Monday, April 5, 2010

Exercising your demons.

One of the regular health sites I follow is That's Fit, as they have a lot of great articles and success stories. Today's story was about a young man named Leon and I just got all happy and inspired reading about his experience.

The first thing that hooked me was learning that his father died at age 29 and that that was the main thing that finally got him to lose weight. I guess knowing your family has a low life expectancy due to heart disease and weight problems is one thing, but actually taking action and fighting it is what makes a difference. I guess I related to this on a personal level because diabetes is highly prevalent on both sides of my family. But the thing that drives me insane is how some (well most, really) of my relatives just accept diabetes as "running in the family" and therefore make little to no attempt to change their diet, exercise more and maintain a healthy weight. They'd rather just eat the wrongs foods, shoot up insulin and hope for the best. It doesn't have to be that way! I get so angry (and sad) thinking about how much control people have over their own lives (and health!), but how they'd rather just put things on auto-pilot and go down unhealthy paths that they don't necessarily have to go down. Sigh. But I digress...

The second thing about Leon's story that really resonated with me was his new attitude toward exercise. It just put a smile on my face. Even though he still has a lot of weight to lose, he's totally embracing the benefits of exercise with open arms (I know I wouldn't walk the Brooklyn Bridge in 15 degree weather!). My favorite thing he said in the interview:

"My emotional eating has turned into emotional exercising."

Reading that particular line really made me pause and re-focus on my own food and fitness goals. Although I've been working out regularly and haven't emotionally ate in quite sometime, I still needed to be reminded that it's important to keep up exercise and a healthy diet for the right reasons (i.e., disease prevention, emotional balance, physical endurance, etc.), not just to fit in smaller clothes.

I know there are probably a lot of weight-loss stories out there that are almost identical to Leon's, but I guess I'm just glad I read his when I did because it ended up being quite poignant this particular morning.

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