Fitness Friday: Back that Thang Up / by Donna Olivia Owusu-Ansah

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It’s not what you think. I’m not about to put on Juvenile and drop it like it’s hot. Keep reading. Keep reading. I am twenty pounds heavier than I was this time last year. In all honesty, I am twenty pounds heavier than I was six months ago. I’m not tripping, too much, because to do so would put my quest for good health on pause. And I’m not stopping. So instead of stopping, I took a few steps back. I am backing that thang up.

The first back step I’ve taken has to do with my eating.  I’ve tried it all to lose this weight and I’ve failed in my efforts. So I decided to stop trying. I started listening to “Health at Every Size” by Linda Bacon and it is blessing my life. I’m only five chapters in, but my eyes have been opened. My new goal is to reach my body’s set point weight and to eat for nourishment and pleasure. The method is simple, but not necessarily easy: eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. This requires careful listening to my body and trusting it’s needs. It means stopping when full and not demonizing myself or food.  I ate some Hershey’s kisses one day this week and I didn’t overindulge or bug out about eating a “bad” food; It was a strange and lovely feeling. This also allows me to also honor the beautiful and blessed body that God has created me with—a body that is round and held up by Beaulah’s legs.

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The second step back I’ve taken—particularly since I’m not actively training for a race—is to work out for the joy that is working out. No pressure, just movement out of gratitude to God for the ability to move and love for myself and my family. No burden to burn off what I’ve eaten or force my body into a certain shape or size, just enjoying the feeling of sweat trickling down my face. And with the extra weight I’m carrying, this means walking instead of running. (And other cardio in the gym.) Somehow, I had come to a mindset that running was king, and walking a jester in its courts. Foolish, I know. Especially foolish when running was leaving my with achy joints, winded and looking like I had an unlimited pass for the struggle bus. This week, amid hubby being in London, preaching, lacerating my cornea (ouch), mommy duties and work, I managed two excellent workouts. I believe what made them great is that I actually enjoyed them. I’ll admit, there were times on Thursday when my body wanted to run, but I kept walking and I felt great the entire day. Today’s gym session was also amazing. When it’s time for marathon training to begin, I’ll incorporate running back into my routine.

Dear Readers, how are you doing in your quest for good health?