I need colour at my desk space, even if it's in the form of an old melon.
Today I'm feeling inspired to write a little about resetting your [read: my] focus when it comes to health and fitness goals.
This morning I decided to go for a walk down to the beach before breakfast; about an hour round trip. The walk wasn't intended for exercise, but merely to get outside into the fresh air and sunshine and to enjoy the refreshing sounds and sights of the ocean. Once at North Gong beach, I walked down onto the sand and as close to the shore as I could go without drenching my joggers. I laughed at a one-legged seagull (sorry) and then laughed at myself as I had to sprint away from the water as it came too close. I picked a stalk of pink geraniums from the edge of the beach and walked on home.
As I was walking I was thinking about the matter of exercise and how and why we do it. The other day I saw an interview with Jessica Alba where she admitted that she basically didn't enjoy exercise, but she enjoys the way she feels afterwards. I am much the same. I go through stages with exercise, both in terms of motivation, and what I like doing. I do envy folks who genuinely enjoy the gym or who can stick to a daily running routine. Sometimes I will have spurts of motivation and can run for weeks/months, 3-5 times a week. Sometimes I enjoy gym classes and give that a good run, too. But inevitably my motivation wanes. It always comes back, but while it's away, I tend to give myself a hard time.
Well, I had a bit of an epiphany this morning. It's time for some self acceptance. People enjoy different things and are good at different things. Some people are very motivated by the gym, enjoy the gym, and have the discipline to exercise every day. I am not one such person. I am shifting the focus. I am grateful for the fact that my motivation at least shows up sometimes, even if it comes and goes. I will no longer rat on myself (is that a saying) for another "failed" exercise regime. My "regime" is just a little more, fluid. Accept it.
That brings me to my point about resetting the focus. I have some current goals that involve the relinquishing of some fat that I neither need nor want. My focus has been on losing weight to see a lower number on the scale and to look better, if I'm honest. I think that I need to shift the focus from a number and a look, to wellness.
If I shift to wellness, exercise takes on a whole different purpose. I am like Alba. (Almost exactly.) I love the way that I feel after a good hard workout, especially if that workout is in the morning. I feel refreshed, alive and strong. The endorphins are most certainly pumping. Especially now, when I am in job searching mode, exercise helps me feel more in control and stable. When I look at this morning, the focus wasn't on the shape of my body - I just wanted to get out and feel the warmth of the sun and breathe the fresh coastal air. And so, when I think of exercise, I don't want to think of burning fat. I want my focus to be on these other rewards. This shift in thinking may or may not get me exercising more than I have been, but I'm dead sure it will be more rewarding and I have an inkling it will be more motivational.
The same goes for food. When you are in weight loss mode, it's as though you enter into a battle with food - all food. It's You VS. Food. How ridiculous. You're an intelligent human being with a brain, going into battle with cucumbers, chickens and Tim Tams, and you're letting them dictate your worth. News Flash: they are just compost. When you're in a battle with food, it takes the enjoyment out of it. It's all "I was good today" or "I was bad today". As we well know, food has many other implications for our health other than weight. So I want to shift the focus here, as well. Instead of thinking "will this make me fat or thin", I want to think of what makes me feel good, and what makes me well. Because, let's be honest, chocolate will mostly make me fat but on occasion it makes me feel damn fine and perfectly lovely! This would be a personal thing for everyone, but I know, for example, that I usually don't enjoy drinking alcohol on weeknights, and I know that I sleep better without alcohol in my system (it disrupts REM sleep, the period of sleep where your subconcious sorts through all the baggage from your day). I know that sugar affects us in greater ways than just weight gain, for example, it has been linked to depression and Alzheimers. I know that I don't feel good if I go overboard on junk. I feel like a sack of potatoes and look like a drab old soandso. So I am shifting the focus. I'm going to try not to think "will this make me fat or thin", instead, "how will this make me feel" and "what is this doing for me, my body and mind".
I'm sure I will make better decisions, because who doesn't want to feel well and good?!
All this good thinking from a morning walk :) Have a good day!
Little flowers picked from this morning's walk. I love these bursts of nature.
My crazy tea lady shot. Tea helps me through boring job applications and chilly mornings, and my Typo phone case makes me happier than my old black one. #wednesdayadamshead
A little inspo from the #designsquid Insta feed.