The Best Things In Life Are Free

This week, I tried something new; something that I haven’t done in a long time: Exercise. Up until my sickness reared it’s ugly head in March 2011 and  nearly immobilized me, I was jat least going to yoga 2 to 3 times a week to destress. But since then, I haven’t been doing much. Honestly, for the first few months, I really didn’t miss it and I couldn’t imagine having to exercise ever again. The thought of taking the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment made me sweaty and achey.

As time marched on, I began to feel better and  I began to take on more; and the more I was able to take on, the more stressed I was getting. It’s funny how that works, isn’t it? My temporary solution was beer, and the summer weather made that temptation greater.  But I started to find that my symptoms were slowly creeping back in. And it wasn’t just beer that was the culprit, but the snacky foods that went along with it. And then I found that I was cheating more and more – a piece of chocolate here, some chips there…before you know it, I’m feeling lethargic, sinusy, stressed and just not my energetic self.

Then – the wake-up call happened: I weighed myself. To my disbelief, I had gained 5 pounds. I honestly thought that the scale was broken, so I shook it, played with the settings and then stepped back on. Nope. Not broken. I did a mental playback of the past summer and realized how my diet has slowly deteriorated. It’s no wonder I’ve gained some weight!

Being the calm, cool and collect person that I am, I ran to Shoppers Drugmart at 9pm and scoured the shelves for some sort of detox formula. $25.00 later, I bought this liver flush from BodyLogix. It’s an all herbal formula and really, I only needed 3 tablets for one night. Not bad!

The next thing I did was cut out all sugar, alcohol, soy and wheat since I had been overdoing it with thesee items. I also increased my water intake to flush out all the toxins that had built up in my body. Over the next couple of days, I felt like I was coming down with something; I had a sore throat, my sinuses were sensitive and I felt feverish. I realized that I wasn’t catching something, but it was my body’s reaction to the detox. Crazy! Mind you, it was NOTHING like the initial detox I went through in the spring, but still…after only 2 months of not eating so well, I couldn’t believe that I had that kind of reaction. Scary!

So that was a nice wake-up call to not take my health for granted. But don’t worry, I’m back on track!

The other thing that I started doing, was running. I went for my first jog last Monday. The last time I had gone was probably in November of 2010 in a meagre attempt to lose some weight for my trip to India – not very successful. I tried not to overdo it, but once I got going, I really enjoyed it and actually missed it. I ran for about 30 minutes and made sure I stretched as much as possible afterwards. It all seemed for naught because the next day, I could barely move! Every movement was  a production and I couldn’t imagine ever running again!

My snazzy runners

Wednesday, was much of the same. When I came into work, I saw a sign on our elevator saying “Donate to the Shelter Foundation to Ride the Elevator!”. Being the decent person that I am, I thought: “Are you kidding me?! I can barely walk, let alone walk up 50 stairs to my desk!” Plus, Ididn’t have any spare change, otherwise I totally would have donated. It turned out that walking up stairs was the best and the worst thing that I decided to do that day.

Eventually, after the burning in my thighs subsided and my lungs no longer felt like they might burst, I realized just how out shape I am and that spurred me to challenge myself to take the stairs for 30 days, correction: 30 work days. Ya. Well, to clarify, I mean the stairs at work – I can’t always take the stairs at home because sometimes I have way too many groceries and I would likely injure myself. I have a nightmare of falling backwards on the stairs carrying toilet paper and bottles of water. I don’t think that would look very good when and if someone were to find me.

I’m on day 5 of the stair challenge and I’m happy to say, that my lungs don’t feel like they are going to explode! I’m still really out of breath by the time I get to my desk, but I just try to go to my happy place – the kitchen, to fill up on tea and water and hope that no one comes in to hear me panting like a furry dog on a hot July day.

The point of this story – there’s a point? Is that I’m realizing how beneficial exercise is. You won’t lose weight just by exercise, diet is key, however, with my recent exercising adventures, I find that it has really helped me manage my stress, given me more energy throughout the day and improved my quality of sleep. Not too bad! And the best part? It’s free!

My advice is to find an activity you enjoy or even love. Gyms are overrated so if you hate the gym, don’t go! Join a team, go for walks, start jogging, go swimming, try yoga, learn to dance, climb stairs in your building, dance in your bedroom for half an hour…the possibilities are endless.

Enjoy!

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