For the past few months I have undertaken a mission. I have been lax on my heath and fitness, with a doctors appointment coming up, I figured the focus had to be eating right and exercising. Up until injuries took their toll on my, I was a runner. Since the injuries put me on the shelf, I’ve been pretty lax on the balance between calorie intake and calorie burn and as such I went from 180 pounds to 197 lbs.

Before I get into it, I will post the 4 Nobles Truths and going forward, I will equate them to Health and Exercise:

  1. The Truth of Suffering
  2. The Truth of the Cause of Suffering
  3. The Truth that we can put an end to Suffering
  4. The Truth to the Path to End Suffering

When it comes to weight loss, there certainly is suffering. You may be “hooked” on food, you may find it hard to cut calories, you may be hungry all the time and suffer from hunger pangs! Likewise, exercise is no walk in the park… or maybe it is!!! If you are out of shape, the first few times you exercise you may find later in the day or the next day that various parts of your body are aching. When I was running, I often had “suffering”. I may have had a shin that was hurting, a calf, thigh or hip that was tight, causing pain. The truth is, There is suffering throughout the entire process of Health and Exercise!

The cause of this suffering is obvious. When it comes to food, you have overeaten! …or perhaps a medical issue was involved. When it comes to exercise, maybe you have been inactive for a while and just starting to exercise again is putting a strain on your muscles and tendons. Sometimes the suffering comes from your mind! Seriously, did you ever hear someone complain because they were hot or sweaty? Maybe you’re like me and tend to overdo things, my main injuries happen when I “over-train”. I run 6 miles when I should have run 3, or maybe I’m feeling a tinge of pain and I just keep going.

How do we put an end to suffering?  The first suffering I would work on is the “complaining”. Accept it is hard work, accept that your muscles and tendons will be sore. Sometimes you need to take pain medicine. I would advocate NOT overdoing exercise. Keep it simple.

When it comes to food, your stomach needs to get use to not getting fed everytime it complains. Sometimes people do nto realize just how many calories they are engorging themselves with. I started out counting my calories. I started out my diet at 2000 calories and after a few weeks I noticed I hadn’t lost any weight. I dropped my daily calorie consumption to 1600 and the weight was coming off really slowly. I wasn’t doing too much exercise and lead a pretty sedentary life. Work was mostly sitting, home was mostly sitting and I realized I had gone from a really active person to someone who was just sitting around. When I dropped my calorie consumption down to 1200 and started making sure I spend as little time being sedentary, the weight started to drop off, within 7 weeks I lost 15 pounds. During those two months I slowly increased my exercise level and now I’m feeling great about running again. I’m going to keep my calorie amount at it’s current level until I reach my goal weight and then I will start adding calories and track my weight to make sure my weight loss levels off.

The Path is: Balance. You need to balance the calories coming in with the amount of calories you burn. Balance your exercise. I started lifting light weights and each week I will either add reps or if I find the weight too easy, I add a few pounds. After I get use to those weight/reps for a week, I will add the next week. At work, there is no reason you can’t stretch at your desk, or perhaps take a walk during your lunch time. I started running again, I would run until I got tired, rest and then run until I got tired again. Then I was running a half mile, walking until I was rested, running a half mile. That half mile turned into a mile, the mile turned into two, into three and so on. Again, if you try to run really fast, you are going to get tired. If you find yourself getting tired, slow your run down. Balance includes being mindful. Be mindful of the calories you are taking in. There are many websites you can utilize to track calories. Be mindful that you are not complaining about being “hot and sweaty”, the positive attitude says “I am doing something to improve my life”

The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step!