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Oliver: 2012 offers (another) chance to get off couch

Some people are yo-yo dieters. I seem to be a yo-yo exerciser.

Over the years, I’ve had gym memberships, bought a variety of home exercise tools, and vowed to try one type of routine or another.

I manage to make it work for a while, but inevitably I find myself parked on the couch again.

Winters, with their shorter days and lower temperatures, make it so easy to curl up under a blanket. Wake me when it’s springtime.

So it’s been interesting to read and view all of the recent stories and videos that we have been putting in the paper and online at as part of our “A Healthier You in 2012” campaign, which runs through Saturday.

More than half of the residents of McHenry County are overweight or obese based on body mass index, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.

It appears that I’m not alone.

Since my BMI is just a hair over 25, I know that the key for me is to exercise again. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight; anything over 30 is obese.

Three years ago, a health department Heart Smart for Women class taught me the basics of eating healthier and exercising. The better eating habits stuck, in part because my husband bought into the new diet that emphasized more fruits and vegetables and correct portion sizes.

In typical male fashion, though, he managed to lose 40 pounds when we started eating better and exercising.

Who said life was fair? I’m just happy he’s healthier; I’d like to keep him around for as long as possible.

This time, my regular exercise routine lasted just a few months. Frankly, I don’t even remember quite when it ended.

Now, it’s safe to say, I’m back to being sedentary and making excuses. Laziness, thy name is Joan.

However, I’ve been taking steps to get back to it, even if the actual steps haven’t happened yet.

As an avid reader of a couple of health and fitness magazines, I’ve seen story after success story of people who were heavier, busier and had more excuses than even I do.

I’m inspired, even if I’m not exactly motivated.

Like many people, I can recite the benefits of being active.

Feel better. Sleep better. Lose weight. Fight depression. Manage stress.

But there’s a difference between knowing something and applying it.

So it’s time to dust off the treadmill, put on the sneakers, and start moving.

To help make that happen, I’m reviewing the handouts I received from Heart Smart class, and I’m going to try a neat online tracker that will map my progress.

Will this be the time that the healthy habit sticks?

That remains to be seen, but I have to start somewhere.

Here’s to a healthier you, too.

• Joan Oliver is a community editor for the Northwest Herald. She can be reached at 815-526-4552 or by email at

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