Groove like Kate Hansen

February 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

So last night I was watching the Olympics while perusing twitter

If you’ve never watched television with Twitter you’re totally missing out

You’d be shocked to discover that no matter what you are watching

On whatever obscure channel you’re watching it on

Someone else out there is watching it too and commenting on it

It takes effort, of course, to tweet and pay attention at the same time

But trust me–it’s fun

Now I make an effort to watch my favorite shows live if possible

Because I feel like I’m watching with a room full of people

Even if the only one next to me is the cat

But the Olympics is (of course) not some obscure show on some obscure channel

So the tweets are flying fast

And last night it was all hashtag Kate Hansen hashtag dancing hashtag AWESOME

Kate Hansen is an American athlete in the Olympic luge competition

And while everyone else is doing very traditional warm ups

Kate Hansen is dancing to Beyonce

That is how she gets ready for her race

Like this

So I totally wasn’t expecting to see this

And at first I didn’t know what to think about it

But then I was captivated by her energy

And her smile

I’m not the only one because tons of twitter users were tweeting things like

#Katehansen is swag

#Katehansen is awesome

#Katehansen makes me want to luge

And I felt the same way

I started thinking to myself

What if that’s how I prepared myself for the gym every day?


What if that was my workout?

Just dancing around in my living room

Living in the moment

But then suddenly I heard this announcer criticize her warm up routine

He said he wished she was doing something more “sport specific”

“I would like to see something a little more sports specific from her. What you see out of the top runners, the really heavy hitters, is they’re working those start muscles, they’re working the low back, they’re working the arms and the shoulders and getting the power out of them. Because the start has to be a powerful, explosive movement. And while that might be a very good, general warm-up, I’m not sure it gets the job done for medal contention.”

In other words…..


At least not for this guy….

And I can’t help but see how this mirrors real life for so many of us

For those of us trying so hard to lose weight and get healthy

In the midst of a thousand voices telling us how it SHOULD be done

Do you know how hard it is for some people to just get off the couch at all?

Because it is REALLY hard for a lot of us out there!!

Maybe it’s our weight or arthritis or depression

But for some reason some of us have a serious problem even getting UP

There was a time when my feet were so swollen I couldn’t wear shoes

There was a time when I was so big I could barely fit on a toilet seat

And broke them on a regular basis

There was a time when walking in place for 30 seconds WAS my  marathon

And if I had continued to listen to the people who told me I had to do at least a mile for it to count

Then I would still weigh over 400 pounds

When I finally got the courage to go walking outside after I had lost some initial weight

Some guy in a truck yelled at me out the window that I was too fat to be outside


Like there was a weight limit on someone’s right to exist

If I had listened to him, I would never have walked outside again

In the past 2 years, I have lost over 200 pounds

And the most important thing I have learned

Is to do it MY WAY

Because what matters the most FOR ME about exercise

Is that I do it

Whatever IT is…

As long as IT is something

As long as IT involves moving

Then it’s a victory

I know that to a lot of people out there

It’s all about heart rate and form and mileage

And I’m not saying they’re wrong

It’s a proven fact that you can improve your workout results

If you follow certain rules and procedures

Doing things in a certain way at a certain rate for a certain time

But here’s the thing….

None of that matters if you don’t show up in the first place

For some of us, showing up at all IS the win

And I know this

My main workout routine is showing up

Doing something and doing something again the next day

If I can accomplish that—I’m happy

Kate Hansen said she dances to Beyonce because it makes her feel “fierce”

Because it gets her “pumped”

You know what I did today??

I READ on the treadmill at a rate of 2.5 miles per hour

Yep–that’s what I did

And do you know what?

I’ve had TONS of people tell me that reading on the treadmill cancels out any progress

That if I can read while I am on the treadmill….then I’m not working out hard enough

That if  can focus on the page…I am not doing enough

Well this is what I say to THAT

Not doing enough by WHOSE STANDARDS??

Two years ago I would drop my kids off at school

Drive through 3 different drive thru’s

And get 3 different breakfasts

Then come home and eat all 3 of them by myself

While staring at the TV

And then I’d reach over and crack open my first of 12 Pepsi’s

While eating my first donut from my first box of the day

2 years later, I am more than 200 pounds lighter

And I go to the gym when I drop my kids off

And I read on the treadmill while walking at a slower pace than I can technically handle

Because I can walk faster than 2.5 miles per hour

I can even jog now if I choose

And sometimes I do

But today I read on the treadmill

Because that’s what I needed to do to keep myself ON the treadmill

Because I didn’t feel like going

In fact, I put my pajamas back on twice before I made it into my workout clothes

And I drove home once and then turned around in the driveway after convincing myself to go to the gym

I’ve had people say if I insist on reading then I should only listen to audio books

That way I can still focus on my workout

Here’s why I prefer reading on the Kindle

I put it OVER that display that shows how far I have walked

Because I often torture myself by staring at how SLOWLY it seems to be moving

And then obsessive thoughts go through my head of…

When will this end???

Why doesn’t it go faster??

I can’t take it anymore!

I’m distracted by literally everything

The 20 television monitors hanging from the ceiling

That lady next to me

That man in front of me

But when I have a book in front of me

I get lost in it

I’m a bookworm by nature!

