I've been thinking all morning about weight loss and the importance of staying motivated. What do you do that motivates you to keep going? Or to get back on the wagon, if you've been off (I'm so far off the wagon I can't even see the damn thing anymore)? I've been thinking about myself and what I love to do to be and stay healthy. So I've decided to list a few things in hopes that writing it out will help me get myself back under control.
I love running. I love running down by the beach, to my little playlist of hip hop, in the sunshine. It feels good to get my heart pumping and to move my body. Studies show that running is one of the best things you can do to lose weight or maintain your weight, and recently I read an interesting article that talked about how the human body was designed to run. The article proposed that our prehistoric ancestors ran animals to death- because our bodies are upright (allowing heat to escape our chests easier than if we were positioned downwards like most animals), we can run further than almost any animal. While we may not be as fast as other animals like cheetahs, because of our long legs and uprights bodies (and a few other things), we can run further, which ends up being a benefit because any animal that is considered a running animal, can only sprint. None of them are actual distance runners, which helped us outrun them in prehistoric times. So our ancestors would chase animals, who would sprint off, try to rest, see us coming, and sprint off again...while we maintained a healthy pace- just following behind and waiting (and running). Eventually the animal would collapse from exhaustion...and the article claimed that the human would then come up and cover the nose of the animal, who was already breathing too hard or hyperventilating...causing the animal to just choke and die. It was kind of a stretch, but it still made me appreciate my body and my ability to run; and helped me remember that I CAN run further distances than I think if I just put my mind to it; I do agree and believe that our bodies were designed to run.
I also love yoga, as you all know. Before Chicago- I was going to yoga everyday. My body was super sore but also limbering right up. Most of my friends who do yoga on a consistent basis claim that if they go a couple of days without it- their bodies start to fall apart. I've also had several friends that have claimed that yoga tightened them up from "skinny-fat" to just "skinny", because the movements and holding the poses causes you to tighten up where you might be flabby. Of course, I'm trying to learn this for myself. I love the deep breathing and the focus that yoga brings me too- it helps me forget my day and my stresses and to just enjoy the moment that I'm in and I love that.
I know it's hard to get in enough water everyday; trust me, no one knows this more than me. But I love trying anyway. I love having my bottle that I carry around and chug from- my body just feels so much better when I'm consistently drinking water on a regular basis. Plus, I've heard before- that drinking enough water helps raise our metabolisms by 30%!! That's a huge amount. If our bodies are properly hydrated, doesn't it make more sense that all systems are a go? If it's fresh, clean water...your body doesn't have to try to recycle the old dirty water that you drank yesterday (but didn't drink enough of so now it's trying to just use that same water over and over). Your body is 70% water; it needs more fresh water constantly to sustain and replace water it's using to keep functioning properly (water cleanses your body of toxins and also helps thin out your blood a little so it's not all "sludgy" through your body). Makes sense to me; I learned one time in massage school to think of it as a sewage system; if it's fresh water you're putting in- it can clean the bad stuff out. If it's old dirty water, it's not going to be as effective at cleaning the bad stuff out, and that visual has always stuck with me. I think I'm going to go get a fresh cup of the stuff right now. I have a friend who drinks a gallon a day; while I first scoffed at her for this; I'm not trying to do it myself. I just feel better and have more energy when I'm drinking water. :) YES TO H2O!!
I don't know why anyone would want to skimp on sleep; every time I do- I feel like I have a hangover and it sucks. Plus, i've noticed, that when I do skimp on it- I tend to be bloated and the numbers on the scale seem to be up. I hate that. It makes sense that the more sleep you get, the better you feel, and the more energy you will have to move more and get more done. Your mind seems to be clearer (or at least mine does...low sleep usually means ADD and emotionally dramatic for me). So yeah, I love sleep. I especially love sleep once I've worked out and my body is exhausted. They say you live longer too...which is always nice. Sleep it up!
Just writing out this post has given me a little motivation to get back on track. What keeps you motivated??