Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Comfort Activity

It is hard to turn over a new leaf.  Changing so many things about your routine, diet, and activities can be really hard mentally.  Sure the whirlwind of it all kind of puts an element of excitement in it to begin with, but after that dies off you are just left with all of these foods, exercise, etc. that you aren't sure are really you.  And while you don't wish to go back to being heavier or unhealthier, there are times you wish for things that are in your past life.  It is at this point that people either persevere and make the changes for life or give up and go back to what they know best.  Here is my trick for ensuring you won't revert to your bad ways...because while the first time this slump or rut hits is the hardest, it is definitely not the only slump or rut you will feel- after all, how long did you live like your old self?

The trick is to pick one activity that you really enjoy- a little something that you can indulge in once and awhile- to ease your transition.  I call it my "comfort activity" instead of my "comfort food".  It can be reading, cooking, writing, watching tv...pretty much anything you want.  Then dedicate an hour to your activity every once and awhile (no, not necessarily every week) and don't feel guilty about it! 

Try to add a new spin on it to make it fit into your new lifestyle, but don't completely abandon or feel guilty about doing things that make you happy!  If you love to read, do a set of pushups every chapter, 5 pgs, time a character appears, etc.  If cooking makes you feel like you, try a healthy recipe or make those yummy goodies and take ALL of them to a friend.  If writing is your thing, do it sitting on a fitness ball or try to hold your feet off the ground.  The tv is calling your name- drink a glass of water each commercial break or do 10 sit-ups each time a certain word is said.  You get the idea.

My comfort activity is taking a bath.  I like super hot baths- where you can tell where the water level was because your body is different colors in the water and out of the water.  I love to just soak and let my thoughts wander...or sometimes I read...or sometimes I listen to music.  But it is my time and I feel most like myself in the bath; it just makes me happy.  And when I am happy I am more motivated!  My spin I put on it is that for every 10 minutes I am in the bath I drink one glass, 8 oz., of water...I can get four or five of my daily glasses in one sitting!  

After taking a bath I not only feel physically relaxed, but mentally rejuvenated as well.  This means I am ready to face the calorie counting and the hard workouts and all of the other things that sometimes seem like just too much. 

It is your brain that is controlling your body, not the other way around.  It is a mental battle each day to make choices that are good for the is a mental battle to lose weight, thus we need to give our minds a break as well as our bodies if we intend to keep pushing.  Your mind will be what gives up, what decides this whole business is too difficult.  Make sure you nurture your mind...give your mind a break and your body will be just fine :) 

So here is my question...what is your comfort activity?  If you would like to be entered in this week's giveaway, leave a comment telling us what your comfort activity is and what spin you are going to put on it to make it fit in your new, healthy life.  (Examples are above in green)  

I will randomly draw a winner on Thursday, February 25th and post the winner on my regular post that evening.  Please make sure that you have left your comment by Wednesday, February 24th.

The winner will be given a CD full of great workout that will get you up and going whether you are cleaning the house or running a race!  Make sure you leave a comment telling us both what your comfort activity is and what you are doing to revamp it by Wednesday to be entered!


Kathy Haynie said...

Wise advice, Alex! You've got me thinking...hmmm...not sure how to answer your question yet, but I'm thinking about it!

kati said...

I loved this post. My comfort activity is reading. I am going to try doing sit ups every chapter. We will see if this still relaxes me!

emmalou said...

Alex, you are so right about it being a mental game. Great post! I am a sucker for a nice hot bath too, but my comfort activities are reading and doing e-mail/blogging stuff. The good news for me is that I have a library within walking distance of my house. That's where I go to get new books and access the internet (we stopped service at home). It's a fair hike uphill to return home each time, so I love the exercise goes hand in hand with doing these favorite things.

Sarah said...

Watching a movie or TV show with my hubby and eating sour gummy worms. I am a sucker for those cheap sour candies! I've made a chart of push ups and sit ups and have sprinkled rewards of show watching/sour candies randomly throughout. Every time I complete a set of 25 of each, I get to cross it off and I'm one step closer to my reward!

Mego said...

The only thing I like better than a hot bath is a hot tub! (or sauna)But since the only place I can access either is at the gym, I always give myself a 5 minute hot tub time after a swim or a run on the elliptical. It's like a built in reward ;)

Nancy said...

Watching Project Runway. This week, I think I'll watch while I use the elliptical!

Oh, and I love the CD idea, and I hope that the artists will all be compensated for the music they share with the winner!

Kathy Haynie said...

I've been thinking about this a lot. One comfort activity I do all the time is check out The Skinny and family blogs off and on during the day for 5 minutes between big projects at work. I'm keeping a water bottle handy, and I'll have a drink every time I check a blog.

My other comfort activity is going for a walk...but that's already healthy, right? But I realized when I went for a long walk by myself on Sunday, that the time alone outdoors is really really really healthy for me, both physically and mentally/emotionally. So I'm going to try to go for a walk by myself at least a couple of times a month.

Lisa Lou said...

Oh man. I've thought about this a lot and I think my comfort activity is bundling up on the couch and watching a movie. Usually I have a little treat or my healthy twist will be to snack on grapes or pita bread triangles and hummus or some other delicious healthy snacks.

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