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February 24, 2014

30-Day Challenge: Stress, Self and Better Health: Exercise and Diet

 

WEEK FOUR

 

We have all had it drilled into us that healthy eating and exercise are critical to a balance in life. Yet some people exercise too much, some not at all, and some people exercise and feel stressed by it. Where do you lie in that continuum? How do you understand and define healthy eating? Do you find yourself going on diets to lose weight and then gaining weight back again? Do you desire to eat healthy? What does that mean to you? Is it a lifestyle or a temporary diet change? To exercise and eat healthy is to bring balance into your life but when exercise and healthy eating are not clearly defined, it can actually lead to stress and imbalance rather than balance in your life.

 

Stress, Self and Better Health: Exercise and Diet

 

Let’s start with exercise. How do you define exercise? And, once you’ve defined it, how do you exercise? Is it easy for you to initiate exercise? Is exercise on your daily calendar? How is it on your daily calendar? It is important to know what you enjoy and don’t enjoy. You may not think you enjoy ANY physical activity. If so, is there any activity that you enjoy watching? Or is there someone whose activity is of some interest to you? There are many ways to find your form of exercise!

 

Not many people exercise in a way that is freeing of stress and complementary to their health. Why? They are exercising because they think they should, they’re exercising because they want the external results, they are exercising to stay away from emotions, and so much more. For some, exercising is truly enjoyable. Are you one of the many who would like to exercise but can’t seem to get started or stay consistent? If you are pushing your self to do something that is counter to your desires oftentimes you will have those results. Again, to bring things into balance you need to know where you are in conflict with your desires and interests.

 

Eating healthy is another interesting dilemma for many. There are many ways to eat healthy. It can be an individual style. When do you find you are least apt to eat healthy: when you are in a rush, hurting, angry, etc.? Those influences must be honored before you can design a healthy eating lifestyle that brings balance into your life. Foods that you like and don’t like are important to acknowledge. Foods that your body does not tolerate need to be addressed as well. Do you tend to eat until you feel full? Do you not eat enough? Do you binge? When there are imbalances in what you “should” be eating and what you find yourself eating, you must stop and ask why?

 

What you eat and how you exercise influences your emotional, physical, and spiritual health. It is a vital part to balance in your life. Yet, by not seeing your internal balance with food and exercise, you could be adding an extra layer of imbalance in your already-stressed life!

 

Your challenge this week is to list the pros and cons of your current exercise program. If you don’t have one, then list what an ideal exercise program would be for you (be as creative as you’d like!). Now, pick 3 things you would like to change about your eating and/or 3 things you like about your eating. List your favorite must-have foods.

 

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