Consider walking…

To many avid fitness enthusiasts (myself included) walking just seems like a non-thing. It’s not exercise, it’s a mode of transport. A way to get from A to B. How could you possibly work up a sweat from that?!

 

Well, what if I told you that it’s not all about sweating it out.

 

 

I honestly used to think walking was the average lazy joe’s method of staying active. Cruel, I know but I had spent 3 years running my butt off to get in better shape and then another 2 years competing in a highly active sport. If you weren’t dead from training it simply wasn’t enough. And with my husband around the only walking I ever did was uphill (in the rain, backwards, barefoot). Aaaaand I live in a little town in the west of Ireland so walking around was just how I got around. So it never felt like a proper way to stay active (though come on, that’s how they did it in the fifties).

 

But over the last few months I’ve had a few Sunday afternoons to myself and the weather wasn’t being a dickhead (when, you’re asking but trust me). And instead of doing some intense shit and then vegging on the couch (and also trying desperately to avoid packing – we’ve just moved by the way) I decided to stick on a podcast (My Favourite Murder anyone?) and just head out into the countryside. Either up a little hill, through some woodlands or down by the lake. I would head out for an hour or two and comeback feel fresh and alive and happy. (That’s me out walking in the snow up above BTW)

 

And it got me thinking about what are the benefits of walking. So I did a little digging…

 

Good for the body

Sometimes it may not seem like it but heading out for a stroll is doing wonders for your body. Walking does way more for you than just reducing fat. It increases heart and lung fitness (always good) and it reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. How about strengthening your bones and improving your balance? Yes it does that. Or helping to manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes? Absolutely!

 

Good for the soul

As Elle Woods once said in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives your endorphins, endorphins make you happy, Happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” This ring true for all forms of exercise, including walking.  A brisk 30 minute walk elevate your mood no end. From your chemical makeup changing in your brain to make you less irritable, to exposing yourself to natural sunlight helping to reduce the effect of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It also can be a wonderful social activity, killing two birds with one stone. Yay for friends and endorphins!

 

Good for the mind

I found this quite true for me. If you go for a walk by yourself (be it with headphones or without) your mind does wander. You think, you understand, you plan, you solve There’s no judgement, no friends or family to distract you, no deadlines and certainly no PBs. Just the breeze and a world of endless possibilities. There’s nothing else to do out there but move forward. Creativity flows from it. I have found it a great way to get out of myhead and then back into it again.

 

So if you’re like me and always felt that exercise needed to be this sweaty, red ball of grit and energy and constantly ppfft at the concept of going for a walk, try stretching those legs the next time we get a good day. It doesn’t have to be somewhere beautiful, it doesn’t have to be some big Sunday outing, it doesn’t have to be insta worthy. It doesn’t even have to be for very long. You might be surprised what you get out of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prisoner to my weight…

I’m tired. Tired of wanting to be thinner, tired of training and then feeling like I can’t have that big hunk of Toblerone, tired of counting calories, watching everything I eat, pouring litres of water into me, trying to eat less carbs, more protein, no sugar! Tired of being bombarded with weightloss stories, “best 5 tips for busting belly fat” bullshit and articles on people who now lift weights and are looking better than ever. And I’m tired of wanting to read them. Tired of trying to find an answer to my weightloss plateau, tired of not seeing results, tired of being told that ergs don’t actually help weightloss but still having to go on them, tired of reading articles on my metabolic rate and under-eating, over-eating, training at the wrong time of the day, not having enough good fats. Tired of macros!

Tired of punishing myself for not being smaller. Tired of looking at my friends and wondering how I’m not their size, we do the same training, we eat the same food. It’s their fucking height, woman! Tired of having to remind myself that I still look good. Tired of not feeling like an athlete because I don’t look like an athlete. Tired of having unsweetened tea and not having a biscuit at 3pm. Tired of counting my steps everyday to make sure I take enough, regardless of my actual training. Tired of hearing about a new diet, a new book, a new way of thinking. Tired of detoxes, juice cleanses. Tired of “resetting” my body, my metabolism, my anything! Tired of making smoothies that look like pond scum (though they do taste alright!)

Tired of cutting calories more and more, tired of not being able to enjoy my food. Tired of being controlled by numbers; kilos, inches, minutes. Tired of being afraid I won’t fit into my clothes, fit into my wedding dress. Tired of watching the scales yo-yo and not understanding why, grand if I binged but what if i didn’t, what if I was good as gold! Tired of working out what I can eat tomorrow to stay on calorie target. Tired of hearing “fail to prepare and prepare to fail.” Tired of feeling lazy, tired of feeling weak, tired of feeling judged if I do and judged if I don’t.

You are fed this notion that being thinner will make you happy. And it’s true… for awhile. But then you start to feel normal and new flaws emerge, new insecurities, new problems. I don’t think I need to “reset my body” I think I need to reset my mind, shut my negative thoughts down, their exhausting! I just want to live my life, be with the people I love, enjoy the food I like and be part of the sport I adore. I want to eat and train, not diet and exercise. I want to understand and truly believe in my heart that my body is stronger, fitter and healthier than it ever has been before. I don’t want to be a prisoner to my weight anymore, I thought I broke free from those shackles a long time ago.

But I haven’t.

Every woman I know is on a diet, cutting back, training more, “being good”. And I’m so tired of it. Where is the self love, where is the body positivity? Food is not taboo, food is not the enemy. Your mind is. Yes, be healthy. Yes, be fit. And course eat well. But I can’t hate my body anymore.

I’m just too tired.

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