Monday, June 2, 2008


Almost everyone who toys with the idea of making a major lifestyle change can point to some "aha" moment when they realized that The Time Had Come.

In my case, there were two things led me to exercise:

The first was a plant sale at which I found myself surrounded by hundreds of out-of-shape, disheveled, sloppily dressed women my age and I realized "We've given up on ourselves and are focusing on nice-looking plants instead. I'm not ready for that yet!"

The second was a meeting with a prospective client, a privately held company making big profits doing bariatric surgery. There seemed to me to be plenty of legitimate reasons why adults long incapacitated by obesity-relate physical problems would need surgery to jump-start life-saving weight loss. But when I heard the program was anticipating government and health insurance approval to start doing bariatric surgery on teenagers, that stopped me in my tracks. When kids over-eat and under-exercise, surely the wrong message to give them is "oh, you can just have an operation." I came away feeling as though our culture was in such extreme denial about fitness that I would need to move dramatically more and eat dramatically better than "what everyone else does" -- or I'd end up a client of the bariatric surgery folks.

Reeling from the revelations of the plant sale and the bariatric surgery center, I followed a friend into a yoga program and never looked back.

Apropos of this, several friends sent me copies of an article in the June 1 Seattle Times about a local bariatric surgeon who closed his practice and changed careers to become a yoga instructor. Now that's a dramatic (and expensive) change!

I'm interested in the "aha" moments that propel people from "I know I ought to do this" to actually doing it. What was yours?

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