Move More, Feel Better

Source:  magentafrog publications
Source: magentafrog publications

Just put your damn sneakers on and get out the door!  I guarantee that if you just walk around the block you will feel better.  I know you’ve heard it all before, exercise is good for you.  But did you know just how much?  It is said it can help with depression and improve memory as well as preventing many other health problems.

In particular, exercise leads to the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that alleviate pain, both physical and mental . . . Although the exact nature of these benefits is still being determined, enough research has been done to provide even skeptics [sic] with a motivation to take up exercise. Exercise exerts its effects on the brain through several mechanisms, including neurogenesis, mood enhancement, and endorphin release.

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro05/web2/mmcgovern.html

As a runner I like that the anti-depressant effect of ‘runner’s high’ is linked to a drop in stress hormones, so know I understand why I get cranky when I can’t go for a run!

Running regularly is my ultimate goal but for any fan of the couch the biggest step is just taking a step – trust me, I have been basically sedentary for the past four years; I know how hard it is to get started.  I used my first pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever I liked and I gained about 20kg through poor food choices and gestational diabetes (this is a guess since I didn’t want to scare myself by using the scales after a while). Then I lost about 15kg and fell pregnant again. I gave up bothering about my body because all it seemed to do was sustain other lives and my life, ironically lost value to me.

I did not appreciate my body’s amazing ability to grow another baby inside while nourishing the first at my breast. With little to no sleep, no sanity and nothing to light the way through this perpetual, repetitive fog, a sense of isolation set in. Despite Mr Magentafrog’s involvement, the fact was he got to leave the house physically and mentally by going to work, whereas I felt trapped at home with crying babies and mountainous washing.  Baby number two did not sleep well and baby number one was getting more demanding. I was beginning to unravel. This was not how it was supposed to be, and frustratingly, Mr Magentafrog could not grasp why I felt this way and nor could I.

Source:  magentafrog publications
Source: magentafrog publications

So after reaching the 10-month point with Master 2 I thought maybe, just maybe I would be OK. Then while on holiday I discovered that my third child was growing inside me. What the fuck!? It seemed that Mr Magentafrog just had to look at me and I would fall pregnant.  Damn his virility. I was not happy at first but then could see the benefits of having a solid stint of producing our family close together. People would say to me, that it will be hard now but that my boys would grow up good friends and it will be great when they’re older.  I hoped so.  I just couldn’t believe that each time I looked like getting to a healthy weight I would fall pregnant again! It seemed I was destined to be fat forever!

Writing today though is a time of reflection.  I have lost weight and don’t have far to go to reach a healthy weight range for my age and height.  The breeze is blowing along the verandah, Master 2 is playing at my feet, Master 4 is watching YouTube and Master 1 is sleeping. I feel good.

After feeling unwell this week with baby weaning complications, my body is on the mend and it was time for my mind to improve.  I knew what I had to do.  I put on my sneakers and got on my treadmill and just started walking.  By combining Weight Watchers online and exercise in the past eight weeks I am turning my health around.  I don’t advocate the weight loss industry and this is not a sponsored post, but this program has allowed me to monitor what I eat and how much. Basically it has given me a kick start, but exercise has been the real key to feeling good and losing weight by creating a positive loop, whereby I just want to keep going!

Mr Magentafrog has lost weight too, but like I said this is not the primary benefit. We feel better. We move more. We sleep better (when the children allow it).  The program does not push WW food but does advocate fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy portion sizes. No problem with that. It’s just a tool for now until my body gets to where I need to be in equilibrium with mind and body.  That is that currently my mind thinks I have the body of Beyoncé but my body has yet to realise it!

If you’re overweight just getting up in the morning can be a daunting prospect let alone starting to exercise.  However, by putting faith in yourself and reminding yourself that it’s about being healthy not a number on the scales you can move forward in ways you never thought possible.

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