Monday, July 15, 2013
A lot of the reason I ate the foods that I did was to feel good - either taste-wise or emotional-wise. Pizza and burgers, ice cream and chips, cookies and iced vanilla lattes have those key ingredients that make our taste buds and hormones go all wild - sugar, fat, and salt. But as we know, this is just a temporary fix. In a few hours, I'll feel sick to my stomach and guilty. I'll gain more weight around the middle and feel miserable about myself.
So what can we do to give ourselves those "happy feelings" without adding pounds to our middles? For many of us, the key is oddly enough exercise.
Now, this time last year, exercising did NOT give me those "happy feelings". Walking around during lunch left me in a sweaty mess. I was too tired for the fitness center, and if I ever rode my bike, I wouldn't have gotten far before I was exhausted.
I really needed to lose weight before I started incorporating exercise into my life. That may not be the key for everyone, but it's what worked for me. I had lost 50+ pounds before I started exercising even remotely regularly - and even then it was walking around during lunch. Then I started going to the fitness center and hitting the treadmill. And then I started to my campaign to get me to running - adding the charity bike ride along the way.
It's really funny - when it comes time in the evening for me to go to the fitness center, I'm a little resistant. "I'm tired." "It's late." But then I get my butt there and start working out - and I love it. I'm really liking my training to run. I like building up a sweat. I love seeing how fast I can go, how many miles I can accumulate, how much time I spend in each interval running. And when I am done, yes, I'm tired, but it's a GOOD tired. A "I worked my muscles" tired. And I find I have energy for the rest of the evening - and I sleep AMAZING.
Thinking of my long-term maintenance plan, this is something I want to keep doing. I want to continue training to run until I can actually run like 30 min or whatever. I want to make working out at least 3 times a week a regular thing. This is my "me" time - this is me giving my body some time to work out all the stress of the day and build up my strength. I don't really see exercise anymore as an excuse to eat more food or to lose more weight. Exercise is work, yes, but it's also supposed to be a bit of fun. And if it isn't fun, then I shouldn't be doing it.
I heartily recommend you find some type of exercise YOU LIKE (not your friends, not your family, not the trainer at the gym, but YOU) and have fun. Maybe it's swimming. Maybe it's walking your dog. Maybe it's mountain biking or hiking or basketball or yoga. Whatever it is, find it and have fun with it. Give your body something it can be happy about withOUT feeling hugely guilty at the end!!
(Oh, and please be careful with all types of exercise that you aren't overdoing it and hurting yourself! PLEASE!!)