I'm a walker.
I walk every day. I walk in the morning, over my lunch hour, and after dinner. Some of the walks are short–a mile or so–others go on for three, four and even five miles.
And I never bring my iPhone. Not anymore.
I started walking, seriously walking, about two years ago to lose weight. The pressures of work, three kids, running all over town and keeping the house together were taking their toll on my mind–and body.
You see, I'm a stress-eater. I'd have a bad day at the office, come home and eat an entire bag of Cheetos. I'd drop my son off at baseball, my daughter at dance, and head over to McDonalds to get a couple of things off the Dollar Menu. I'd eat ice cream piled with caramel in bed every night.
Food was my comfort.
Naturally I became seriously overweight, maybe 75 or 80 pounds overweight. My knees hurt, my back hurt and I was tired all the time. So my doctor suggested that I start walking, which I did. It seemed like a good idea–easy on the knees, better than running (and less painful) for burning fat. And, he said, it would help me relax. All of which would help lower my blood pressure.
The problem was, I always brought my iPhone along, and you can probably guess what happened. I'd start off listening to some music. Then I'd get a call. Then I'd think of something I needed to do later in the week and I'd want to make a note of it and mark my calendar. Then I'd need to check my emails–work and personal. Then Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, of course.
The next thing I knew, I'd be sitting on a bench or curb or under a tree, stressing out about a friend's status post, a project at work or the fact that my husband forgot to get milk at the grocery store.
By the time I'd finally get home, I was actually more stressed.
Now I leave my iPhone at home, and I just walk. I clear my mind. I enjoy the scenery, the weather (sometimes), and the smiles I get from cute guys who are out running (I'm married, not dead). Walking without any real ‘connection’ to the world around me is freeing–it lets me escape and clear my mind, even if it’s only for 20 minutes. It has been a major impetus in my weight loss, has helped me be a better mom and wife, and I strongly recommend you get out there before work and/or after dinner and see what a simple walk can do for you!