Baby steps, dedication make for a good routine

Health & Fitness column

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

It’s been several months since I’ve written an article for this column. I have to be inspired before I write, and I had fallen into a rut. I’m excited to be back in the rotation for a few months, and I hope you enjoy reading my stories again.

The inspiration for my article today comes from an unlikely source for a health and fitness column. I’ve mentioned my little sister, Celia Moulton Taylor, in some of my previous articles. We are as opposite as they come, and people that we meet are often surprised to find out that we are related. She’s the one known as “the pharmacist”, and I’m the one known as “the one who works out and teaches at the gym.” I don’t even know if a lot of people realize that I actually have a full-time job as a State Auditor. Well, Celia is my inspiration today.

Celia had her second child in February 2011. Baby Thomas brought with him all of the fun that mothers face trying to juggle a full-time job, a second child and having a life. Celia spent the rest of 2011 juggling her time between her job at U Save It, NW and her role as a mother to Abby and Thomas. She had very little “Celia” time. Celia gained over forty pounds during her pregnancy with Thomas and never dedicated any time to trying to lose the twenty pounds that she didn’t lose after he was born. Until last year ... .

In early 2012, Celia called me one day (completely out of the blue) and asked me about a gym membership at PT Gym, the local facility where my husband and I teach fitness classes. I told her what she needed to do to join but didn’t think much of it because she’d been a member at other gyms before and never gone. I take that back …She would go once or twice for a couple of weeks after she paid her membership and then never go back until her membership was due again the following year. She never dedicated the time to working out that she should have. She would always tell me that she was busy with the kids or work or going shopping because there was a BIG sale she couldn’t miss or watching some tv show that she had recorded….

Back to my story …Celia joined PT Gym in early 2012 and started going twice a week. She would go through the machines and walk on the treadmill. She certainly wasn’t killing herself when she went, but she was going. Remember … baby steps. She started feeling better after a couple of months and actually decided to step it up a little bit.

The next Monday night a miracle happened. Celia came to Butts n Guts!

Butts n Guts is my class that I teach on Monday nights. It’s my own creation, and I look forward to it every week. It’s a tough lower body and ab workout. It’s never the same workout …. there is electricity in the room … the music is pumping …the members have fun and it works. People love to hate it.

I remember the first night she came to Butts n Guts. She did a little less than half of the class and modified just about everything we did, but she tried. Baby steps. She complained about how sore she was the rest of the week. But she came back the next week and the next.

She also started going to Zumba on Wednesday nights. After a few months of this, she switched up her routine yet again. She added an occasional Boot Camp class. More baby steps.

My husband and I teach Boot Camp on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 5:30 a.m. We combine military style basic training moves with weights and cardio for a fun total body workout. If Celia knew she couldn’t make Butts n Guts on Monday night then she would come to Boot Camp in the morning.

And here we are in 2013 …one year after Celia’s gym adventure started. She had an annual physical about two weeks ago. She called me at work as soon as she left the doctor’s office that morning. I could tell she was excited about something. She was calling to tell me that she had lost 26 pounds in the last year! She told me that she knew her clothes were fitting differently, but she hadn’t been weighing herself so she had no idea how much she had lost. Adding the gym and the classes to her routine were the only things she had done differently over the last year. She hadn’t tried to diet at all!

Twenty-six pounds in one year may not sound significant to a lot of people. People are more impatient in today’s world than they have ever been. Everyone wants results and they want them now! Shows like the Biggest Loser have given people the mindset that results should be BIG and should happen within a few months. Don’t get me wrong …that show is changing lives for the better, but not everyone has 100 pounds to lose or the ability to drop everything for a 12 week trip to the Biggest Loser Ranch.

Celia’s 2.17 pounds per month may not impress you, but the good thing about her weight loss is it happened slowly without any gimmicks. No pills or crazy fads can ever replace good, old-fashioned exercise. She didn’t do a cannonball into the pool and expect instant results. She took baby steps and slowly made progress. This is the kind of progress that will stick.

Take baby steps …dedicate just a couple of hours a week to exercise if that’s all you have time for. As you get more comfortable with your new routine add something new … follow Celia’s example. Stop by U Save It sometime and ask her about her journey. I believe talking to someone who has struggled with getting into an exercise routine and found success is better than hearing it from someone like me who loves to workout all the time.

Oh yeah …In addition to the gym, she has now decided to start watching her diet. I may turn her into a health nut after all!

Michele Moulton has been a fitness instructor for more than 21 years and is a certified Spinning instructor. She teaches at PT Gym and is an avid cyclist. She is an accountant and a mother of two boys, Austin and Harrison.