What would a new year be without a post about exercising?! Before your eyes begin to glaze over and your mind goes numb at the very thought of reading one more word about get fit resolutions, just bear with me, as I hope to approach this topic from a slightly different and kinder perspective. Are you still with me? Good, let me explain.
On Christmas Eve morning, I found myself in a local emergency room being treated for dehydration and a flare up of ulcerative colitis. It was the equivalent of a lump of coal in my Christmas stocking, and it definitely got my attention. After being given two liters of fluids and steroids through my I.V. , I was discharged with a list of medications and instructions to follow from the attending physician, along with a long list of changes to be made by yours truly. When I emerged from the hospital, I felt like Scrooge when he discovered the true meaning of Christmas. After months and months of neglecting my physical health, I finally understood the true meaning of what it means to have and enjoy good health. I was lost, but now was found.
As I spent my vacation recovering, I devised a game plan for regaining the good health that I took for granted. So, my new year’s resolution to get back in shape goes far beyond the number on my scale or my dress size. When my health is compromised, as it recently was, I feel awful on every level, not just physically, and when I do not feel my best, I cannot give myself, or anyone else for that matter, my best at all. I end up short-changing everyone, either by not being able to be physically present or emotionally available, and that compounds the negative feelings that consume my body and mind. It is a vicious cycle.
Today, though, I made my health a priority, as I have tried to do each day since my trip to the emergency room. It occurred to me that when I chose to honor my commitment to exercise and choosing healthy foods that I also was honoring my commitment to kindness this year. With every rotation on the elliptical machine, each repetition I did with the weights, and every drop of sweat, I felt empowered, strong, and ready to face the day ahead of me. When I chose fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins and quenched my thirst with water and hot green tea, I felt energetic, healthy, and satisfied. One healthy choice led to another healthy choice, and I noticed that my mood mirrored how I felt physically and impacted how I interacted with others. When I was kind to myself, it enabled me to be kind to others, and that definitely was my kind of day.
Just one thing each day. . .