As I Learned About and Experienced Exercise
PICTURE shows me back packing in nature (at Goat Rocks in Washington State)
Oh, no! NOT THAT! Not the “E” word! Anything but that! Am I serious? Nope! I’m not serious at all. Exercise doesn’t have to be serious. It can be fun! It doesn’t have to be formal, either. You can sneak it into your life! I remembered that song “High Hopes” and how that ant could move another rubber tree plant and I sang..."Oops, there goes another calorie, NOW! My goal was to make the “E” word not only “exercise,” but also “enjoyment.” How I learned to do this was to focus on FUN, favorite things—things I really liked doing. Things like gardening, going for walks in my neighborhood with friends, and hiking in nature. That was the key for me: doing those things I already liked to do.
See also The Power of Fun: Celebrate Enjoyable Ways To Be Active! for pictures of some of my favorite places and a description of my workout. For FUN ideas for families, visit: Enjoy Cultivating an Active Style of Life for You and Your Family.
When I began to change, the PAIN of being overweight wasn't just psychological for me, but physical. My feet hurt me at 20 years of age, and I wondered if I would even be walking by 50. I experienced constant back pain and frequently visited the chiropractor for adjustments. I was always going to the dentist to have cavities repaired—as many as 13 at one time—because of all the candy and sweets that I was eating and my poor oral hygiene habits. At that time they didn’t have high-speed dental equipment, and as my teeth were being repaired it sounded and felt like a riveting gun was going off in my head. For me, the physical pain was a motivator to get out and do something different.
Over time, the more I did, the more that I was able to do. My stamina and energy gradually increased. My increased physical abilities brought me a sense of awe and appreciation for life. The quality of my life has improved dramatically because I lost weight and became more full of zip. I never would have been able to hike to the Goat Rocks Wilderness Area if I hadn’t made a commitment to myself of regular physical activity. I am SO grateful for the miraculous changes in my life!
I learned to love the wonders of the out-of-doors from my parents and the Boy Scouts. I live next to the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, which provides many enjoyable hours of healthful, fun physical activity. I plan many backpack vacations and hiking day trips with my friends. We bring along wholesome munchies and have a terrific time.
My mother and two grandmothers were gardeners and I learned the JOYS of gardening from them. I have my mother’s mother’s birdbath and my father’s mother’s birdbath in my side yard; oh what fun! I always feel the presence of my mother and grandmothers when I’m in the yard.
We all arrive at that place where our thinking is confused and reflects a great deal of inner distress. I have found new seed thoughts and insights that I plant into my consciousness at those times.
When I’m confused, cranky, compulsive, discouraged, frustrated, and angry I go out for a walk. Walking for me is like a mini-vacation from my daily routine and worries. It always relaxes and revitalizes me. It is a time for inner reflection. I bring along a piece of paper with the following thoughts listed and one-by-one and consider the following:
Wise beings shape their own lives:
My choosing to take time to consider the following thoughts is a gift to me.
I choose to nurture a sense of joy & contentment!
Remember, I choose my own state of mind.
Loving-kindness & good wishes:
Am I happy? May I be happy. May I be free! Now.
Compassion: May I be free from pain & sorrow.
May I be free from danger & harm.
Patience: Let go of the tension to achieve, do, grasp or understand anything. Allow the present moment.
(Explore Out of Hell, Into Freedom Thoughts for additional ideas.)
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