If you’ve read a few of my posts you probably know by now that I’m a bit eccentric. Not in a mad scientist, collect-my-urine-in-bottles-never-cut-my-fingernails way, but in an I-have-my-own-ideas-and-I’m-not-afraid-to-use-them way.

In other words, I am not a follower.

You won’t catch me wearing a designer’s name across my butt, hopping on some “great, new” diet bandwagon or changing my nail polish according to what the kids are wearing.

The latter came to mind after my nail technician told me the current hot nail color trend is dark grey.

Seriously? Who came up with this idea, a mortician? “Let’s promote a color that looks like you’ve been dead for a year!”

Clearly we’re in need of a new color chart.

Ditto for the rolled up straight leg jean trend. First, let me say upfront that I am not only vertically challenged, but the little bit of height I have is in my torso.

I’ve always wanted long legs but instead was born with a torso that goes on forever. This creates problems with certain styles I’d like to wear but can’t. At least not without ending up in the ER.

For example, I love shirt dresses but can’t wear them because the belt comes up around my ribcage. This literally prevents my diaphragm from expanding so I become more oxygen deprived as the day goes on.

At least I’d save money on grey polish.

But in the end, rolling up the bottoms of my jeans just so I can be a fashionista shorten my legs even further, so I prefer to be old timey and keep them uncuffed.

Another aspect of my “eccentricity” lies in my tendency to become all consumed with whatever I happen to be into at the moment.

For example, many moons ago, I was on a cooking and baking streak. Now I only cook when I’m developing recipes for a magazine article, which is rare these days, much to my husband’s dismay.

During my baking obsession (I owned a bakery and worked as a restaurant pastry chef, which I’ve talked about in prior posts) I collected and drooled over hundreds (yes, for reals) cookbooks as if each were a new episode of 50 Shades of Grey – which I’ve never read, by the way, mainly because it was another bandwagon situation.

When I heard the story involved off-label use of neckties and a creepy guy I opted out.

Then I got into candle making. At the height of my obsession there wasn’t a cup, mug, spoon or countertop in our house that wasn’t coated with wax.

Madame Trousseau would’ve been proud.

I threw myself into every new interest, read everything I could find on the topic, ordered cases of whatever I need to perform the task at hand… and eventually burned out and moved on to something else, leaving a wake of chocolate, wax and books behind me.

Many people do the same thing with fitness. They download apps, read books, watch endless YouTube videos, but never actually use the information.

Here’s the thing: There’s a huge difference between reading about how to get in shape and actually doing the work. Buying a piece of equipment doesn’t do a thing until you use it.

“Thank you, Captain Obvious!” You may be screaming at me inside your head. Logically, it may be a no-brainer, but I’ve seen acres of unused exercise equipment in my years of in-home training. So I know firsthand most people would rather find creative uses for their fitness equipment (“The treadmill makes a great comforter dryer!”) than use it to burn calories.

Same goes for gym memberships. Jan 1: sign up. Feb 2: stop showing up. Result: lots of wasted cash, no belly fat reduction in sight.

Ditto for eating healthy. You can memorize every Yahoo story on the “best” and “worst” carbs, rattle off the fat grams in a McDonald’s Big Mac (550 calories and 20 grams of fat) and stock up on cases of whey protein as if you’re preparing for the apocalypse.

But if your diet consists of whatever’s within arm’s reach, you’ll never see a change.

All this is a long-winded (yes, I know) way to get to my point, which is this: You must take action. Stop overanalyzing, buying equipment and new workout clothes, and gnashing your teeth over every little detail, watching sweaty people perform fancy dance moves, and just lace up your sneakers (or “tennis shoes” if you’re on the west coast) and simply move!

If you haven’t been off the couch since Halloween, walk for five minutes. Repeat three times this week. Then add five more minutes next week, then five more the following week.

Most people stop short of taking action.

So here’s a quick and easy plan: Take out your calendar and block out time, even if 10 or 15 minutes. Plan to do something active at those times, whether it’s walking around your office, doing a short workout routine or hopping on a stationary bike while you talk on the phone. Then add weights a few times a week. Start with simple exercises and work up as you get stronger.

It’s not rocket science, but it takes some inner drive to get started.

And, sadly, you can’t pay someone to do it for you. If only!

The key is in “making” the time and yes, realizing you don’t need a gym, structured workout or special equipment to burn a few calories. Just TAKE ACTION!

NOW YOU… What’s your most challenging obstacle to getting up and at ’em? Let me know in the comments section below!  And please forward this and share with friends who may benefit. 

Other posts you may like:

 7 fitness & weight loss hacks no one tells you

5 (non-exercise) things you must do to lose weight after 50

4 Motivation killers you underestimate (and how to turn them around)

Got questions or comments? Drop me a line at linda@lindamelone.com!

Your Ageless Body Coach,