  • I wouldn’t go to the Rose Banquet (for the top 10 GPA holding seniors) in high school because it was assumed I would go not asked.
  • I wore black lipstick in my senior picture. (No I won’t post it.)
  • I’ve never seen the movie Titanic.

In fact, if something was going to make people uncomfortable the more likely I was to do it. I liked to push the envelope a bit, make people think and perhaps redefine their preconceived notions about the kind of girl who wears black lipstick.

Being fit in an unfit world takes that kind of moxie. The same girl who could say no to high school peer pressure has a better chance of resisting the societal pressures that lead to the unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyle that is the norm in our world today.

I used to travel a lot for my job, usually with others on a project team. I always got teased and poked at about the way I ate. Whether it was the fact that I don’t eat meat (another choice that goes against the grain in the Midwest) or my food bag that I brought with me everyday, I was always explaining and defending my choices. If I hadn’t been so sure of my path, so sure of myself, it would have been very easy on these trips to just go with the flow and eat and drink as those around me did.

To be successful on this journey, I need you to be a rebel. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo:

  • Ask for modifications to meals when you eat out, you’re paying for the meal so make sure you get what you want.
  • Demand healthier options in school and work cafeterias. They won’t do it until you let your voice be heard and vote on the choices you want with your dollars.
  • Sit on a stability ball at your desk. Do the hula or bounce. Your co-workers may laugh in the beginning but in a couple weeks they will be joining you.
  • Stand up instead of sitting down in meetings. Better yet, when you hold the meeting make it a walking meeting.

You have to lead the charge and shake things up. You may not change the status quo but you will change your life. Be a rebel, live fit.

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