Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Beck Book - Day 9

Select an Exercise Plan

This was easy for me. One of the reasons I really wanted to lose weight was to exercise comfortably again. I love to exercise. I love the endorphins that a hard sweat gives you and the feeling that carries throughout the day. Before Medifast, I tried to lose weight by exercising and not changing how I ate. In 6 months, I lost about 5 pounds even with working out 1-2 hours 5-6 days a week. It wasn’t working, so I made the choice to change my eating habits. The first 3 weeks on Medifast, I followed the guidelines and did not exercise other than a couple of short walks with the dogs. In the fourth week, I started walking and adding some workouts at the gym. Before too long I started the C25K program. That was what I wanted most in exercise. I wanted to run again. In the early’90s I ran often and was up to about 25 miles a week. Once I stopped running and didn’t change how I was eating, the weight started coming on and didn’t stop.
  1. Probably the biggest reason I exercise is to relieve stress. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain which give us a feeling of well-being. That eases the way I deal with everyday stresses of life. I feel better both physiologically and psychologically when I exercise. I am more comfortable in my own skin when I exercise. My joints don’t ache as much and there is less stiffness. I am more confident, more cheerful and more patient when I exercise. I can let things go when I am working out. I think about one thing and one thing only. It allows me to really focus.
  2. I am also very competitive. I like seeing if I can win or better my own times. I love putting on a race number and seeing my statistics printed out. It makes me accountable to keep training.
  3. I want to age gracefully. When I am old, I want to be able to enjoy life to its fullest. I don’t want to be one of the seniors that I care for; I want to be out and doing. The best way I know to do that is to start now. One of the best ways to care for my brain is aerobic exercise. Getting the oxygen and blood flowing through the brain encourages it to remain strong and decreases the risk of short term memory loss. That is reason enough for me.
  4. One last reason I exercise is those little indulgences. Not right now as I am staying true to my diet plan, but in the future. I want to have the opportunity to have a dish of ice cream on occasion without worrying that my weight will go back up. For that I choose to exercise.
There are many ways I do bits and pieces of spontaneous exercise during the day. I have never been one to park close to the store; I’d rather park a ways and walk. I love that my house has stairs and I go up and down them often. I don’t try to carry a big load of laundry around I take a few pieces and put them away and then go back for more. The little things do add up, but I really love my planned outings specifically for exercise. There is no better part to my day than to tie my running shoes and head off into the neighborhood for a bit of solitude.

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