Walking The Walk

Sometimes, the road to health begins with the first step.



I don’t hate exercising, but I hate doing exercise that feels like exercise. Ideally, I prefer exerting in natural ways, preferably without much effort. This aversion to exercise for exercise’s sake comes from years of attempting to follow various hard-charging exercise routines to lose weight. I’ve tried just about every trendy exercise DVD program you can think of, including Turbo Jam, P90X and CRUNCH.

But it’s hard to avoid the need for exercise. A few months ago, I began to notice that my clothes were fitting differently. My jeans were tighter. My shirts were more snug than I remembered. When I finally decided to weigh myself, I learned that I had gained 15 pounds within a few months. That was unacceptable, but I dreaded the thought of starting a new gym membership or hiring a trainer. I needed to find a way to exercise that I could do without the use of a DVD player or extra equipment.

Thinking back, I remembered that years ago, I got into a routine of walking a half hour every day. With walking and a change in diet, I lost 25 pounds in 3 months. That had been a pleasant enough way to lose the weight, so I decided to try it again. I set a weight loss goal of 30 pounds and decided to walk every day to meet it.

It wasn’t so easy this time around. The first day I went walking, I thought I was going to pass out. I walked to the front of my apartment complex and came right back home. I was probably gone for 7 minutes.

“This is not going to work,” I said to myself as I rested my legs afterwards.

I didn’t want to quit, so I downsized expectations to trying to walk for 10 minutes every day that week. The next day, I met the 10 minute goal. It was a challenge and I was out of breath, but I had clocked in my time. I did it again every day for the entire week.

After 2 weeks of this, I upped the ante to 15 minutes. I met that goal, too. Each week, I noticed I was getting stronger and my walks were getting easier. I wasn’t as winded and out of breath as I had been when I first started. More importantly, I liked it.

Now here we are, several weeks later, and I am walking 1 to 2 miles a day. And I love to walk! I feel so energized and rejuvenated after each stroll, and there’s such a feeling of accomplishment whenever I exceed my time goals. I am now 10 pounds away from my original weight loss goal, but I won’t stop there.

Jillian Michaels isn’t shouting in my ear, I’m not using the latest piece of workout equipment,  but step by step, I’m on the road to better health.

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Monique Baisden is a proud native of Atlanta, GA. She is a freelance blogger, writer and entrepreneur who wants to help others.