Thursday, May 19, 2011

To run or not to run...

When people say they "love exercise" don't you think they are full of shit?! (sorry to be blunt, but loving pain is not normal) I think what they mean is they love the endorphins, "fins" as I call them. And I guess I should follow up by saying that exercise shouldn't be painful. It should push your limits, but not be painful. I think I used to say I loved exercise because I did it so much and was always an athlete growing up, people would think I was nuts if I told them running 5 miles every morning sucked, but I did it anyway, right?!

At my worst, I would force myself to run x amount of miles everyday at the same time, clockwork, despite the fact that my body was tired, my back was in pain, my knees both had pretty severe tendonitis, I was not properly fueled, and I WAS EXHAUSTED. This dark place, I would never wish on my worst enemy. Not only was I not listening to my body cues, I was miserable, tired, and more depressed than ever. Not to mention sleep deprived, crabby, and not fun to be around. Oh yeah, and I didn't want to/didn't have the energy to see my friends. (ps: friends that stick around during this time in my life will never leave. And for that, you know who you are, I am forever grateful.)

I knew it went to far one day when I was home for the weekend and my dad found me on the treadmill in the basement with two knee braces on, hunched over in pain from my back, running.

I look back and see how powerful the mind can be. And how much it can take over you and convince you that you are right, and you have to make things happen, and you need to be in control at all times.

I am a testament to the fact that that is a horrible way to live. Is my body as "toned" as it once was when I was younger? Probably not, and I am okay with that, in fact, I am proud of it now. I can hold my head up and say that I treat my body with the respect it deserves as a work of God and a gift given to me.

If anyone out there is struggling with some inner voice telling them they "have" to do something, all I would say is question it. Always question your mind when your heart tells you something different.

Your body will still be the same tomorrow if you didn't get in your workout today, I promise. And, sorry, but your body will be the same tomorrow if you ran 10 miles today.

Living a healthy lifestyle is more than your physical body. Yes, as a diabetic, it is important to stay healthy, but it is also important to live your life. Never force your body to do something. Take a moment each morning to really listen to yourself or sit in quiet. If you love a good morning run, go for it, if you life to walk the dog (my fav.), go for it, if you want to go back to bed (and it's a weekend or you have no job, ha), go for it! This is sounding preachy, but once I realized that I could wake up and do what my body felt like, not what I felt like I had to do, I was free.

I am not one of those people who loves to go to the gym, but I do it sometimes because it helps my sugars and gets my day off on a healthy track, wakes me up and is sometimes invigorating. I do love tennis, and I do love yoga, and playing with my dog, and I actually do enjoy a run every... week or so, I found that this is what makes me happy and it took me years of writing and knowing myself and my physical ailments and making sure I was properly fueled. I can actually really enjoy things that were at some point torture. I can go months without exercise as well though, just long walks with my dog and some yoga and still be okay.

Ladies, love your bodies and yourselves. No one, and no doctor knows you better than you! The pressure on women these days to look a certain way is unbelievable. Kids as young as 6 are trying to tone their legs and butts with "shape up" shoes. It's ridiculous, and we are the generation to stop it. Operation beautiful is a great website that shares the message:

Whether it takes a post it note or a daily check in, let those negative thoughts and images float over you. Be the best you, not the second best Kim Kardashian or Jennifer Aniston.

A quote to think about :

"There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling rain and remember it is enough to be taken care of by myself." - anonymous

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