Coming from someone that suffers from anxiety, I can tell you that exercise is one of the greatest, natural ways to relieve those feelings. Studies have proven that exercise can provide effective relief from anxiety and continue long after a workout is over.
When people come to me for help losing weight I usually tell them not to check the scale too often. I believe that it is far better to focus on the positive changes that can happen when you get in shape and eat right rather than the negative thinking around losing weight and dieting. If you have an otherwise healthy diet than getting off track once in awhile with a piece of cake or some French fries won’t necessarily reflect itself on the scale as long as you maintain healthy eating the majority of the time.
The focus should be on making sure you get consistent exercise week to week. Looking good on the outside comes from being determined on the inside. A really great tool to keep you on track and motivated day to day is to create a vision board. Find pictures of strong, healthy and happy people (fitness magazines and Pinterest are great for this) Add some motivational quotes that speak to you and make sure to include a picture of yourself when you are feeling at your best. Put it in a prominent spot where you will see it everyday. Update it whenever you feel the urge.
There will no doubt be times when things will derail your workout plans whether it’s a cold virus knocking you out, spending too many overtime hours at work or overindulging at a party. The important thing is to not beat yourself up. Keep your eye on the ultimate goal of being that healthy person you want to be and get at it again when you can. The healthier you are the better you will be able to handle all the crazy things life throws at you.
So instead of looking to the scale for validation of how your doing, pay attention to how you are feeling mentally and physically. That is the best indication of whether the changes you are making are working. Nourish your mind, body and soul and the benefits will become apparent to you and everyone around you.
My Vision Board
I know many moms can relate to the challenge of finding time to workout amongst all the responsibilities of being a mother. When your kids are young and basically sucking the life force energy out of you, it’s hard enough just to find time to nap let alone get a workout in. And of course in this society we are expected to fit back into our skinny jeans weeks after giving birth. Isn’t that what all the celebrities manage to do?
In the beginning it’s just about going easy on yourself. Some days are down right blissful when your baby decides to take an extra long nap so you actually might have a chance to workout AND get a shower. Other days just don’t work out as planned and the flow of your day gets completely out of whack. Just keep in mind that the blissful times will return and you can get back on track with your fitness another day. When my kids were babies I would put them in the swing or exersaucer next to me while I did some Billy Blanks Tae Bo (at that time he had his own 24 hour channel on satellite) I loved being able to interact with them and still do something healthy for myself and I always felt better afterward. The challenges of the rest of the day would always seem easier to handle after a sweat session.
Now that my kids are older they totally get the reason why mom works out. A happy mom makes for an easy going mom. The really cool thing is now they want to workout with me. I love having mother and son time together exercising. It makes us all feel better. I love knowing that they are starting to develop the healthy habits that will last their lifetime. It’s amazing how much they will talk about what is going on with them when the endorphins of exercise kick in. It’s really important that kids see you doing something for yourself that will keep you in good health. Kids intuitively know that it will benefit them as well to have parents without health problems. Speaking from my own experience, growing up I would see my dad come home late from the office and stressed out most days. I would rarely see him exercise. The odd time I would see him ride his bike around and I spent time with him in a canoe. But I never saw him completely able to cleanse himself of stress. Looking back I wish he took more time for himself so he could have stuck around to see me grow up and meet his grandchildren. He died of a heart attack when I was 16.
My hope is that we can all carve out time to make health a priority in our lives.
Too many people nowadays are consumed with being busy and wear that as a badge of honour. But there is nothing wrong with saying no to something so you can sweat for a little while, breath deep and get your balance back.