73. All the Small Things…

Some Small Moves…

It is true that eighty-percent of weight loss and fitness are about the foods you eat. I have found that to be true of reversing diabetes as well. Reversal of type 2 diabetes is eighty-percent about food. Diabetes is, primarily, a disease of food. But there is that twenty-percent of fitness and health that is based on the amount of movement you engage in and strength you build. It is a powerful twenty-percent.

If you are in a completely sedentary lifestyle where your primary form of movement is between your chair and your car and back again, I get it. When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I was in an, albeit forced, sedentary lifestyle for months on end.

Reversing diabetes is about making small moves. Many small moves that, over time, make BIG changes. The exercise component of diabetes reversal is no different.

When I began exercising it was for five minutes. 5 MINUTES. With no cardio whatsoever. Just leg strengthening exercises, specifically to target the muscles that support my knee. But those small moves were the basis for the fitness routine I now am committed to and experience daily.

And Then Some More.

Currently I walk every morning, with my dogs (and not the stop and sniff kind of walking—we really move it) for at least 45 minutes, and usually closer to an hour. This equates to close to two-and-a-half miles, about 6,000 steps for me. After the walk, I do at-home strength training, either upper body and core or lower body and core, about half an hour. Sometimes that strength training is a yoga workout. Several times a week I also take an afternoon stress-reliever break from work and get on an elliptical machine for 30-45 minutes. I listen to podcasts I subscribe to and really sweat it out. These have done wonders for my sleep. Frankly, I am the most fit I have been as an adult, I think.

But it all started with those five minutes a day, two years ago. And a commitment to beat the odds and this disease. It hasn’t been easy, in fact it’s been hard. It still is hard. But it’s worth it to know I am in control of my health.

It has been all small moves. Small moves and deliberate choosing to move beyond my mental, emotional and physical obstacles related to food and exercise. It was about choosing another kind of pleasure. It’s about building momentum that may grow gradually, over time and maybe even slowly, but relentlessly.

Small actions done repetitively, continuously and linked with other, small repetitive actions will build fitness and health in you, just as small, destructive actions accomplished the unhealthy life you may find yourself in

You can make those small moves. The ones that build one on top of another until, after a while, you are living a completely different life—a healthier life. A happier life. A life where you control your diabetes and it longer controls you.

When I was able to start being active again, my physical therapist wouldn’t allow walking as my primary exercise, which it had always been. Only the most necessary walking was on the list. Primarily in my house. Instead, I was allowed five minutes on a stationary bike on the “1” setting. So five minutes of strengthening on-the-floor exercises and five minutes on a stationary bike. I was grateful to be able to start doing something. I became committed to those ten minutes a day.

Maybe you’re just not an exerciser. Perhaps you’re sedentary because of disability or injury. Maybe you were once more fit than you are now and you’d like to regain that fitness. Where ever you on the fitness spectrum, I encourage you to find your five minutes.

Your Own Small Moves—5 Minutes is ALL It Takes.

If “exercising” is a dirty word to you, try walking, five to ten minutes after each meal. Or dancing. Or gardening. Instead of looking for exercise, look for active fun or try something new. (I love dancing around my house to loud music myself!) Find a friend to move with, someone you don’t want to let down. If you are limited in your activity ability, find activities you can do and invest in five minutes a day.

Find your five minutes and commit. Then in a few weeks, add another five minutes to your activities and commit. Just start moving more than you do now.

It’s also important to build strength—develop your muscles. Building muscles has so many benefits and makes so much health sense, especially when reversing type 2 diabetes. Find your five minutes of muscle building and commit.

The results, over time, will be greater than you think! I can say that because I’ve experienced it. The long-term benefits of committing consistent small actions over time are cumulative and powerful. One of my favorite motivational quotes

Here is one of my all-time favorite quotes: “All the small things combined become the direction of your life. ~ Kenneth Copeland