Strength

Six pounds down and still going…really slowly. That’s okay.

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My husband noted a few days ago that my abdomen appeared to be flattening out. “Thank you,” I said, “I’ve been working on that.” And I have, as part of a total body workout of cardio and strength training, but not necessarily focusing on abs specifically. It’s still early, but I am getting stronger, and it evidently shows.

Not only do I feel stronger, I also have the sense that I’m accomplishing something sort of important to my long-term health. I have a greater awareness of my body’s nutritional needs, for sure. I’m forming new habits based on better nutrition, but not completely avoiding things I enjoy. I’m actually enjoying food, in general, more than ever before, and feeling more satisfied, more nourished, all while eating less. To claim a slight sense of empowerment due to these changes wouldn’t be an overstatement.

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Dinner: bibb lettuce, yellow tomato, avocado, green onion, cilantro, lime, olive oil. Not shown: slices of baguette, black plums

Waiting in line at the grocery store check-out one day last week, I picked up a magazine – unfortunately, I can’t remember which one – featuring Cindy Crawford on the cover and an article about her recently published memoir, Becoming. Cindy Crawford is 50. I have to admit, being a woman of a certain (similar) age, and familiar with, as having lived through, the golden age of the supermodels, I’m kinda interested in reading it. Any woman who looks that great at 50 knows something that I do not, but would like to. (Of course, her hair and beauty budget likely exceeds my gross income many times over. But even so.)

After flipping to the article, the first thing I noticed, standing out from the text in a block quote, was the sentence, “Physical strength translates into emotional strength.”

I agree with that statement. Certainly, the extent to which physical strength contributes to overall health and well-being is an individual matter and different for every person. In addition, paradoxically, we may gain emotional strength from battling and coping with serious illness, disease or physical disability. Notwithstanding, who can argue that working to strengthen the body, whatever the preexisting limitation, often yields vast immeasurable psychological benefits as well; the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, aspects of our nature are intertwined and, I believe, inseparable.

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Confidence is an example of an emotional attribute that’s boosted by physical strength.

Do you agree with Cindy’s statement? Has losing weight, or working out regularly, or getting physically fit, helped you emotionally? What psychological benefits have you experienced as a result of physical fitness and training?

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2 thoughts on “Strength

  1. suzannevesper says:

    I think this is such an important entry. There is such a mind body connection here. I remember thinking when I first started boot camp that I would fail. I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. and head out, rain or shine, sleet, whatever, and be there. I was working out with triathletes, a professional rugby player, etc. I was 20 lbs overweight and out of shape from having twins. I suffered. BIG. But I stuck with it and found out (good) things about myself. I stopped suffering and became fit. Then I loved it. Then I was chosen to be an instructor. It was a life changer. At 40 I found my inner strength and outer fitness. Now I combine cardio with heart monitor with weights. It is necessary if you really want to see change. Congratulations on your accomplishments!

    Like

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