Friday, March 11, 2005

Priorities

Re-prioritizing why I am eating well and exercising really helped me focus and stay on track yesterday. Losing the extra weight is nice, but it really isn't enough to keep me motivated right now. Does that make me a bad person? Does that mean I don't really want it enough to make it happen? I dunno. But I'm taking a hint from Kris's post yesterday at More or Less: and going on faith. I don't know if focusing on the mental and emotional health rewards of eating well and exercising will help me lose another 20 pounds. But I have faith that if I continue to eat well and exercise that my mental health will become more stable. And if my mental health becomes more stable my life will improve. And if my life improves, honestly, I really don't care about the extra 20 pounds. Jeez, that was hard to write. I'm supposed to care about not having a perfect body, right? I've put so much energy into loathing the way that I look for way too long. But, right now, it doesn't matter to me. Dealing with this stalker guy woke me up and made me realize that what is really important is the world around me. Giving time and energy to my community. Fostering friendships. Spending time with my neighbors. Keeping myself safe.

This could, of course, all change in in 3 seconds. I want to continue losing weight. But most of all I want to keep myself healthy and happy. I want to kick the emotional eating. I want to continue enjoying food and life and friends. I want to run faster. I want to lift harder. I want to dance more gracefully. I also want to spend days at my desk reading, writing, and thinking.

Yesterday I ran, lifted, and walked around town with a very cute someone. Ladies, big plus of dealing with threatening men on your doorstep: really cute single someones come out of the woodwork for you. Yesterday I ate well. Calories probably on the high side. Lunch out, drinks, and probably too much almond butter after dinner. I'm still not journaling food. I'm thinking about buying fitday to download onto my computer. I find the online version really slow and tedeous. Today I did a kickboxing dvd I haven't done since losing weight. It was so much easier. I did exercises I couldn't do before. Pretty cool.

Proof is in the article. They say that even a 10 minute walk can help mental health. I don't know if this is true for me. I think I need the heart pounding cardio.

A snippet from msn.com:

If you have depression or anxiety, you might find your doctor prescribing a regular dose of exercise in addition to medication or talk therapy.

"There's substantial evidence that exercise can enhance mood and reduce symptoms of depression," says Kristin Vickers-Douglas, Ph.D., a psychologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. "It's not a magic bullet, but increasing physical activity is a positive and active strategy to help manage depression."

....

Before you think, "Yeah, right," and move on, consider this: Exercise doesn't have to come in large doses to offer psychological benefits. Even as little as 10 minutes of low-intensity walking helps. Your goal doesn't have to be losing 20 pounds, being able to run five miles nonstop or hitting the gym at 6 a.m. three days a week for a sweat-drenched workout.

Rather, the idea is to do something active in order to trigger the mechanisms that reduce negative moods and improve positive moods. And with a little planning and some practical tips — after all, it's not a matter of sheer willpower — adding exercise to your treatment program won't seem so daunting, even if you experience severe symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Despite ongoing research, just how exercise reduces symptoms isn't clear. There are plenty of theories, though, about both the physiological and psychological pathways that can improve symptoms related to depression and anxiety disorders, including sadness, anxiety, stress, fatigue, anger, self-doubt and hopelessness.

One of the physiological mechanisms that may be at work is an increase in levels of certain mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain. In addition, exercise may boost feel-good endorphins, release tension in muscles, diminish sleep abnormalities, reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and even increase body temperature, which has calming effects.

1 Comments:

At 1:50 PM, Blogger Kris said...

I loved this post so much, Liz. And not just because you linked my entry--but I am certainly very honored.

I have psychological issues with exercise that I struggle with every day, even though I know I feel so much better after I do it. I sleep better, I feel lighter...mentally. It definitely makes a huge difference in my life.

As with most things, I think I feel like if I am not out there doing it 120% than doing just a little bit won't help me. (I am so all or nothing -- ack.) I have to try and remember that I am not in a competition with everyone else who is out there running marathons and doing all these great and wonderful exercises in the gym for 2 hours a day. I have to start from where I am and build up slowly, just like anything else.

I really admire how much you exercise and enjoy it...I hope some day I will be like that too! :)

 

Post a Comment

<< Home