Kate over at BeyondFitPhysiques.com found my blog, and asked if she could interview me and feature littlemisswordy on her site. I was thrilled given that I wholeheartedly believe fitness goes beyond our physiques. Well, being littlemisswordy, as I tried to answer Kate’s questions individually I kept wanting to say more, wanting the ladies reading this to get the full message of the importance of feeding your body physically, but also feeding it mentally and spiritually. I hope I achieved that here.
FEED YOUR FITNESS SOUL…PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY, SPIRITUALLY!
We all have a story, and we all have a fitness story. Yes, even you! We all have something we turn to that feeds us physically, mentally and spiritually. Fitness is about finding that balance among all of these things so as not to tip the scale so to speak. All the personal trainers in the world and all the health and fitness magazines on the stands can’t tell you what that balance is or how to achieve it, the balance for each of us being as unique as our DNA makeup. However, to ignore the advice that’s out there would be detrimental to finding our own fitness balance. If it takes a village to raise a child, why shouldn’t it take a whole industry to feed our fitness soul?
My fitness story began as the little girl who climbed trees, raced the boys (and won), and was happy to be an overall active tomboy. What I would do to experience that childlike energy again. I look at my two children who are ten and six, and see them approach each day with a newfound passion for being active. Then I watch them feed that drive throughout the day, until they have satisfied (and yes at times exhausted) their bodies. And I think…I want to exhaust my body, my mind and my soul in such a way that I know I have fed it to its utmost potential.
When my dad passed away, I found myself feeding my body (with food), my mind (with sadness), and my soul (well it was starving). It took me some time to realize I needed to make a change. I know, the word alone is enough to make you want to hide under the covers. It conjures up the mysterious and the unknown…but also the necessary. As scary as change is, the first step is the scariest, but that step leads to the next and before you know it you’re making strides. I started feeding my fitness soul by incorporating more salad into my menu. One of the ways I do this, is to make a huge salad at the beginning of the week. I’m talking iceberg lettuce, red onions, green bell peppers, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and celery in a large container I keep in the fridge. It is so much easier to grab for it when it’s already made. I grill chicken breast, slice it up and throw it on top. I’ve read of folks who prep a lot more than that for their weekly menu. I’m not great in the kitchen nor do I enjoy that room of the house. I always say my dream kitchen would have double microwaves instead of double ovens, if that’s any indication. I also started running with a friend. Truth be told, she ran and I tried to breathe while I jogged really slow. She literally ran circles around me, but each day I set a further goal for myself (the next tree, the park bench, etc.) until I was running/jogging three miles a day. I was realistic from the get go about how far and how fast (or slow in my case) I would run. I was also realistic about the time of day I scheduled these runs. If you’re not a morning person, don’t promise yourself you’re going to get up at 5:00am. Chances are you will gladly allow your bed to hold you hostage. I know I would. These small nutrition and exercise changes pack huge benefits when feeding your fitness soul.
Speaking of which, find what truly feeds your soul and make sure you incorporate that into your life. Whether it’s your church, time with your friends, your favorite television series, reading, a bubble bath, feed your fitness soul with it. Mine is writing and I have made it a point to write. I think a book would be great in the future, but for now I have taken the small step of feeding my soul by blogging. Honestly, some days my writing feeds my soul more than my workouts do and that’s okay. It’s all about balance so I make it a point to make both a priority. I have found I have more energy, am in a better mood, and can think more clearly when I am making these a priority. Having said that, we all have a bad day…a day that keeps us from the gym, from reaching for that healthier snack option, or grasping for motivation in the darkness and coming up empty-handed. I have those days, but try to avoid them by starting my mornings with my “productive shoes” on. I don my sneakers first thing in the morning even if I’m not working out until later that day. I try to stick to a weekly schedule of one hour of cardio 4-5 days per week, and one hour of weight training 3 days per week. If it’s on the calendar, then it’s a goal. If it’s a goal and I have my “productive shoes” on, I have a much better chance of sticking with it! Set goals big or small. They are extremely motivational. Push yourself to the next level. If you have completed a 5k, set a goal for a 10k. If you’ve always been a runner, add biking, or a triathlon (there are some out there that cater to beginners, or women only, etc.). If you’ve never used weights, pick up a DVD, or sign up for a class at the gym. Keep adding, keep changing, keep setting goals and keep your fitness story going! Most importantly, keep feeding your fitness soul!
How do you recharge physically, mentally, or spiritually? What’s your own personal perspective on balance?