Recently, I ran into a friend who dropped several sizes and who looks amazing as a result. Her secret? She walks a few miles every day, rain or shine. I admire this resolve, and she inspired me so much that I went home and did it myself—two days in a row. By day three, I was curled up with my electronic book reader, absorbed in a book and a cup of hot cocoa, snuggling with my dogs.
I’ll be the first to admit that this strategy does nothing for my waistline. I get daily motivational email alerts from the best of workout gurus reminding me that I will feel better and be less stressed if I move every day. Well, I do move. How else did I get out of bed, get everyone up, fed, and dressed, get to work, and tackle all that goes into my day? And what, exactly, does less stress look like?
I’m not advocating that everyone sit back and gain weight. Not at all. But as someone who was once very thin and quite self-absorbed with my weight until a few years ago, I have to admit that I’m happier now. I don’t stress about every morsel of food that passes my lips, and even though I don’t have the perfect upper arm, I am pretty darned happy curled up in my favorite chair with my dogs and my book. Want to know what less stress looks like? Take my picture at that moment.
I exercise like normal folks do—I walk up and down stairs all day, never sit for more than fifteen minutes at a time between responsibilities at work and home, and try to eat a healthy diet. My life is a marathon—one that I can enjoy every moment of because I’m not too busy running past to enjoy. So next time I get that daily reminder that I’m not doing enough to feel good, I’m not going to feel guilty. I’m going to delete it, and get on with my day with a smile and a deep breath.