Whenever I have a stressful, painful, troublesome situation I lace up my shoes and head out the door. Whether it’s walking or running it’s my therapy. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I started running programs when I quit two very powerful and harmful habits, smoking and alcohol. I believe intuitively my body knew what it needed and I responded.
There are exciting studies showing exercise to be successful in blunting cravings, reducing depression and anxiety, and can even help with symptoms of ADHD. All of which can trigger the use of food, alcohol or other drugs to self-medicate and thereby cause dependency or addiction. See the cycle? Exercise reduces the risk.
Most turn to exercise when they are trying to shed pounds. And when they don’t get the results or “get skinny” they stop. I’m guilty of it, but have used it, unconsciously, as a therapeutic tool. Thankfully.
When using exercise to lose weight it can be less than motivating. You still have to consume approximately 3000 calories less than you are burning each week to lose one pound. There is no way around it. Diet will always play an important role in losing weight.
However, you can focus on building exercise type activity into your lifestyle that supports good mental health, supportive relationships, and a strong healthy body. When all three of these facets are the goal it creates a healthy environment that reduces cravings, impulsive eating, and actually curbs the appetite. See the cycle?
- Start walking regularly
- Gain more energy
- Positive thoughts and problem solving
- Out in the community more often
- Increasing confidence
- Realize negative factors in environment
- Seek out like-minded people
- Spend more time with positive on-the-move people
- Curious about new challenging activities
- Relationship with food changes
- Lifestyle redesigned
- A healthy new you inside and out
This is the way to a lifelong lifestyle change. Learning to move your body for more than weight loss and eating in a way that supports your life’s goals, is a gradual and intentional process. You can do it! No matter your past or current situation. If you want it – It’s yours.
Take the focus off weight loss, addiction, habits, and instead focus on becoming the person you were meant to be. She is waiting to be discovered and revealed.
Keep in mind… “What you resist persists” ~Carl Jung
Let’s persist on what you want – not what you don’t want.
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– Teresa Rodden, Certified Life Coach
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