Sunday is Valentine’s Day. Consider looking at what you can do for your partner, friend, or colleague. Consider what you can do for YOU? Embrace self-love. Start a crush on you and your amazingness.
Here are a few suggestions to get started.
#1 Take 5 minutes before eating breakfast to do this:
In the morning, your body is already using your stored fat for fuel because you haven’t eaten since dinner the night before. It takes about 6-8 hours after you eat for your body to burn through its glycogen (sugar) stores and to start burning fat for energy. Every time you eat you replenish these sugar stores, so you have to wait another 6 hours (at least) to start burning your stored body fat… (Disclaimer: this does not mean you should always wait for 6 hours to eat. The process from which your body draws energy from fat is more complicated.)
So, why not jump-start the process?
When you exercise, your body’s first reaction is to use stored carbohydrates and sugar for energy. That’s why marathon runners carb-up before a big race.
Or do the 5 Minute Flow instead. This is my dear friend Max, who is coming to host an awesome workshop at Fitness on the Run.
Max makes exercise fun and easy. He’s helped even me find those things I’m good at and just get better at them.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition investigated if exercising on an empty stomach burned more fat than exercising after eating breakfast.
- Group 1 did a short workout routine AFTER eating breakfast
- Group 2 did a short workout routine BEFORE eating breakfast.
The researchers discovered that those who exercised in the morning did not consume additional calories or experience increased appetite during the day to compensate for the earlier activity.
In addition, they found that those who exercised BEFORE eating breakfast burned almost 20% MORE BODY FAT compared to those who consumed breakfast before their workout.
Javier Gonzalez, who was undertaking a PhD in Exercise and Metabolism at the time said, “Exercise increases the total amount of energy we expend and a greater proportion of this energy comes from existing fat if the exercise is performed after an overnight fast.”
#2 Toss “trash talking” yourself. It is unbecoming. It sends a signal to those you love that they are in a relationship with someone who has little hope or fears their best self. Take stock or make a list with specificity of your accomplishments this year already. For example, I have started to look into a new church, or I have called my brother twice this year, etc.
#3 Find an exercise you love doing that keeps you active. There’s a reason you possibly haven’t exercised much over the years. Not enjoying it is a likely candidate. Exercise should be fun and feel relatively easy. Golf, tennis, boxing, dance, you name it. Make it fun!
Self-love is about valuing ourselves as much as we value other people. If we are putting our self last so we can care for others all the time, there is an imbalance in the value we afford others in the relationship. This is not healthy. Furthermore, we diminish our energy resources and resentment toward others you yourself can build. This can come from the fact that we attribute our value to how well we care for others, but what if a big factor in our value was how well we take care of ourselves? Novel idea!
Self-love is also the way we keep our own pilot light shining so we can be in relationship well with others and be at our best for the other things we want to do and care about. It is the most essential thing we can do in pursuit of a healthy and happy life. We are each sacred. We are all a manifestation of God. Why would we try a sacred being as ‘bottom of the list’ as we often do to ourselves.
Taking time to care for ourselves does not take time away from what we would give to others. Actually, it increases the quality and value of what we have to give to others in the time that we are with them. It is not about quantity all the time, but quality and self-love enables us to offer our best.