My Bariatric Life living life after weight-loss surgery: Facebook & Easy Tricks to Sneak-in Exercise
WinkAs you read this you’re probably sitting in front of a computer, slouched back or forward, maybe with a cup of coffee beside you. If you’re like me, you probably spend countless hours with your eyes glued to a screen and your back-end glued to an office chair. I sit behind a computer at the office for 7 or 8 or even 9 hours a day, five-days a week. Then I spend additional hours on the computer on evenings and weekends for education and entertainment.
I don’t think this is natural, to work in an office all day and then purchase everything that you consume - from factory-farmed and overly-processed food to mass-produced clothing. It comes as no surprise to me that we as a nation are over weight, fat, obese. To me, the hunter and gatherer way of life or family farming seem the natural way that we were intended to live. The reality, for better or worse, is that sitting behind a computer is our system of lifestyle - used for both work and “edutainment” – for most of us in the 21st century. We can’t necessarily quit our day jobs and begin homesteading (although some people do).
So, what’s a girl (or guy) to do in order to maintain all that wonderful weight lost after gastric bypass or gastric band surgery? What follows are some of the unusual ways that I’ve snuck in exercise and “beat the system” we live in. They may seem a little unnatural at first, but I remind you that there is nothing natural about sitting behind a computer all day under fluorescent lighting in a building with windows that do not open.
Facebook and lose weight
Do you know that I’ve figured out a way to exercise while I am using my laptop? It’s true. I made a deal with myself that I could only go on Facebook while I exercise. Yeah, it makes me feel less guilty about using Facebook because I’m doing something good for myself. I simply flip my laptop case wide open and put it on the handle bars of my recombinant bike. I ride and read and type. When I stop riding, I can’t Facebook anymore. That’s the deal.
Sometimes I ride for a longtime and don’t even notice it. That is, until I get up from the bike and my back-end is numb.
Stand like a flamingo and burn more calories
Have you ever been to the zoo and noticed that the flamingos stand on one leg? You can use this same technique to boost your calories burned. Seth Roberts, author of The Shangri-La Diet book, did some experimentation and found that standing on each leg until exhaustion twice a day (for a total of about 30-40 minutes) gave him the same benefits as standing all day for 8-hrs, in just a fraction of the time! So this is a great technique for people like me who are glued to their office chair all day. I stand like a flamingo when I eat my lunch and again when I prepare dinner or wash dishes or fold laundry.
You’ll look particularly elegant if you wear pink when you stand like a flamingo. Just remember to take off your sky-high heels and steady yourself on something solid, if you think you’re apt to fall.
Squat like Lucy and boost metabolism
Lucy is name given to the famous 3.2-million year old female fossil uncovered in Ethiopia. Some call her the missing link. We might call her a cave woman. Have you ever seen a fat cave woman? Surely not!
Do you know how it is that a cave woman sits? Think back to those trips to the Museum of Natural History and bring to mind the images of the cave dwellers dioramas. Do you see her now? She is squatted in front of a fire. She also would have been squatted beside a river, squatted to deliver her baby, and squatted to poop.
Fast forward to today, and this cave woman could be you squatted in front of your computer. Squatting is a completely natural position. It improves our mobility, reduces stress to joints, and increases calories burned. Try it for a few minutes everyday. Just be sure to keep your heels on the ground! My natural tendency when I squat is to place all the weight on my toes. It places far too much stress on your knees and will tear them apart over time. To avoid this, either curl your toes upward and it will force you to maintain heel-floor contact. Or, try your first squats on a slanted surface - like a declined driveway, as long as it is not too steep. Face the slope downward and squat so that the raised ground beneath your heels will keep you from falling backwards.
I squat like Lucy at home rather than the office. I just don’t think my boss would “get it” if I squatted on the floor and used my laptop. Of course, you may want to try in the privacy of the ladies room to get up on the toilet seat and squat to poop. Let me know how you make out with that, and I may try it, too.
I hope that these ideas have sparked your imagination on ways that you can sneak exercise into your daily routine. I really do use these techniques in addition to my regular exercise routine. Do you have any creative tips and tricks for the office workers amongst us? Let me know your ideas by posting a comment. I’d love to hear from you!
You can read about other tools I use, such as Overeaters Anonymous, and recipes I’ve created like OMG! Almond Joy Protein Bars, so as to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management following my weight-loss surgery in 2003. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.