Activate the Body, Activate the Mind: Find the Right Reason to Exercise

     Every year around the time the ball drops, plans are being made to finally squeeze into that bikini by swim season. But as the scale does not lie, you find New Year’s resolutions are as hollow as that chocolate Easter bunny you’re gonna eat in April.

     Why do our plans to lose weight fail? Ask yourself, what is the motivation behind my decision to exercise? Any expectation you have beyond a realistic goal will fall flatter than that pancake you grab to emotionally eat. Find an activity you enjoy. A gut-busting boot camp-style workout may temporarily shave off the pounds quickly, but it may not be an activity you feel inclined to maintain after a short period of time.

     The only way to make exercise meaningful to you is to attach another purpose to it. Some practices, such as yoga or pilates, encourage someone to do their personal best, but also strive for furthering your personal best. Poses can be modified for the beginner, and then advanced as your flexibility improves. At some point you will find yourself asking “How far can I go into this mind-bending pose?” It could be a challenge that will encourage you to further your practice.

 

NO MORE YO-YO DIETING

     Weight loss is intentional, but maintaining the healthy weight once the weight is lost may be counter-intuitive. Instead of focusing on punishment and legalistic means to keep the weight off, develop a love of the new lifestyle. If this new lifestyle does not become as regular to you as brushing your teeth, you are setting yourself up for a vicious punishment cycle that is seen so frequently in yo-yo dieting.

     We have all heard it before, exercise releases endorphins which lift our spirits and give us more energy. This is not a comforting thought if your exercise routine is so high-impact that you cannot imagine yourself doing it beyond a month. Better to lose twenty pounds in six months after deciding to walk your dog, than ten pounds in one month in a class that leaves you exhausted and unmotivated to continue it for a lifetime.

 

OUR OWN PHARMACEUTICAL PLANT

     God made our bodies to be our own pharmaceutical plant. Within us there is the capability of doing amazing things with our bodies, unassisted by man-made medications (note the endorphins we release when we are active). Unfortunately, we become so out of tune with God’s word and will. Pair this with the disconnect that happens between our minds and bodies when we do not fuel them well, and our lives are thrown terribly out of balance.

     Exercise will always have its fads and trends, of this we can be certain. But, these workouts can be likened to the grapefruit or the cabbage soup diet. At first you get quick results, but that fudge brownie calls in a mean way one week into the challenge, and you may fall off your diet by decimating the entire pan of brownies. It is going to these extremes that keep people from losing weight. It is also these drastic measures that set us up for failure and can be depressing.

     You are His child, remember that.

Posted by Laura Ketchie | Counselor

Laura Ketchie, LPC is a counselor who specializes in women's issues. Her favorite verse is: "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9

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