By Beth Donovan (~INDYGIRL)
I used to think “Someday when I’m thin, I’ll ______.”
I was waiting to live.
Well, guess what? Life is happening now, not 10 pounds from now.
Fitness is not a destination; it’s a journey, and it’s a process. To think that we will arrive at a state of fitness perfection one day and stay there without continuing on our journey, is a dream. Think of changing your lifestyle as evolving, not as something with which you can just be finished. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you can achieve a certain number on a scale or a certain body size and be done. The problem is that it’s never enough. You have to maintain your healthy lifestyle in order to maintain those results. You also have to fight the effects of aging on the body and metabolism. It can be done, but not in one act, one step.
This is change that needs to be nurtured and grown like a garden. You can’t just throw seeds down and have beautiful plants immediately. It takes proper soil (environment), good fertilizer (food), sun (to nurture and help the plant grow), and water (necessary for all life to survive). While you may have cleaned out your kitchen, bought your scale, measuring cups, and healthy food, is your environment stress free?
Is your family supporting you? If not, you may want to rely heavily on other (like the SparkPeople community) to give you that support. They are like the trellis for your flowers and vines to climb on and gain strength as they reach for the sun.
Is your food REALLY good for you? Have you read and done research on labels and misinformation? There are plenty of articles on SparkPeople to get you going in the right dietary direction. Forget only eating rice cakes. Check out SparkRecipes.com. You will find nourishing food that tastes wonderful and suits every palate.
Nurture yourself everyday a little bit. Whether it’s taking time for a book, a run, or a bubble bath, you need some time to yourself. You’re no doubt familiar with the importance of drinking water. It cools the body, regulates it, and is vital for life, not to mention that it suppresses the appetite.
In my weight loss journey, I’ve lost 144 pounds and counting. I’ve kept over 100 off for over two years and continue to lose. What I discovered was that sometimes things worked for me for awhile and then I needed to change it up a bit. Then I would find a new tip or trick that would work better. I am always reading SparkPeople articles, blogs, and fitness magazines to help me learn what changes to try next to keep it fresh. Reading helped me learn what to try in social situations, when I’m alone, bored, hungry, angry, tired. My favorite fitness magazines are Shape and Fitness. The two books I’ve found most helpful are The Spark, and YOU: On a Diet.
A mistake I used to make was to eat the same old foods over and over and repeat everything so that each day was boring and ritualistic. Varying things and trying new ideas gives me a sense of adventure.
Another mistake I made was going to parties or holiday celebrations with my “I will be good on my diet” mentality and end up focused on the food I was or wasn’t eating the whole time. There were people there, but I wasn’t nearly as focused on the people.
Then I read that you should vary your diet and try new things. I also learned to fill your plate first with good-for-you foods, then later take small spoonfuls of your favorites. I tried both, and by knowing I got to try new things or have what I wanted, I kept myself in check. It worked for me.
Finding a workout you like may take awhile if you don’t like exercise or are disabled. You may have to start with 3 minute, 5 minute or 10 minute chunks of workout time depending on your situation. You might be able to do more and explore different sports. Even playing with your children actively can be a cardio workout and so can rocking very fast in a rocking chair.
There are a million ways to be active. I learned that just because you’re disabled and hate exercise, doesn’t mean you can’t learn to enjoy it and do it. Seriously, I used a roller bottomed chair and rolled around my kitchen because I couldn’t walk. It was kind of fun. You can dance in bed, do chair yoga, chair tai-chi, chair dance. Weights can be done anywhere. Swimming is a great all over toner and it’s very easy on the joints. Keep trying things, no matter how silly they sound, as long as they are fun and work up a sweat and you’ll find your passion. Now, I still can’t say I LOVE exercise, but I am motivated like Pavlov’s dog when I hear my motivational workout music start.
Good luck on your journey. Remember it is your personal journey, so take what you want and leave the rest behind.
Did you ever view fitness and good health as destinations? Have you changed your mind?
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