A month a half ago, I had an epiphany about my weight. Don’t worry, I won’t go into detail here, but suffice to say that it made me sit upright and think about how I was handling my health.
A visit to the doctor in May, 2016 had set off some alarm bells in my head and the need to take better care of myself surged to the front.Two days after my daughter’s tenth birthday in July, I began walking. Roping in a friend for company, I began with 15 minute walks and slowly worked myself up to half an hour or 40-minute stretches.
In the last month and a half, these are the five things I’ve learnt about myself, thanks to the simple act of walking everyday.
No need for fancy gear
A good pair of shoes and the willpower to walk; those are pretty much the only two things I need everyday, in addition to my phone, which I use to listen to music and click a few photographs on the way.
Making time for things that matter
The last year, 2015, was a particularly up and down period where I managed to get drawn into the negative effects of social media. I’d deactivate ever so often to stay away from the nastiness online. I’d worry myself sick over the people who’d unfriended or blocked me. I’d spend hours clicking on their blogs/profiles looking for ways to get back in their good graces. (Don’t judge me. I’m human.)
Today, I don’t get time for the negativity. I monitor my time online and give priority to health and sleep over everything else. I’ve let go of so many expectations of others. It’s been a boon!
Taking in the sights
Working from home can become challenging when you’re limited to seeing your own face in the mirror or the same four walls day after day. Walking outdoors helps put me in touch with Nature every single day. Each day sees a new addition to my photo gallery and the variety of colour and beauty is mesmerising! I’m so glad I have the time to stop and take in these sights now.
Sharing my progress motivates me (and others)
I’m generally very wary about sharing updates on Facebook these days, mostly because I’ve been told that I share too much (guilty as charged). But, I don’t feel guilty about it anymore. I now regularly update my walking stats on Twitter and Instagram with the hash tag #100DaysOfWalking, a project begun by a friend.
A few people must be rolling their eyes but the few who follow my page tell me that it’s made them think about their own health and it’s motivating them to get back on the track to good health. That’s more than enough for me, to be honest.
Walking helps me write
In March 2015, I began work on my memoir. I’ve been procrastinating, browsing social media, reading up on articles like ‘How to finish that book in 31 days or less’ but never done anything else.
A year and a half later, I am finally at 45, 000 words with my first draft, waking up every morning at 5 am to write and enjoying the process thoroughly. Walking has helped put the spring back into my writer’s soul.
If walking isn’t your cup of tea, find an exercise that will motivate you. Go to the gym, learn to swim, pick up a badminton racquet, jog, cycle, run, play tennis- the possibilities are endless.
At the end of the day, if you can go to bed with a song in your heart, a healthy heart and a peaceful mind, that’s what really matters.