Mark’s Accomplishing More Than He Thought He Could

This article is part of our Healthier 2021 series, in which we follow three members of the WebMD team as they strive to improve their health this year. You can follow their travels here.

By Mark Spoor

In December, WebMD sent an internal email asking employees if anyone wanted to blog about the attempt to lose the weight they gained during the great pandemic of 2020 (and now, sadly, 2021).

To be honest, when the email arrived, I was only thinking about fitness. The holidays were approaching and my house was filled with those great smells that the holidays bring: baking cookies, big meals and side dishes in preparation, and, if you are married to my wife, candles, candles and more candles. .

Oh my lord, the candles.

Still, for a day or two, I went back and forth in my head as to whether or not to raise my hand. I knew it was going to be tough (fitness trips always are), but I knew that whether I volunteered or not, I was going to have to do something about it. My clothes were more fitted and with all the stress of the pandemic, I just wasn’t feeling well.

And then it hit me: Knowing that I had a blog every week would probably give me the boost I needed to fully engage. So I raised my hand.

I’m so glad I did.

Was it sometimes difficult? Absolutely. Were there days when the only reason I got on my bike was because I had a blog in the next few days? Guilty.

But here’s the thing: I’ve learned that with the right motivation and the right circumstances, I do have in me to be disciplined with regard to physical form.

And you too.

When it all started, there was no one less athletic than me. I was that kid in gym class who fell 50 meters behind the peloton when it was time to run. My sport growing up: bowling – one of the few sports where pizza and fries are almost mandatory equipment.

As I became an adult, I honestly thought that all fitness had escaped me. I had never really learned to exercise and considered myself clumsy and uncoordinated when it came to anything even akin to athletics. So I never dreamed of taking fitness classes in a gym. I would be too embarrassed.

Of course, with the pandemic, the classes I had avoided at gyms were now taking place online, and once I got a chance to try them out on my own, in the privacy of my home office, I came to a surprising revelation.

I can do it – as long as I stay out of my way.

If you’re where I was last December – if you know you need to make a change but aren’t sure you can – know you can.

You really can.

First, at least find a real reason for doing it. You can have more than one. I had two:

  • Fear of diabetes
  • A need to be healthy for my family

You have yours. It doesn’t matter what they are as long as they are important to you. No one needs to know that. Just find it and remember it every day.

Once you have your reason, find the activities that you would like to do. Whether it’s biking, swimming, running, yoga, walking, skipping rope, or whatever gets you moving and making your heart beat, be sure to find things that you think you are going for. stay.

Then find people who will hold you accountable. For me it was all of you, along with my fellow healthy 2021 bloggers, Laura and Bill. They are both doing so well. I am totally in awe of their positivity, completely proud of their accomplishments and honored to call them friends.

Most of all, be patient with yourself and focus on the long game. You don’t have to be ready to run a marathon tomorrow. It doesn’t matter that you can’t touch your toes yet. Someday you will. It doesn’t matter if a walk around the block sounds like a lofty goal. Persevere. One day you will crush it, then you will look for the next challenge and conquer it too.

It’s your trip – and yours alone. Nobody counts the score. No one is laughing at you. In fact, you’ll be surprised how many people will end up in your area. I was on.

It doesn’t matter where you are on your trip. The important thing is that you are on one.

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