WEEK EIGHT: Add Healthy Movement Into Your Day
If you have not added exercise by now, I invite you to consider your level of activity and where you might begin. Walking has always been one of my favorite exercises. I like walking because it does not cost anything more than a good pair of sneakers, and I can do it on my time. When I was younger I used to walk during my lunch break.
When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, I gained 75 pounds. Yikes! I went to a great doctor who made the connection to my exercise level and my ancestors. He highlighted that my great-grandmother had not eaten low-fat anything. What she did though was walk to the market every day to get food to feed her family. She probably walked a total of about 5 miles a day. As a result, my great-grandmother was very slim and healthy.
Being motivated to lose this weight, I started keeping a journal of the number of minutes I exercised. My doctor encouraged me to walk at least 250 minutes a week because I would not lose any weight unless I went over that limit. As I went over 250 minutes of exercise a week, I lost two pounds each week.
My doctor explained that the first 15-20 minutes of my exercise routine would burn carbohydrates as my body always stores a bit of carbohydrates so in case of emergency I have energy reserves to survive. After that first 20 minutes of exercise, my body begins to burn fat. This is what I want to burn. If I go longer than 45 minutes, I am now burning lean muscle, and this is not what I want to burn. Ever since I gave birth thirty years ago, I have used my doctor’s instructions to guide my exercise regime when I am focused on weight loss.
Think about what exercise fits your lifestyle. A class at a community center that has childcare, an online or DVD class in your living room, a walk in your neighborhood, maybe having an exercise partner, or walking around a playground while the children play can work for you. Possibly adding hand weights if you want more exercise without spending more time. Recognize that if we do not feel better right after starting our exercise routine, sometimes we feel better after a few weeks of doing our new activity and it takes thirty days to establish a habit. You can make this a habit and it will be easier to start every time you do it.
INTENTION: Set a time daily this week to engage in some form of movement or exercise. If you need to get up earlier tomorrow to do it, set an intention to do so.
EXERCISE: After you engage in the exercise you have identified wanting to do, notice how it makes you feel, a) to follow through on your plan to exercise, and b) how does it physically feel inside? Note both of these and write about them in your Gratitude Notebook before you go to bed.
SUMMARY of self-care routine. Please include writing in your Self-Care Notebook in the morning and your Gratitude Notebook in the evening:
· When you get up in the morning, check-in with your body and ask, “What do you need from me today?” Listen, write in your Self-Care Notebook, and follow the guidance you receive.
· Notice 5 positive things happening in your day. Write about them tonight before going to bed.
· If there is resistance to following through on focusing on you, write about it in your Self-Care Notebook and practice not beating yourself up about it.
· Drink 1/3 of your body weight in ounces of water per day.
· Scan for what you are doing to express self-love in your day.
· Pay attention to the foods you eat and how they make you feel.
· Add an aspect of quality sleep to your routine.
· Add healthy movement into your day.
EXERCISE: This is how resourced your Inner Well might be, if you have started more self-care. Draw a picture of your Inner Well at the bottom of the page on your Self-Care notebook. How full is your Inner Well now compared to the first day?