And if that’s what it takes to get me on my feet

Then so be it

Dancing to Beyonce makes Kate Hansen feel pumped and fierce

This bookworm looks forward to walking on the treadmill because she gets to read

And it’s amazing how time flies for me when I’m doing this

So maybe I’m not running 10 miles at the speed of Superman

At least I’m UP

At least I’m THERE

And that’s good enough for me

So maybe that commentator thinks Kate Hansen’s warm up isn’t “sport specific” enough

But if you ask me

The smile on her face and the joy that emanates from her is all the proof that I need

Whatever she’s doing….works

It inspired thousands of twitter users

It inspired me

And I think that is worth more than anything

So today let’s be like Kate Hansen

Let’s do what works for us

Let’s be fierce and pumped about what makes US tick

Not caring what others say

Do what works for YOU

What makes YOU move and groove

If it’s dancing in the living room…then do it!!

Because someone will always be out there to tell you it’s not enough

Don’t let them!!!



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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Donita Hammond February 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Your posts speak to me so much. I was so in agreement when I read your posts about sugar addiction. And the past few weeks have me nodding my head and saying “exactly!” When you talk about how getting the DVD player set up for a workout might be enough to block you, I think “yes!” And today talking about being distracted by everything on the treadmill and needing to block the display so you can’t think about how slow it is going,I understand completely. And oh how I hate the “you aren’t doing it right” mindset of those who don’t understand that we each have different demons.

Thanks for putting into words what I have thought so many times. Ian glad you are posting again. You are an inspiration and encouragement to me.


Rhonda W February 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Totally 100% agree…. shame on that sportscaster for making such a negative comment. She is an OLYMPIAN for goodness sake! Great job Holly on the treadmill. I have read about people that have treadmill desks and they walk slow enough to work, read, etc and they get lots of benefit from it. Same principle applies to you walking 2.5 mph. Keep it up. Hugs, Rhonda from Oregon


Lori February 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Great analogy there. I love how you are able to draw such relevant comparisons like that. You have a gift.
Lori recently posted..Good Grief!My Profile


16blessingsmom February 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Ha, I love it! We have to stop measuring each other by each other, and do what works. I am very self conscious about exercising, I feel like I do it all wrong. But it is better than ignoring that niggling voice that tells me to Get Moving! Thank you for the encouragement!



Anneli Byrd February 12, 2014 at 9:57 pm

OH BRAVO!!!!!!!! You said that beautifully and YES YES YES!!!!! I’ve been keeping a blog for years specifically to work on finding what works for me, because that’s the only thing that can ever possibly work for me. I love your blog and your faith and energy. Thanks so much for sharing.

PS—I’m a treadmill reader too. 🙂


LHA February 13, 2014 at 2:53 am

2.5 miles an hour on the treadmill is fast for me! I aspire to do that! So, good for you that you can do it comfortably enough to read while doing it. I totally understand about not wanting to look at the display, because it seems like the tenths of a mile will never add up. I am definitely going to try the reading while walking on the treadmill as a way to help me do more. By the way, I also find that when I swim laps or do any other form of exercise I do better to just go at a rate that I feel is the best I can do and then I just just measure my time rather than counting laps or miles or steps or whatever. I try to go as hard as I am comfortable with for 15 minutes, or 20 minutes, or even just 5 minutes and then I try to improve on that time by keeping it up a little longer each day. It takes some of the stress out of exercise for me.

Thanks for a great post and an awesome blog!


Susan February 13, 2014 at 4:56 am

Loved this!!! I’m not on twitter but it drives me nuts when a commentator criticizes the athlete. She will warm up or work out to suit her needs. If she feels this is how she relaxes her mind and prepares her muscles then what’s the big deal with the negativity from the commentator. I think I may just add some dance moves to my day (I don’t dance nearly as good as her but who cares!)


Tess February 13, 2014 at 4:30 pm

I do the exact same thing! When I feel like I NEED to read but I still have to get in my exercise, then I walk on the treadmill at 2 or 2.5 and get BOTH done!!!! LOVE it. You’re still moving and you’re reading, what’s better than that?!


Beth February 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Yes, yes, yes! I loved this entire post from you love of the luger to your comparison of your experiences.
Beth recently posted..Sunny outside, Cloudy in my brainMy Profile


Lori February 13, 2014 at 10:41 pm

I am one of those people who does not really like to exercise. But I want to stay healthy. So on the days I can’t make myself do what other people say I “should” do, I just tell myself that to move is better than not to move. And if I want to walk slowly on the treadmill or walk outside for 15 minutes or dance to one song in my living room, I just do that. And sometimes, I enjoy it enough to go a little longer or a little harder, but at least I’ve done something. I think you’re onto something!


Anna February 14, 2014 at 1:09 am



Jenny February 14, 2014 at 1:17 am

Thank you for confessing that it is still hard to exercise, even after years. I have rarely – if ever – experienced an endorphin rush from exercising, and it is disheartening to feel like I must not be doing it right if I don’t love it. Thank you for the encouraging words.


Hope February 15, 2014 at 4:52 am

I’ve been riding my exercise bike starting at 15 minutes and working my way up a minute or 2 each week. I get very bored so I have been having my morning prayer time while I ride. I forget I’m even riding I get so involved talking to my father. Have done this only twice so far but it’s a wonderful way to exercise and I actually am looking forward to my exercise and prayer time.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm

I do this too!!


nicole February 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

Thanks for this post. I didn’t expect to be crying after I read it because sadly I don’t feel good enough, I am like you, I will put my pjs back on because mentally I just can’t move forward some days. Thanks for your honesty, thanks for being you! If I were closer to SA or you were closer to Houston I would meet you at the gym!!


Erin February 18, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Nailed it, as usual, Holly. I was just recently deciding not to go to a spin class because I only made it through 30 of the 45 minutes last time and that was (you guessed it) “Not good enough.” Then I thought – what if I made 15 minutes my victory? What about just showing up? You rock girl, always writing what we are thinking and feeling.


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