For the past two years, walking has been my life. I imagine that sounds over-the-top, but it is actually more accurate than I'm sure it could possibly seem. When my cousin suggested us moving a minimum of 10,000 steps a day as a part of our family wellness challenge in 2015, I thought I'd never reach that number. But, I found my rhythm and realized that getting to 10K required a much more dedicated approach to not sitting around, and something clicked for me. I started walking the mall at lunch, getting up and walking around my office more often throughout the day and even strolling our parking lot while reading. But, what changed most was my workout habits which generally included yoga and workouts six days a week via the Coach.me app. I always worked up a good sweat but I was so focused on getting through the hour that it was like a chore. I started walking my neighborhood, first doing about five times around which took just 30 minutes. That would give me a little over 4,000 steps ... Not enough. So, I increased to an hour and would come back to the house with nearly 9,000 steps on my Fitbit; soon, I was averaging 18,000 steps a day easily. I was happy about that alone [because I'm competitive and it had become quite a competition in my family to see who could log the most steps each day].
It took me a couple of months to realize that walking had turned into an emotional and mental outlet for me, and that my sleep and digestion had improved notably. When I walk, I think things through so thoroughly that by the end, my mind is clear ... problems are worked out and the stress of the day has faded. I couldn't remember a time when I felt better.
This year during the family challenge, I decided to switch up my workout at the end of the spring because I was losing weight so quickly; and more than that, got tired of hearing about how thin I was looking. It excited me to realize that I'd found my sweet spot for dropping pounds and that my appetite was the best it's ever been but it started to be a bit counter productive as I was not noticing any remarkable changes in my upper leg muscles. So I thought, I'd just go back to my exercising -- focusing on different sections of my body each day. Fail. I did maintain my weight and fitness, but everything else was out of whack. And at the same time, I was juggling some projects that I definitely needed to be able to step away from.
My sleep was no longer restful. I told a friend that I was in the midst of a 90-day PMS mood swing ... definitely not good for those around me ... lol. And heartburn had become a nuisance. Yesterday, I started back walking.
A couple of lessons here for me: Know what's best for you and do that, despite what others think or say. And when you find the formula to wholistic wellness for yourself, stay with it. As the widely regarded saying goes, take time to do what makes your soul happy.
- Katrice L. Mines