“Take care of your body it’s the only place you have to live” ~ Jim Rohn
Let us please be clear before I start writing about health, I will always be an ice cream lover, enjoy a piece of kunafah (an Arabic Sweet) every now and then, and drool over the sweets pictures while surfing the internet. Nothing would change my sweets cravings, yet I have concluded a peace truce with that and now I am living a love relationship with this beautiful craving.
Here is how.
I grew up watching my mom going for walks everyday, and I never really understood when I was young why she was passionately making sure to squeeze that one hour per day to walk. Now I understood that she was investing in her emotional and physical health. I realize now that taking care of your health is not a luxury; it is the only thing that you invest in which will never let you down.
Watching my dad battling cancer and how it emotionally and physically impacted him and people around him until we lost his beautiful soul, was a wake up call for me to pay more attention to my physical health but mostly to my mental one.
Exercise has always been part of my life. I still remember the days at university when I used to walk every single day regardless whether it was sunny, cold, raining or even snowing. Exercise such as walking, jogging, yoga-ing, boxing or dancing, for me has always been my only me-time where I can disconnect from the outer world (or try as much as I can to) and reconnect with my body, soul and inner self. The pure satisfaction I feel after a hard exercise session helps me in my daily chores, and makes me happier by shooting my happiness hormones levels through the roof, it actually generates a feeling of accomplishment and resilience that I need in my day especially the bad ones. Instead of reaching out for that pack of chips, I try to reach more for my toes while stretching in my yoga class. Instead of punching myself in the mirror for finishing the cookies box, I try to punch harder the boxing pads my trainer is wearing. The idea of this blog came out while I was walking, the plan of phase two for my inspirational journey was invented while I was yoga-ing in Shavasana pose! The decision to get rid of that boyfriend came while I was boxing, so you can now understand that exercise has so many benefits other than enhancing your mental and physical health, and gives you better chances to live a healthier tomorrow.
I know that some of you might argue if eventually we all will die one way or another, so why not indulge in that piece of “death by chocolate” cake, lick every corner of that triple ice cream scoop cone, or have cupcakes as a breakfast feast? After all, food is one of life’s joys, right? And I already mentioned in my first post about happiness that having that vanilla ice cream with the flake chocolate is one of my Happiness Moments!
Ok hold on.
I am not telling you don’t do that. I am a big fan of balance in our lives, and so, you need to find that balance to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Without that balance it will always be a vicious cycle that looks like this: desire, pleasure, guilt, self punishment and repeat! Eat that cake, but not everyday for the coming 365 days. I am not talking here about emotional eating syndrome (which I will discuss in a different article since I was an emotional eater myself at one point in my life), rather, I want you to see I am Human and you can Relate to Me Again. Have a morning feast, but instead of going for half an hour walk that day, go for one or two. Plan to have a detox week after all the mouth watering food you have eaten while strolling the streets of Rome. Once you reach that balance and know what works for you and your body, you will start enjoying life more with all its sweets and salty treats, and you will be less harsh on yourself.
By the way, loving yourself as you are does not contradict with improving yourself and setting goals to become a better healthier person. You can still love yourself and strive to be better. You can still strive to be healthier and eat that large salty popcorn box at the movies while convincing your kids that you actually bought the “large” size for sharing! (P.S: I do that) You can still eat that large salty popcorn box which you didn’t share with anyone, and go run for an hour after that!
Got my point?
When I am vacationing especially with my family, they keep telling me not to wake up early and go for my usual jog, instead indulge in one more hour of sleep, but I always resist try to fit that hour in my daily schedule somehow. One day my son told his grandmother: “Teita (Grandma in Arabic), mama goes for a walk because it makes her happy, so let her walk daily as I want to see her happy every single day.”
More walk. More happiness.