Skinny Daily Post


Work out harder today than yesterday, and tomorrow your muscles will be a little sore. You will want to stretch them. You will warm up a little before you stretch of course. Then as long as you’re moving, you keep moving. Before long you’ve exercised again. Tomorrow you will need to do the same thing, but perhaps more so.

Keep that up — exercising and then more exercise to recover from exercising — and some day soon your muscles will wake you up, fully refreshed each morning, demanding that you take them out for a sweat. In a few months, you will wonder out loud how strong you can be. You test your limits. That’s the additive, and some would say addictive, nature of exercise. The more you do, the more you want to do. And desire is a powerful tool for developing a new habit.

A few years ago I changed my body from a profoundly sedentary one to an exercise-dependant one. My old sedentary body was always a little sore, a little achey, easily strained and sprained. My exercise-dependant body is also always a little sore, a little achey, but full of energy, relaxed, calm, capable, not prone to illness or injury. This new body moves through space, walks and runs through my neighborhood, seeing the land and the people. This new body is fully aware of changing seasons. It gets out. It supports my life.

My new muscles have taken over. They make decisions my mind is only vaguely aware of. They pull me out of my chair when I can’t bear to sit still for one more minute. They force my legs to move when I start to feel stiff. They push and pull me into full-body stretches that look remarkably like those of my cats, my dogs. They make me move without any conscious decision at all.

It’s hard to lose and maintain a significant amount of weight, but it’s such a boon to know that if you build muscle along the way, keeping the weight off, maintaining your new body, will be much easier to do. With muscle muscling you along, your new body will insist on perpetuating itself. Muscles, once developed, will insist on being heard, will fight for their lives.

So, any diet or exercise program you’re on, any attempt to manage or maintain your health, please add strength training and adequate protein to the mix. You’ll be giving yourself the chance to get better faster and stay better longer.

I will if you will.

6 thoughts on “Muscling Muscles

  1. Jennie says:

    A body in motion stays in motion. The hardest part is getting up/out; everything after that is easier by comparison.

    Thanks for another great posting.

  2. Sara says:

    JuJu, it is amazing how sometimes the posts are just what you need to hear.

    My legs are complaining to me today. (Achy and sore) I have walked for the past two days. Just fitting it in wherever I could. But they don’t like it yet. 🙂 It is comforting to know that they will in a little while.

    Thank you.

  3. Melanie says:


    Sometimes it’s hard to get up and going. My body yells at me and tells me to sit down and stop moving. It’s achey and stiff and can be very stubborn – especially in the morning. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one sometimes. Thanks for keeping me motivated.


  4. Kery says:

    I can only so agree with all of this… Right now, Iwouldn’t even be able anymore to envision weight loss without exercising as complement, and weight lifting is now part of my weekly program. I must say, I fell in love with the delicate line of muscles showing up under one’s skin, and if there’s any way for me to be like this someday, thin and muscular, why wouldn’t I seize the opportunity and exercise accoridngly…

    Indeed, at times it’s not easy to go exercising, we just want to stay home, quietly, being on the comp or sewing or watching TV or whatever else – but then my legs suddenly feel itchy and like wanting to move, so I get going all the same. It’s really a good feeling. It’s like my body always want to move now, even if still sore from the day before’s weight-lifting session. Go fig 🙂

  5. Susan says:

    I’ve never posted before, but I had to today because this is exactly true of me, too:
    “My old sedentary body was always a little sore, a little achey… My exercise-dependant body is also always a little sore, a little achey…”

    But “sore and achey” incorporates a whole universe of gradations, and there is a world of difference between a sore back from lying around all day and sore muscles from moving around all day. I *like* to hurt from exercise. You stretch, and it feels better. You move the complaining muscle and it complains in a new way. The next day (or the day after that) it stops complaining , and you’re like, “Hey! You still there?” So you pay it some attention, just to keep it talking.

    All this is radically new, to me, though. It’s all begun happening in the last year or so, after I added to my exercise program. Before I added on, my program consisted of dropping by a gym to fill out a form and give the kid at the counter $300. Filling out the form and handing over the money = one “rep.” I do this exercise at a rate of about three reps every 10-15 years. You don’t see results like with some other programs, but somehow taking $300 out of your wallet and handing it to a guy makes it feel like you’re doing something for your health, and that used to be the point before I realized that sore and achey can be a good thing.

    This past year or so I started walking to work and that’s been really great. But that’s not the revelatory thing. Here’s the revelatory thing:

    A month or two ago a remaindered goods chain store you may have heard of recently began offering the videos from an IMMENSELY popular aerobic workout series you also may have heard of. The one comparing body parts to an industrial material? From the early 90s? They were 49 cents each! I bought the entire collection. I also pick up tapes at garage sales. I’ve got Cher’s (it’s good: she wears a corset to exercise in and her trainer is, I think, clinically insane) and Cindy Crawford’s (good, except the previous owner taped a made-for-tv movie over the last 30 minutes of it, so I had to come up with my own cool-down.) So basically what I’m saying is, you don’t have to spend any money to get the right kind of sore and achey. Also, some of these tapes are designed for the “on-the-go” person who “doesn’t have time” for exercise (for this I always read “lazy-as-hell” person who “doesn’t feel like” exercising). So instead of lying in bed for ten minutes each morning trying to psych myself up to plunge into the predawn darkness and run laps around my neighborhood, I just say, “15 minutes of sitting in a chair doing curls and I’m done!” The odd thing is, once you get up and start, you don’t want to stop. I usually end up doing over an hour of this stuff a day, and I switch out the tapes so I don’t get bored. And if my vcr eats one, there’s always another garage sale.

  6. JuJu says:

    Thanks folks, for your comments. Susan, your post is wonderful. Thanks for that. You’re right. These days when nothing’s sore, I kind of take that as a sign that I’d better get moving.

    Of course these days I have Charlie, the puppy, who speaks even louder than my muscles.

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