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  My Changes at the Physical Level Developed Further

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.

The Resources 1 section  and the Essential Skills #4 section, of this Web site provides support and suggestions to discover enjoyable ways to be more active and vigorous for a lifetime.

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:

What do I really need right now, in this moment, to be happy?

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.

May I:

  • Have mental happiness
  • Have physical happiness
  • Have ease of well being


Patience: Let go of the tension to achieve, do, grasp or understand anything. Allow the present moment.


 Nurturing joy:

  • May my good fortune continue & increase!
  • May I feel the joy, playfulness & wonder of life!
  • May I say YES to life!
  • May all of my thoughts and actions be ethical & kind; both towards others and myself.
  • May I CELEBRATE the wonder & beauty of life.
  • May I ACCEPT all of life, as it is and as it isn’t.
  • May I accept and delight in all people—as we are—with all of our complexities, uniqueness, diversity, gifts and oddities.

(Explore Out of Hell, Into Freedom Thoughts for additional ideas.)


The Anatomy of Persistence--How Does Bob Keep Going When Injured?

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