Women choose between Mount Everest or the couch

cat couch

For most people, a calendar is just a place to keep track of your dental appointments and dinner parties.  But ever since I was given the Mayo Clinic calendar called The Road To Better Health, I’ve been spending more time reading the tips around the little appointment boxes than actually writing inside the boxes.

I especially liked the calendar page called “Mount Everest or the Couch”. This section reminds us that reducing our health risks for heart disease is not an all or nothing goal. Yet how many women are ready to head straight to the Häagen-Dazs after falling off the diet wagon, or to stop going to the gym entirely just because they’ve missed a few workouts?  My Mayo Clinic calendar reminds us:

“Your choice of destinations doesn’t have to be climbing Mount Everest or just sitting at home on the couch.”

Yet this can be a seductive choice to make, especially if you’ve ever had a scenario like this:

Everything is going great. You’ve been walking three times a week on your lunch hour and you feel like you’ve made real progress.  Then disaster strikes! Your week gets filled with meetings and you need those walking minutes to prepare.  By Friday, you realize you haven’t even walked once.  You think: “Oh, great! there go my healthy heart plans!”

Don’t get completely derailed.  Try these Mayo Clinic reminders:

  • Forgive and move on: making a mistake doesn’t have to end your journey. Don’t let one slip destroy your self-confidence. Give yourself a clean slate and focus on moving again in the right direction.
  • Remember your motivation: Think about why you wanted to walk at lunchtime in the first place.  Keep that in mind as you plan ahead.
  • Don’t over-compensate: It can be tempting to try to make up for last week’s walking time by trying to fit in twice as much time this week. But if you can’t keep it up, you’re going to feel even more behind. Instead, go back to the basics. Work in as many of those short walks as you can, and get back on track.
  • Create solutions: Learn from your experience and plan for the next time you know your week is going to be really busy.  Think about another time or day you might walk, or set a smaller goal during those times.

Find out more about Mayo Clinic’s tips for improving your heart health.

4 thoughts on “Women choose between Mount Everest or the couch

  1. Hoooo boy – I’ve just forwarded this to my sisters. We are definitely “all or nothing” people, which means we’re either deliriously celebrating some amazing accomplishment or utterly despondant because we have failed miserably at something. Exhausting….


  2. “…Forgive and move on: making a mistake doesn’t have to end your journey…”

    You know what? This is SO TRUE in life as well as merely just getting fit and healthy. How many times have I let an embarrasssing incident or a misunderstood comment convince me to completely dread certain circumstances or people instead of remembering to “forgive and move on”? THANK YOU for this – you never know when and how an AHA moment will strike on this website.


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