The key to a healthy lifestyle is action

When I was in my early 20s, which feels like a hundred years ago, my idea of getting on track with a new fitness plan was suiting up in my workout clothes and then going to Fred Meyer to purchase a Power Bar, a Diet Dr. Pepper and a Shape Magazine.

I'd come home, nestle into my cozy couch, and read the magazine while consuming those treats.

I wasn't on a stair climber or treadmill while thumbing through page after page of exercise moves and health ideas. Nope. I wasn't at all "working out." But I always felt that just sorta thinking about getting healthy, made me feel as if I'd done something positive for my body.

Really, the only productive component of this scenario is what I gleaned from the two-page "In Every Issue" section of those magazines: inspiration via the success stories of ordinary people. Not the fitness models with chiseled muscles and perfect form, but the regular people, like you and me, profiled in the magazine.

They're people who'd made changes in their health and fitness levels -- on their own. I'm a huge fan of those before and after photos, and advice from "Average Jane" or "Normal Joe" about what can work for all of us. When I would see their pictures, read their stories and pay attention to their get-fit tips, I felt instantly hopeful that I could make changes, too.

That's part of why I offered to share my own Commit 2 Be Fit journey on KATU through weekly reports and in my blog posts. I want to serve as inspiration for you! We all need a jolt of it once in a while.

If you've seen some of my other blog posts you know my deal. I'm an almost-40, working mom who struggles with my weight, energy level, time management, confidence and various life-concerns. So I'm well aware that reaching goals we have for ourselves in the health and fitness department can be extraordinarily tough.

I know where I want to be health wise, but getting there man, it's taking all the commitment I can muster! So let's talk about commitment as a means of inspiring one another. As I see it, the beginning stages of committing to be fit involve a few steps:

1. Making sacrifices
2. Dedication
3. Planning
4. Getting back up if we fall

Making sacrifices means you can't always have your cake and eat it, too. In other words, we simply cannot eat anything and everything we want, and expect to lose weight or feel really, truly healthy.

That's the most difficult part of all this for me. It makes me mad, especially in Portland where the bounty of this food- and drink-centric town is nearly impossible to resist! I don't usually want to pass on seconds at dinner or avoid having cake at the office when a co-worker celebrates a birthday.

But I've been doing just that lately, and the really cool part is sacrifices like this lead to more mindful eating.