Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fit Friday: What's the bottom line?

You aren't going to stay motivated, you aren't going to keep exercising and moving unless you have a good bottom line.  And I'm not talking about that bottom.  Although exercising does help that bottom line look a little better and be a little firmer.  But I digress.

Maybe you are exercising to lose weight.  Maybe your doctor suggested it.  Love it, hate it, you're doing it.  Or maybe you want to do it, you need to do it, but you're struggling to keep it going.

Here is my bottom line.  Well, there are a couple.

I exercise because I want to be healthy.  I want to set a good example for my children.  I love to eat, and running means I my metabolism works better and my body needs extra calories--which all mean YUM.  I exercise because I want to feel good about myself.  I need to feel good about myself.  I run because it's a stress-reliever.

I love my dad...but he didn't take good care of himself.  He was doctor and medicine phobic, as many men are.  He also loved food, worked multiple jobs, slept little and probably felt a ton of stress.  All that together with some genetics thrown in was a recipe for disaster.  That disaster was a massive stroke 11 years ago, at age 47.  A huge blood vessel burst in his head standing in the produce section of the grocery store we now live 2 blocks away from.

The stroke should have taken his life.  Instead, it took use of his left arm and hand completely and most of the use of his left leg.  It changed a lot of his brain pathways, although it left his memory intact.  He spent 5 years in rehabilitation and convalescent living before being able to live at home again.  He will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.  We are so thankful though, that he is alive and is doing well.

That is a huge part of why I run.  He didn't set the best examples.  Cheez-its with cheddar cheese melted on top should not be a regular part of one's diet.  Don't 'cha think?  Second dinners at 9pm?  Notsomuch.  My siblings and I have all struggled with weight--mostly 20-25lbs, not the hundreds that he dealt with.  But still, we have struggled.  I don't want my kids to have that struggle.

So I run.  Because when I run I want to feel good and sluggish, so I must fuel my body with nutritional foods (of course with treats here and there).

My husband loves me and according to what he says is very attracted to me.  When I talk about wanting to change my body, he says he likes the way my body looks and feels.  (I still think he wouldn't mind if I had a little less of a belly.) 

But I want to feel about my body the way he does.  And running helps me with that.  I feel lean and strong.  It keeps me from gaining weight.  Because if I didn't have discipline in running and eating--I would definitely gain weight.  It still doesn't come natural.  I'm an emotional eater and I love sugar.

I've shared before how running is a major stress and anxiety reliever for me and keeps me sane in a crazy life. 

I will always be an exerciser.  The last 6 years have pretty much established that.  I'd like to think I'll always be a runner, but maybe I'll get into something else.  Right now running is most convenient and very enjoyable. 

I've figured out my bottom line.  What's yours?

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