While at the IBS New York show in March, NAILS associate editor Vanessa Jezin approached me about joining the NAILS Healthy Outlook Club (HOC). I was very enthusiastic, since my most recent visit to the doctor showed 15 extra pounds in two-and-a- half years. I was not pleased with myself, so I jumped on the bandwagon and agreed to get HEALTHY!

No one is guiltier than me of sitting all day with no physical activity. All the techs who participate on BeautyTech.com know I spend too many hours parked in front of the computer. OK, I’m busy, just as much or more so than anyone else. I also have no excuse for not getting out and doing something for me. Heck, I have a dog I could walk, a bicycle, and exercise equipment holding court to my laundry in the basement, but do I use any of this? No. Do I want to? I do. And I plan to.

I used to walk five days a week with my former partner arid still best friend. I felt great, lost inches, and had energy overflowing. Ihad to go walking. If you knew Donna, you’d know I’d be in big trouble if I even thought about calling to say I was tired or didn’t feel good one day. After two months of walking, I bought new sneakers that came with a set of hand weights. I thought “Oh great! This is an opportunity to increase what I’m doing for me!” The day I showed up for our walk with the weights, Donna announced we were picking up the pace. I whined. She stood fast I took the weights anyway. By the time we got halfway through our walk, I was beg­ging to call a cab, but she kept pushing me. Then things happened. We had the worst winter here and the roads were full of ice. Donna moved further away from me and we stopped walking. I tried to solicit a woman up the street to join me, but that became a contest as to who had the best excuse for not walking.

It’s a known fact that networking and support group commiseration is a benefit to almost any project you can tackle in your life. Weight Watchers and AA meetings prove that fact. So as the NAILS HOC, we have been meeting weekly on Monday nights to chat and we have our own mailing list to trade ideas and encourage one another along.

We have traded many ideas for staying on track. Debbie H„ another NAILS HOC member, told the group that she saw Jackie Zeman from “General Hospital” on TV with Leslie Sansone, a health instructor who has made a series of low-impact walking videos. Becky E saw a news report one night that explained that simply getting in 10,000 steps a day was equally as effective as doing 30 minutes of continuous exercise. “I read reports, did my research, and found out that 10 minutes here and there is just as good for you as doing it all at once,” said Becky. She bought a pedometer and was amazed to find out she fell far short of that number at only 3,000 steps daily. (I probably only do half of that!) If you are already a high numbers stepper, you should up that number by 2,500-3,000 additional steps daily for cardiovascular benefits and 5,000-6,000 more for weight loss effects.

I personally have loaded the Weight Watchers journal onto my Palm Pilot along with a list of food point values (www.whiteoaks.com or www.savyon.com/ellen/db.html). Using this has shown me I really do not eat bad, I just have no physical activity level — zero! So my next step will be to order a walking tape set. We also shared a few web sites with great information:

  • www.dottisweighdosszone.com: Weight Watchers 1 point food list and much more
  • www.prevention.com: Exercise and weight loss articles

So now I’m off to take the dog for a walk. I hope to see many of you at the Premiere Show in Orlando this August — a mere shadow of my former self.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about