The task of losing weight has often depressed me. I’ve fought the battle, over and over again, almost always after hitting what I felt was rock bottom. I remember staring at the filled pages of my diary, splashed with dry tears, while I snacked on a box of Wheat Thins, Teddy Grahams, and Animal Crackers. I’d babbled on for pages about how ugly I felt. How gross I felt. How mad I was for letting myself go.
The thought of needing to lose weight stressed me out.
The unhappiness was softened by rushes of endorphins flying through my body released off the simple carbs I was feeding my mushy soul. I never realized that instead of chewing on simple sugars and babbling my sorrows onto the pages of my journal that what I should have been doing was going through my cupboards and throwing away every snack that threatened my ultimate happiness. I should have realized everything happens one step at a time instead of feeling the task was too daunting.
Keep It Simple
The first step was simple, feed myself with satiating foods. It started with what I put in my body. The second step, became easier the more often I did it. Exercise. The third step was feeling incredible.
It seems too simple, and yet it was a difficult habit to form. Once I formed those healthy habits, my body transformed, my acne vastly improved, my mood lifted, and my life changed. To this very day I have found that healthy eating, healthy living, and feeling incredible are what I live by. All it takes is refusing to place junk food items in my shopping cart, and making sure my weekly agenda book has exercise written as multiple appointments I cannot miss.Courtesy of Wellspan.org
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has come out with an exercise pyramid as a guideline for good health. I have this pyramid printed out and pinned on my refrigerator as a helpful motivator. At the base of the pyramid you’ll find everyday activities, such as: walking the dog, doing work around the house, walking instead of driving, and parking your car further away. As you move up the pyramid, you’ll find cardio activities, recreational activities, strength activities, and flexibility activities. At the very top of the pyramid it suggests cutting down on television and sitting computer time. So why all the fuss? Exercise brings good health, makes you happy, and has the nice side effect of weight loss.
What is happening when you exercise? You are helping reduce toxic waste buildup within your body and have found a healthy alternative to ridding your mind of stress. Toxins build up in our bodies from undigested foods, chemicals, pesticides, drugs, alcohol, food additives, exhaust fumes, smoke, you name it! It would be impossible to avoid the accumulation of such toxins without the help of exercise. When you start breathing hard from body movement, you are filling your lungs with fresh air.
Your blood starts pumping as it circulates blood throughout your body, helping to move toxins to your lymph nodes for cleansing. In Chinese medicine, you will hear the word, “chi” used often. Chi is the energy that flows through your body. When you exercise, you help move chi energy as it speeds you along the road to recovery from ailments you may or may not even be aware of.
Stress relief is another happy side effect of exercise. It seems barbaric, doesn’t it? Exercise is usually painful, tiring, exhausting, and yet it creates great relief from anxiety and the pressures of life. When you exercise, endorphins are released. These endorphins produce a feeling of wellbeing long after the workout has subsided. Pretty nice, right? I like to think that if you are focusing on the pain during a workout then you are meditating because, odds are, you aren’t thinking about anything else. So, even when that seems to be the only thing on your mind, keep your eye on the timer and meet your goal. I find time in my schedule for heart wrenching, heavy sweating, 45-minute cardio sessions three to five times a week. I couldn’t possibly explain enough how good I feel at the end of sweat-laden workouts. It is what keeps me motivated for my next workout.
Trails are one way to motivate you for an enjoyable adventure that exercises the body and mind. A good way to prepare the mind on a journey to good health could begin with a thrilling hike. As you twist and turn around the mountainous paths you can meditate on the new person you are becoming. Dedicating a life to exercise will soon become a choice you will never forget, never regret, and always thank yourself for.
From this moment forward, prioritize your schedule with cardiovascular activities at its center. Choose a life of health and happiness. The motivation you need to get you started will be found in that first breath of fresh air waiting outside your door. Let your senses escape into the spongy earth, as the scent of fallen leaves tickles your nostrils and the sight of wooded hills or rocky wilderness satisfy your mind. Seeking the sweet chirp of the melodic animals who surround the environment about you, let the intensity of mother nature unfold within you. Move with the wind, sweat like the rain. Leave this article, and go for a walk… now!