The fever I’ve been feeling for the last couple of weeks actually has more to do with cows in the field than the bells they wear. Spring has FINALLY sprung after a most punishing winter. As I sit writing this at a downtown Starbucks you can see the evidence of a Canadian spring everywhere…bustling sidewalk patios, urns bursting with spring flowers, the glare rebounding off alarmingly white legs (mine I noticed this morning have developed a decidedly orange hue…note to self: ‘chuck the expired self tanner’.)
Spring to me is like the start of a new year. Everyone’s mood seems elevated as the days warm and lengthen and our ‘feel good hormones’ kick into action. With the elevated mood usually comes a desire to get outside and move more.
Several weeks ago I dusted off my road bike, but it wasn’t until the past two weekends when I could finish my ride and still feel my fingers that I truly enjoyed the experience. Riding in the early morning past fields of horses, zipping down country roads, and leaving my ‘better half’ in my dust as I climb hills (HA! SUCKA!! Nothing like some healthy competition to keep a marriage alive) is exhilarating and I honestly don’t understand why anyone who has the ability to move their body doesn’t. As I was riding last weekend I was sending up silent prayers of thanks for a body that can move, and a country that we can move safely and freely in. We are SO INCREDIBLY blessed here in Canada. We have no fear of bombs, snipers, terrorists, of our daughters being abducted for wanting to learn or gang raped and murdered simply for being XX instead of XY.
Getting active and moving more as you progress along your lapband journey is one of the many many perks of losing weight and feeling better in your body. More and more patients are telling me that their reasons for weight loss are less about the number on the scale and more about health and longevity. About kicking those comorbidities to the curb, saying ‘no thanks don’t need it now’ to the hip or knee replacement and ‘adios’ to the insulin.
There is an awesome clip on You Tube that I try to get all of my patients to watch. It’s a brilliant little piece by Dr. Mike Evans, a Canadian doctor, called “23 1/2 Hours”. If you haven’t already viewed it I strongly urge you to take the 9 minutes and watch it…it will change how you look at your day.
I’ve made a minor change in the way I talk to patients these days about ‘getting active’. I’ve stopped asking “So how is the exercise going” and started saying “So are you enjoying getting more active”. It’s amazing how that little change in semantics elicits a whole different response. “Exercise” so often makes people (myself included) think ‘ugh…gym class’, or ‘gotta work off that dessert’. Whereas ‘enjoying getting more active’ is interpreted as a bonus. As doing something special for yourself, a right you have earned for working so hard at getting healthy. It doesn’t have to mean treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike or any of the other various instruments of torture. It can mean walking in the park with a friend, kicking the soccer ball around with your kids, powering through garage sales on a Saturday morning, getting dirty in your garden (or leaving your husband IN THE FREAKIN’ DUST MAN on a Sunday morning bike ride…SUCKA!)
But here is a suggestion: make it a part of EVERY day. Just like brushing your teeth, it’s not something you should do most days but something you want to do every day because of how it makes you feel (imagine if you only brushed your teeth every couple of days??? We’d all smell like Wally (pictured above) when he yawns 😦 ).
So take advantage of this glorious weather and this wonderful country that we live in and if you are able, get out and enjoy your body EVERY DAY.
Yours in health, wellness and gratitude,