Regaining some of my old discipline

About a week ago, I downloaded a fitness app onto my cellphone. I figured it would be interesting to track some of my movements throughout the day, but soon realized I have become more sedentary in my lifestyle in recent years.

I’ve never been what one might consider athletic, or even physically active for that matter. I made due in school physical education classes, but usually could barely keep up with the majority of the students.

I was simply more interested in sitting in a corner reading (and eventually playing a video game) than I was in hitting a baseball. Essentially, I was the kid that got picked last for a team.

Several years back, our newspaper took part in a weight loss competition, facing off against several local businesses. As part of my efforts, I was able to lost about 25 pounds. I was more careful with what I was eating, and made time for exercise, doing mostly aerobic and some light resistance work several evenings a week.

For the most part, I had been able to keep that weight off until recently. I continued to watch what I was eating, almost completely eliminating the extra processed sugars from my diet. No cookies, cakes, pies or ice cream for me.

But, at some point, things started reversing on me. I picked up a piece of chocolate here and there, or maybe a bowl of ice cream. My work load increased and personal time decreased. Instead of going home in the evening, eating a well-portioned meal and maybe exercising for 25 or 30 minutes, I have days where I might not walk in the door until after 8 p.m., with time to reheat something or have a sandwich before going to bed.

On top of that, when I lost the weight I was in my early 30s, and I still had a bit of the metabolism from my youth to help out. I’ll be turning 40 in a little over three months, and things are naturally readjusting as I get older.

I’m not trying to sound as if I’m complaining about it all. It’s something many of us deal with during our lives.

There are certain health concerns in my family history, and I have a great deal I still would like to do in my lifetime.

So, somehow I need to be able to reclaim that discipline I once had and set some goals.

A few co-workers have memberships to a local gym. I’ve often thought about checking out some of the price comparisons, especially given how many we now have in our area. Between local operations, national chains, the Millsop Community Center and other operations, we certainly have a lot from which to choose.

I also could figure out a way to do everything from home, just as I did before. It wasn’t anything fancy. I didn’t buy a bunch of equipment. It was mostly a video game series, a couple of DVDs and making sure there was enough space for me to move around.

The main thing, though, is finding a way to carve out the time and making sure I stick to it. Gym memberships are fine, but if you don’t make use of them they can be a complete waste.

Many of us will pick this type of goal as a New Year’s resolution. I’ve never liked that, because it truly is a lifetime of work and discipline to stay healthy and fit. It’s finding the dedication and motivation to focus on what we need to do.

Whether you go to a gym, get a trainer or set up your own program at home, you have to stick with it. You have to make the time and follow through with what you plan to do.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)