wasn't that I was sick or anything. But I didn't have the energy I used to, and
I was starting to worry about my future health."
That worry is
what led Shellie, 39, to take a good, long look at her daily habits. "Staying
in shape takes time," she said, "and time is what I just don't have as a single
mom with a full-time job."
An office manager with an 8-year-old
daughter and a 5-year-old son, Shellie was at an unhealthy weight. And her blood
pressure and cholesterol numbers were starting to creep up. That concerned her,
because her mother
has type 2 diabetes and her father died of a heart attack when he was just 48.
"I realized that I had put myself on the back
burner for too long and it was time for me to make time for myself, even if it
was just a few minutes a day," she said. "I wrote myself a note and taped it to
my bathroom mirror. It said, 'I will take a 10-minute walk during my morning
coffee break every day this week.'"
The next week, another note
went up on the mirror. This one said, "I will take a 10-minute walk during my
morning break AND my afternoon break every day this week." Those two walks
added up to 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and she was delighted to find that
they did NOT take any extra time out of her day.
One of her
coworkers, Tara, started walking with Shellie during their breaks. "Tara wore a
pedometer that kept track of how many steps she took. She had this contest with
herself to see how many steps she could record during a regular work day. I
wanted one of those gadgets!" Shellie said.
She got herself a
pedometer and clipped it on every morning. At work she looked for every
opportunity to get up and walk around. "I'd walk over to someone's desk instead
of e-mailing or phoning them. Once in a while I'd walk up the stairs to the
second floor just for no reason. It was actually fun to check my pedometer and
see the numbers."