Monday, April 28, 2008


Just had an invigorating 45 minute power walk in the twilight. The weather was beautiful, the speed was quite fast and my breath, arms and legs were pumping hard. I am so glad that I am compelled to exercise at least once and sometimes twice a day. I love it! I love walking when I'm alone and love it when I have company. I love going to yoga classes. I love working out with weights. I love playing tennis. I love doing all these things, but more than loving doing them, I love the way I feel afterwards. Perhaps it's the endorphin high or the knowledge that I just burned calories or that I strengthened my heart and other muscles. Whatever IT is, it keeps me doing something invigorating every day. And, when I don't exercise, I feel a little sad and frustrated, but never guilty. And, sometimes I don't feel like doing it [for whatever reason, the weather, hormones, being tired], but 99% of the time I can overcome those feelings and do some type of exercise.

So, if exercise feels so good and the post exercise feels great, why can't I translate that to the after feelings of losing weight. I love feeling thin and feeling healthy. I even love eating healthy and the way I feel after a good meal. What is it that makes me dedicated to daily exercise, but not to daily healthy eating [what I mean is daily healthy eating for more than a day in a row]? And let me admit, when I don't eat healthy, I don't feel sad or frustrated, but I definitely feel guilty and usually a bit nauseous.

Now I know that most overeating is emotional. It's a crutch, it medicates, it's a best friend, etc. Well, let's just think about those words for a minute. A crutch is supposed to help support you, medication is supposed to heal you and a best friend is supposed to help heal your hurts and support your needs. Wouldn't it make more sense to exercise to feel good than to eat to feel good? Eating unhealthy, eating too much, eating to fill time, eating to "swallow" anger, eating to procrastinate do not make you feel good. And yet, we do it all the time knowing that the "good feeling" is short lived follwed by "bad feelings that can be 'long lived'. If exercise is good and makes one feel good and eating healthy is good and makes one feel good, shouldn't there be a way to somehow trick the mind to want those post exercise post healthy eating feelings?

This is going to be my "job" for the next few days. I am going to try to really be present before, during and after I exercise. I'm going to pay attention to what I'm feeling - in my head as well as my body. Then, when I'm eating poorly, I'm going to do the same thing... try to really be present, pay attention to what I'm feeling - in my head as well as my body. After I understand the feelings for these two different events, I'm going to see if I can "download" those pre, during and post exercise feelings to help me stop/put off choosing to eat unhealthy. I'm going to try to replace those feelings that make me go for food with the memory of those feelings I have after I exercise. If anyone else is going to attempt this, please let me know if you have success. I'd love to hear how you got there and how it feels to be there.

Quote of the day: "If you attempt to get thin by reigning yourself in, judging yourself, not believing in yourself, you will end up a deprived, self-condemning, and frightened human being. And maybe thin for a while, but just a while." Geneen Roth from Breaking Free from Emotional Eating.

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