A New You Often Means Better Fitness

Attitude Makes All the Difference!

Written by Gayle

I can't tell you how many years I've started the new year with a fitness goal that was based on pounds.  As most of you know, that's a tough one to reach and even tougher to keep.  

image from clker.com
But in the last few years I have come to a much more balanced attitude about weight and fitness.  It is coming from the place of my 2014 "Manifesto"-- Be Grateful.

I used to look at exercise as something that I had to do so that I could lose weight.  It was the be-all-and-end-all, the I-have-to-do-this. A goal.  But when I realized that exercise was the way that I thanked my body for all of the good things that it can do, my attitude changed.

Here's my biggest example:

For years and years I have tried to be a runner.  It seemed the ideal exercise for a person who had a very busy life and needed to exercise in a short amount of time.  But nope.  I just hated it.

I would make myself run, sometimes regularly for months at a time, before I realized that I just felt tortured every time I did it.  The only thing I liked about it was being done.  I loved classes at the gym and riding my bike and hiking and skiing, but running?  No thanks.  

Nearly three years ago, though, I went for a walk for a change of pace in my hilly neighborhood.  When I realized that I wasn't getting my heart-rate up enough to be considered a cardio workout, I decided that I would use gravity.  I started jogging when I was going downhill, but then just walked uphill.  After a while, I started jogging on the flat, too.  Still walking uphill.  And guess what?  I didn't feel tortured.  Now I love going out for what I call a "gravity assisted" run.  I never feel guilty about walking uphill, since I know my heart is still pounding (the hills where I live are pretty steep!)

Image from prevention.com
My good friend (who is a true runner), when I told her about my "running" program, said, "That's a good start!"  Well, no.  It is my workout.  I had discovered that my obsession to always be improving and pushing myself that caused me to hate running.  This is my workout--my way to thank and appreciate my body.  It's not a goal accomplished or even a step in a larger plan.  It is the physical embodiment of "Be Grateful."

And I have enjoyed a bonus from my running plan--stronger bones.  Since I have started running, my bone density has actually increased (and these are bones that have lifted weights for many years).  Another bonus is that when I am active, I want to eat in a more healthy way.

What are you planning to do to thank your body in 2014?  In what ways will you move more?

Happy fitness!