Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I am so honored to have my second article published in the Medical Fitness Network. Thank you, Lisa, Ivy, Becky, Diana and all the rest of this wonderful organization. Please make sure to read all about the amazing work that is happening at MFN.https://medicalfitnessnetwork.org/public/all-mfn/wow-anxiety-looks-good


To my dear friend in the locker room, you know who you are:
Thank you for being so honest. Your honesty brought up a topic that many people might have already touched on or made themselves aware of, but yesterday I saw another “twist.” Here is how it started:
There is a woman whom I have known for a while, first as a co-worker at the gym/my work and now as a devoted and loyal member of the gym. She has a full-time job and a little boy. On the days that I show up to work at 10:30am, she is always there in the locker room getting ready for work after she has finished her workout or fitness class. We are both running around at that point, but we smile or wave to each other, or sometimes not. Yesterday I came in at 10:30 and she was dressed and ready to leave. I smiled at her but had to do a double take. She was wearing a cute sleeveless top and her body looked soooo strong and fit. Her arms were toned with amazing muscle and the definition in her muscle looked great. I turned to her again and told her how strong and fit she looked, and that I always notice that she is there all the time and working very hard in the gym and it shows. She turned to me and said, “Thank you so much but let me tell you, I do this way more for my mental and emotional health than to look a certain way.”
And I just looked at her and said, “Isn’t that the truth??? I just went through the weekend with a massive amount of anxiety. There was not a specific reason for the anxiety, I have had it my whole life and some days it is worse than others. I remember being in the car and on the way to the gym thinking that I couldn’t get there fast enough. I knew that the only way for me to snap out of this and not let it ruin my weekend was to go to the gym and workout or go outside and jump rope. For me, putting on my music and moving my body is my form of escape, release, meditation, whatever you want to call it. This also forces me to BREATHE deeply, which I think has more benefits to our minds than we can ever know. And just being in my own head space with my music, my movement and my breathing is what releases at least 50% of my anxiety. The workouts help me release some of the negative chaos in my head and body.”
We had a good laugh at this because we both agreed that we find the “calm” we need through our workouts, and how awesome is it that the benefit of the chaos in our head looks great on our bodies! I actually said that out loud and it stopped me in my tracks. If we take a positive spin on anxiety, depression, anger, sadness, etc. and instead of looking at all the negative effects it has on our life, we can “twist” that statement to say, what are the benefits to having some of these issues? I have always needed to release my anxiety through exercise in order to get through the day, I now have added a tag line to that: My anxiety has shaped my body and has made me strong. The glass is now half full.

Deborah Stern has a degree in psychology/nutrition from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She has been dedicated to helping women, men and children of all ages and all fitness levels in improving their lives through exercise, nutrition and personal growth.  Deborah started early in life  on this journey for herself and has been taking her clients on the journey for the past 25 years. Visit her website at foodprintforlife.com, and her blog at debapproved.blogspot.com.

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