Walking home from the bus stop on Friday, I struggled to get up the hill. It occurred to me that the only time I leave the house is once a week when I go to work. I have become a physically sedentary person.
Two other events followed this thought.
1. The book I am reading, Afterwards by Satya Robyn, is about April, a woman in her twenties who loses her leg in a car accident. April is training to run the London marathon. She talks about the bliss of a runner’s high, the freedom running brings, and the healing power of physical movement.
I don’t normally post work out stuff, but this was so body positive focused and so very focused on enjoyment and being mindful of your body I had to share.
Three things in a row aren’t a coincidence, they are a sign from the Universe. On Monday, I put on my leggings, sports bra and top [thank god lycra ‘fits at any size’] and headed out the door for my first run.
As exercise bulimia is my disease [extreme exercise as a way to control/lose weight often teamed with binge eating], I have to be careful when I embark on an exercise program. Here are my tips for staying safe while working out.
1. Lose the metrics
The only think I measure is distance and time, only as a way to track my progress. If it takes me less time to run the same distance, I’m getting fitter. I may not be able to keep doing this if I start prioritising more mileage or faster times over enjoying myself. I will not calculate calories burned, heart rate or log my food.
2. Listen to your body
I only run until I’m out of breath and then I stop. Once I’ve regained my breath, I start again. I don’t run according to a prescribed interval pattern (like C25K), but I make it up as I go along depending on how I feel on the day.
3. Lower your expectations
If I don’t feel like running, I walk instead. A thirty minute walk is all I have to do. If I run at all, it’s a bonus.
4. Love what you do
I run barefoot on the beach. I stop and take a dip in the ocean. I make sure I’m having a good time all the time. There is no notion of work, pain or pushing myself. I’m honouring my body, my mind and my soul by being in nature. This isn’t a chore.
I hope that I enjoy this approach to exercise so much that I keep it up. I have a history of starting things and then giving them up after a while.
What are your tips for committing to a regular exercise program?
If you have recovered from an ED, how do you prevent yourself obsessing over calories and weight-loss?