A number of years ago, I worked for a company that brought in Weight Watchers to help its employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Though I was hesitant, I realized as I was getting older, it was becoming more and more difficult for me to maintain my weight. I wasn’t big on some of the other diet programs that were out there, because several of them required you to give up certain foods. This was something that I always had a difficult time with as I love a good pizza now and then, or a delicious dessert. But I also knew that I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing in order to maintain my weight or even lose weight. So I joined. I learned very quickly that it wasn’t so much of what you couldn’t eat but rather portions. Bellying up to the all-you-can-eat buffet, could no longer be a part of my routine. Eating the right food and the right portions was important to me now. Though I still do an all-you-can-eat fish fry during lent, and I am not giving up my Thanksgiving feast. But feeling bloated after a meal is a thing of the past for me now other than those few special occasions I just mentioned.

I also learned that eating right and dieting through portion control was not the only answer. Exercise has to be part of that routine as well. Not only to keep your weight down, but also to maintain a healthy body as well. I have only joined a gym twice in my life, and ended up quitting both times due to my busy schedule and my lack of commitment. I realized that though I now eat healthier, and no longer order the King size prime rib, but rather the petite size, it isn’t enough. Exercise HAS to be part of my routine. So I started walking. After 4 months and only losing a few pounds, I knew I needed more. So I started to really exercise, lifting weights and working on my waistline.

In Dr. Don’s Book, Your Waistline is your Lifeline, there is a direct correlation between your waist and diabetes. My mom has diabetes, so I am concerned for myself as well. And though I am not full overweight, I still need to lose about 20 lbs or more, and it is all in one area, my waistline. So how do you do that? Obviously just walking or even the added weight training isn’t making the difference. So I started on some exercises that are focused specifically on your waistline. I have included 5 of them for your convenience. I would like to say that I do these every day, but as you all know, sometimes our busy schedules don’t allow for it, but I try to do these at least 3-4 times a week if not more.

1. Corkscrew
Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides.
Straighten your legs, squeeze them together, and slowly lift them towards your head. Your body and your legs should create about a 45 degree angle. Make sure that your shoulders, arms, and head lie completely flat on the floor. Do not lift them as you lift your legs.
Slowly roll back down your spine, leaning your legs slightly to the right until you feel your oblique muscles work. Make sure your legs are squeezed together.
Return your legs back in the center, but do not put your legs on the floor.
Make the same lean to the left.
Continue going from side to side. Complete three sets, each time inhaling slowly and freezing for 2 seconds on each side.

2. Stretching
Sit tall on a mat with your back straight. Open your legs a bit wider than your shoulders.
Open your arms straight out to your sides.
Rotate your shoulders 90 degrees, and try to touch your left foot with your right hand.
Return to the starting position, and repeat the sequence with your left hand and right foot.
Complete 30 leans to each side. Make sure your back is always straight!

3. Weighted twists
Use either a dumbbell or a weight plate for this exercise. The weights will help to fix your positions and to balance the training load.
Hold the weight with both hands. Sit on your mat, bend the knees, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Lean back at 45 degrees, and hold your arms straight out in front of your chest.
Rotate to the right. Make sure to only rotate your torso.
Return to the starting position. Now, rotate to your left as far as you can. When exercising, you can try imagining a wall right behind you that you are to touch with your dumbbell or weight plate.
Repeat the twists 30 times for each side.

4. Side bend
Sit on one hip with your legs slightly bent to the side.
Engaging your thighs and abs muscles, lift your hip away from the mat, and reach your arm overhead, creating a lifted arc in the torso.
Very slowly lower the side of your calf to the mat. Count to eight.
Complete 15 high arc bends on the right, then complete 15 on the left.

5. Air swimming
Lie on your stomach with your thighs pressed together. Put your arms straight forward, and point your feet. Lift your arms, legs, chest, and head up. Hold this position.
Alternate lifting right arm/left leg and left arm/right leg without touching the floor.
Complete 10 sets of air swimming, each time counting to 20. Rest for about 10 seconds between sets.
When I was a kid, I could eat what I wanted without any effect on my body. When I think back to those days, I realized that I was eating high carb and fatty foods, and yet, no weight gain. Could it have been just because I was a kid with a high metabolism? No, there were other kids around that were overweight. The only difference was that I was very active in sports. And though I might not have been eating healthy, and portions never concerned me, I was able to keep the weight off through a vigorous exercise program through sports. My days of competing in sports as passed, unless you count my attempts at golfing. So now I need to continue to eat healthy, with proper portions and exercise more than just walking to the mailbox. So combine healthy food, appropriate portions, and a regular exercise program, you too can start working on your lifeline, that is your waistline. Keep Healthy my friends.

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