In my last blog post, I had introduced the concept of Primary Foods– the areas of life that feed us that are not food. One area is Physical Activity (or exercise, for the purpose of this article).
I know you have all heard this saying before: “The best exercise is the one that you will do.” How many of you know that is true?
Let me share a little bit about my journey with exercise. In first grade, my class was playing softball and I got hit–hard– in the forehead with a softball. I stood there- frozen — as it hit me ( no pun intended) that a ball just flew into my head. Ever since then, I have been a little afraid of the ball. In P.E., when we would play volleyball, I would always duck when the ball came toward me, like it was about to attack me. In high school, we had to run a mile in P.E. I hated to run– absolutely hated it. But I did it because I had to. Not to mention, I was living in Flagstaff at the time, and running in cold weather made my chest hurt. I got to college and started being obsessed with exercise– I was starving myself and exercise was just one other way to find the “perfect” body and feel in control at the same time. I began to be obsessed with the very thing I hated– I would run every day- and not just once– twice a day. In a way, I felt like I was punishing myself.
The irony of it all is, as I recovered from the eating disorder, I gradually began to really enjoy running. Especially as I started running more for toning and strength, versus weight loss. Also, I really liked the feeling I got afterward. When my kids were young– really young (Briana was only 6 weeks old)- I began an exercise program for moms called Stroller Strides– we would jog with our strollers and then stop to do interval strength training. I really loved it and got so much stronger because of it.
Once my kids got older, my exercise routine waxed and waned…and then the problems began… I started getting pain in my hip which lasted several months.. I eventually was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia once the pain had spread throughout my body. That was the end of running and I felt very sorry for myself. I remember feeling like I could never do intense exercise again. I had turned to a friend who also had chronic pain , who had told me she wanted to try Zumba, and I thought she was crazy.
Well, now my Fibromyalgia pain is GONE (that is a story in itself), and I am really enjoying exercise again! This time, I am NOT running– but I am doing the very thing I thought would be crazy– Zumba! I also really enjoy doing yoga! What keeps me going? The feeling I get afterward!
Why do I exercise? Not for weight loss, because I don’t really need to lose weight. Not because I think I should. I exercise because it feels good, it helps me feel stronger, and I know that diet is only half the equation when it comes to getting healthy.
I don’t even like to think of it as exercise… I like to think of it as Enjoyable Movement. I feel more alive when I do zumba or yoga. I feel more empowered.
Physical Activity is one of the Primary Foods… one of the “foods” in life that feed us. How are you doing with this area? I challenge you to try one new form of “Enjoyable Movement” this week!
Certified Health Coach
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