Cafe de Desiree

July 5, 2014

You’re in Control if You Want to Be

Filed under: Blogging,Exercise,food,Gluten free,Health — desi83 @ 12:18 am

I sit staring at the computer screen feeling depressed about the fact that I am filling out yet another job application that will be filed with thousands of other applications. I try to make my stand out, but it is probably similar to the majority of the submissions that the schools are reading. There may even be something on there that causes it to get filtered out, so it never gets read at all. I sit in this little apartment in a bad area of town, and I am grateful to have a job even though it isn’t in my career field. I am grateful to have a roof over my head and food to eat. I am just not living the life that I want. When I begin to sink into the darkness of unfulfillment and depression, I stand up and put on my running shoes. I set a goal for myself that is reasonable yet challenging. I run at a pace that is just fast enough to be a little painful, yet it is not so fast that it is unbearable. My feet pounding the pavement gives me a feeling of power. The pain in my muscles reminds me that I am growing stronger with every stride. Inhaling and exhaling the outdoor air, deeply and slowly, gives me a sense of control. The worry and stress simply melt away. No one and nothing can stop me but myself. I feel alive and relaxed even though I am sweating and exerting a great amount of energy. I am able to gain control of my thoughts and ideas. Everything seems clearer to me during that time. When I reach my distance goal without stopping to walk or rest, I feel accomplished. I hear the crowd cheering for me as I cross the finish line in my head.

 

This is what exercise can do. I don’t need anti-depression medication or therapy. I don’t need to sit around and cry into my ice cream. I just have to do something healthy that gives me a sense of control and accomplishment. I know that somehow, everything will work out as it should. Sure, I am getting a little impatient. I was supposed to be married and working as a teacher several years ago, according to my life plan. However, I am not in complete control of that, unfortunately. Life has had other plans for me. I still don’t like it, because I do like to stick to my plans and be in control of every situation that I am in. I am learning ways to deal with it, though. I have found that simply exercising and eating healthy has transformed me mentally, emotionally, and physically in ways that I never imagined. Aside from running, I also go to the gym and ride a bike. Sometimes I go hiking on the weekends, which is a sort of spiritual experience for me. Being immersed in nature and away from the crowds is peaceful and relaxing.

 

Eating healthy has made a huge difference, and the more I read about it, the more I realize how food can truly be medicine or poison, depending on what it is. I eat mostly organic, whole foods. I eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet. I have greatly reduced the amount of sugar that I eat. I include a large amount of fruits and vegetables in my diet, as well as lean meats and whole grains(rice, flax, i.e. gluten free grains). I drink water and juice instead of soda or tea. I feel healthier, happier, and more energetic than when I didn’t pay attention to what I ate.

Studies show that eating healthy and exercising can greatly reduce your risk of cancer. Smoking, drinking, being sedentary, and eating processed foods will put you at a higher risk of developing several types of cancer. Read more on the American Cancer Society website below. Seriously, just eating healthy and exercise can help prevent cancer. I think it’s at least worth a try! It’s not a guarantee obviously. Life, unfortunately, gives us no guarantees, but why not put the odds in your favor:

<http://www.cancer.org/research/infographicgallery/prevention-studies-for-cancer?gclid=CP-3o5DjrL8CFQMT7AodtnoA_g&gt;

 

The bottom line is, diet and exercise is really all it takes to gain control of your life and become a healthier person. You have to find the exercise that works for you. Running is not for everyone, I know. Some people look at it as punishment. Yoga, long walks, or cycling are also healthy ways to exercise. As for diet, I think it is important to eat whole, organic, non-processed foods. Gluten and dairy are fine for some people. I have digestive issues, so I avoid inflammatory foods such as those. If you do eat gluten and dairy, just make sure you eat whole grains and organic dairy products. It’s just not a good idea to ingest pesticides, hormones, or chemicals in general. Try going to your local farmer’s market. The fruits and vegetables there taste so much better than what you find at the grocery story. Unlike prescription medications, there are no harmful side effects of exercise or healthy eating. Sometimes you have to take medication, but sometimes you can slowly move away from it if you develop a healthier lifestyle, or at least reduce your dependency on medication. So, get off the couch and get active! Then, eat something that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized instead of uncomfortably full.

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