I – Inertia and Inactivity

I have been thinking a great deal about inertia versus inactivity.  Why?  Well, because, as usual I am behind on my blog posts for the A-Z Challenge, and I need something for the “I” post.  Additionally, I was wondering what it takes for an hour overweight person, such as myself, to get off their rather large posterior and make changes.

What is inertia – a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force.


indisposition to motion, exertion, or change (according to Merriam-Webster.com)

Garfield bellarmine.edu

I have decided I have been in a state of inertia for the last 10 years, just sitting by and watching the weight creep on, and not really caring.  Or maybe I did secretly care, but because of other things going on in my life, I just didn’t have the extra energy to make changes.  It takes a great deal of energy to make changes – I remember that from a Sociology class I took in college.

 What is inactivity – the state of being inactive or idleness. 


Reluctance to take action or apathy.

Evolution-to-fat cielitoindoranch.org

I believe I have experienced inactivity, although I am always quite busy – taking care of everyone but myself.  And at the end of the day, when everyone else’s needs have been met, I sank into my bed, wondering when it was going to be my time, what was it going to take to get out from under this cloud of inertia and I would plan how to be better and do better the next day, but then life rears it’s ugly head.

And so, for about the last year, I have been making the tiniest changes, little changes no one else noticed, and didn’t take away from their needs being met.  Changes such as not eating as much sugar, not having a Starbucks drink every day, not eating until that sense of fullness settles in my stomach, and makes me miserable and sluggish – just minute changes, but changes nonetheless.

And then, not so long ago, when I went to see my Primary Care Provider, and there was the blood pressure scare, did I get that proverbial kick in the ass, and realized something monumental needed to be done. That “kick in the ass” was the energy I needed to get out of my state of inertia, induced the motion and eradicated the state of inactivity.


For those of us that are overweight, especially mothers and caretakers, the process of losing weight can be considered quite a selfish activity.  Going to the gym, and not staying at home and doing all the chores no one else wants to do, or chooses not to do, may feel like a self-absorbed thing.  Preparing healthy food that is maybe not as tasty as all the fried foods, carbohydrate-laden food and offering it to their families seems selfish as well (but is really good for everyone). Of course one could prepare multiple dinners (which I have done, but then I am in the kitchen until 10 o’clock at night and then I become resentful). Also purchasing the items to prepare healthy meals is definitely more expensive, especially if one purchases the organic, non-GMO, free-range, cage-free and antibiotic-free food.

And telling an overweight person, they are fat and sloth-like only reinforces the feeling of inertia, only adds to the state of inactivity. Its hard to overcome that. Seeing all the super-thin, fat-free models and celebrities plastered all over the media most assuredly adds to the feeling of inertia, because becoming like them seems like such an improbability and one tells themselves, “Yeah, I could be like that if I had a personal chef, a personal trainer, a housekeeper, a gardener, someone to do the laundry, and had nothing else to worry about, except for looking good.  But I don’t and I won’t” and then the clouds of inertia thicken and become darker.

Something must click, and I have waited 10 years for that click to occur inside my brain.  But that cloud of inertia is lifting, I am over the whole “being selfish to my family” and I suddenly feel like I might be regaining control of my life. Now I just need to keep the momentum going, and not let that inertia and inactivity seep its way back into my life.

To sum it all up, I have developed a diagram.   I like diagrams.

Inertia ———-> Inactivity———-> Kick in the Ass ———> Desire to Change ——->Activity


Photo credits:







15 replies »

  1. I’m a busy mom as well. But it’s so important to take care of yourself. I’ve gained and lost the same 50 pounds so many times. I have foot issues so it’s hard to do the exercises I use to do, which was walking. I bought a recumbent bike on Amazon for under $200. I’ve now decided to ride my bike every day for an hour. Since I started doing this, I’ve lost five pounds. I’ve also gone back to keeping a daily food journal. Once you start doing some sort of exercise, you will feel so much better. I have a ton of jeans that I want to fit back into. Good luck!

    • I have been swimming, which I really, really enjoy. Also keeping a food journal that includes water intake, food eaten, exercise done and daily weight. It is really interesting to look back at the initial entries and see how far I have come in just several weeks. By the way, do you find your family leaves you alone for the hour you are on your bike? Congratulations on the weight loss!!!! Oh yes, I have stacks of jeans in multiple sizes in my closet as well. But the ultimate goal is the Size 6 pair of Banana Republic khakis. It might be a pipe dream, but that’s what I am aiming for.

      • Yes, they do leave me alone. I have one child who is a teenager. I joined a gym to specifically swim, but haven’t been since I had a bout of Bell’s palsy and have vision issues with my left eye. Plus both swim caps I bought leak, and my hair was getting destroyed. Any recommendations for a good swim cap? Good for you going for the size 6. I recently gave a boatload of clothes to my co-worker. We are both the same height, and she’s wearing clothes I was wearing a few years ago. That is really helping me with my weight loss goal. The food journal really is key for long term weight loss. It’s a never ending struggle for sure. Good luck.

    • This was definitely a hard post to write, because I was trying to be so honest, and really think about what had made me get to this point. And really I had no one to blame but myself. I think there are lot of people that feel this way, just stuck in a rut, with no apparent way out.

    • Thank-you MTM. This is kind of why I chose to do this for my A-Z Challenge, because I really needed to sort out what was going on in my brain, and really explore it. I want to document a painfully honest weight-loss journey, because I know there are gazillions of people like me, just struggling – trying to find the answers.

  2. I got a Fitbit last January and have lost more than 20 pounds and my activity level is off the charts. Joe visiting from the Fiction Playground during the A to Z.

    • Hi Joe, it is funny that you should mention that, because I was just looking at them in Best Buy yesterday. Unfortunately, they don’t have one that is water-proof, and to track my caloric expenditure during my workouts, I would need one that I could wear when I was swimming. I did however discover the Apple Watch has a model that is water-resistant to 50 meters, but of course it is more than twice as expensive as the Fit-bit. Will have to save my pennies, I suppose. Thank-you so much for coming to visit. I will be over, once I get caught up with my post, which I am miserably behind in (as usual).

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