Feeling good after a hike at Zion National Park, Christmas 2011.
I've been thinking about my body, and how I believe it is a literal gift from God. It has allowed me to experience some incredible things, and I feel genuinely grateful for its strength and abilities. And yet I don't treat my body as well as I could. I don't nourish or exercise it as well as I think it deserves. I don't give it enough opportunity to show me what it can do, or allow it to remind me how much I enjoy using it, especially once I get started.
I could feel guilty about this, but I'm not going to. There are enough influences out there who will tell us to feel ashamed of how our bodies look or function, and I'm not going to be one of them. Like many of you, I could write a novel about the things I don't like about my body, how it looks or how it works, but this isn't about that. Like many of you, I have a number in my head that describes the amount of weight I think I have to lose before I'll feel happy about how I look and feel, but let's not make this about weight. Like many of you, I think that health and happiness come from making major lifestyle changes and, like many of you, I find it easy to stumble, fall and give up before reaching whatever goal was set before starting out.
Here's the thing: I don't want to wait to be happy or healthy. I want to start now. I want to make the changes in my life that will eventually lead to a healthier, stronger me. And so I am starting small:
Every week I will present myself with a new health challenge, one of the things I know I should be doing better at, and I will give myself all week to work on it. Hopefully some of these small steps will become permanent and help shape healthier habits, but I f I can only keep it up for one week, then so be it. At least then I will still have done something good for myself for a week, and can move onto something else that I might like better.
To keep myself accountable I will post every new challenge at the beginning of each week, along with a little recap of how things went the previous week. And, if you want to, this also allows you to join in with me, if you're interested? Just check in at the beginning of the week to see what I'll be up to, and then join in if it sounds like something you'd like to do. And let me know if you do, I'm such a fan of the buddy system!
All I ask is that if you do join in, please make the main focus your health and wellbeing, rather than obsessing about reaching a number on the scale. Because you, my friend, know so much better than to tie your self-worth to a mere number. This is about becoming better, feeling stronger and living more healthily.
Deep breath and... small steps.
Check back tomorrow for the first challenge!