Over the past couple weeks I have had “writers block.” Part of the reason for this is because I do so much writing and editing for work and also school. Currently my class is British literature, the era long before our 21st century hype regarding nutrition, fitness and healthy lifestyles, and lately my writing has been geared towards middle English rather than modern English.
Anyway, recently I have been thinking about my coach.
This is not her, but truly she is my Jedi Master, I am her apprentice.
I want to dedicate this blog especially to her this morning. Laura, thank you! You have inspired me to do what I never could have done alone, and was literally failing to accomplish traveling solo.
I do not believe my path crossed accidentally with Laura’s. I was at a place in my life where I felt one last glimmer of hope and one last strength to reach out. I honestly cannot even remember how I found Laura, but I am thankful every day for that moment. I knew I needed some type of additional support and accountability to change my lifestyle, and she was that link.
Do you have a fitness/nutrition/life coach? Just that extra hand to hold or shadow to follow can make all the difference, trust me.
The most important thing I believe I have learned from Laura is that I am not alone in my struggles or my desires to leave an unhealthy lifestyle. I have also had to let go of some of my stubbornness and independence. She has shown me the importance of “rinse and repeat.” Consistency is the pot of gold.
Have you been involved in an accountability/challenge group? The strength of others, similar mindsets and inspiration found in such a group has changed my life. We are all so very human and there truly is strength in numbers. Out of these groups I have learned correct ways to eat and count calories (not approximate!), how to make exercise and fitness part of my everyday life (not a chore!), the importance of water, I have been introduced to Shakeology (the healthiest meal of my day and responsible for the disappearance of most ALL of my RA/fibromyalgia pain), and I have lost almost 20 pounds the healthy way!
So, I want to say thank you again, Laura. You have been such a blessing in my life. You are the product of the product, and because of your realness, gentleness and also firm reminders, you have so inspired me and been one of the most important reasons for my success today. I love you, dear Jedi Master!
Will you consider being an apprentice? Think about “rinse and repeat.” Also, choose to make a healthy step today if you have been full of doubt or hopelessness. Join a Challenge Group. Give Shakeology a try. I stand behind the Beach Body fitness programs because my life has been changed as a result of being the product of the product. Now I am here in hopes of inspiring and serving you, just like Laura has done for me.
May the Force be with you.
One very important and often highly neglected treatment of a variety of medical brain disorders is exercise. Daily exercise. I cannot stress how important this is, yet maintaining consistency with exercise when dealing with mental illness is extremely difficult. Some days, many people cannot even get out of bed. Other people are terrified of being in public places (which eliminates a gym or an outdoor walk).
One way to get moving each day and to stay at it is to have an accountability buddy. A family member, close friend or even a support group are some wonderful examples to get needed support for a daily exercise regime, especially if you are suffering from depression or anxiety disorders. Try not to do this alone. Make it fun and do not be afraid to ask for support.
The importance of mood-tracking journals are tools in helping manage certain mood disorders, but so is keeping an exercise journal. Note each day how you feel before and after exercise, your strength levels, energy improvements, how you sleep each night, and especially any changes to your moods and overall look upon life. I believe you will find that keeping a journal will document amazing and positive results!
Movement is so good for the body, spirit and mind. Activity and exercise are very important for people living with mental illness. Most of all, try to find an exercise activity you really enjoy! Individuals living with mental illness often have a higher risk for heart disease, and exercise can play a key part in a wellness plan. Activity and exercise are great ways to combat factors that are part of heart disease risk, stress, high blood pressure, weight gain and diabetes-all problems commonly found among people living with mental illness. Did you know that exercise plays a key part in elevating your mood and regulating sleep patterns?
The benefits of exercise does make a difference with depression, including severe clinical depression. Whether you take medication or choose to manage without, an active lifestyle is important for everyone. This is particularly true for those living with schizophrenia and who are on second-generation atypical antipsychotic medication (SGAs) because they are more vulnerable to obesity.
“Exercise is central to my mental health. As a person living with schizophrenia, stress exacerbates my illness, worsening my symptoms such as hallucinations and paranoia. Exercise counteracts the stress, enabling me to see issues clearly, reality test, and judge things more accurately.
Fitness also takes me out of my isolated apartment and into the community. As I interact with people at the gym or along outdoor walks, my torturous inner-voices subside as my mind is distracted by the exercise and more at peace. I began exercising as a competitive runner long before I became ill – and two lessons I learned from those early days that have stayed with me throughout my decade-long struggle with schizophrenia are: “a winner never quits and a quitter never wins” and “there is no finish line.” ~Lisa H.
In addition to the countless physical benefits, exercise does have vast psychological benefits. Studies show that exercise can increase the amounts of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in your brain. The increased levels of neurotransmitters can help treat many disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, as well as help you to feel more energetic overall.
Lastly, just having hope in something healthy, positive and inspirational, as well as setting new goals that will bring about feeling good about ourselves are lifelines to those dealing with medical brain disorders. Today, would you step out in courage, take those baby steps to implement daily exercise into your life, and remember…you are not alone. If you would like an accountability buddy, just say the word! I am rooting for you!