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Apr 16, 2021

BODY – Be Open and Develop a Yearning

Many of us may be longtime admirers of marathoners. Truthfully, I am a fan of those who are in training for a marathon. Thinking about the time and consistent discipline that must be put in day in and day out to complete a marathon – all 26.2 miles of it – truly captivates my heart and imagination. I am equally impressed with those who make a decision to work out when it is not convenient, when it doesn’t feel good, or when there are some initial pangs of discomfort when a new exercise is introduced. Why? Because they are persevering. We all can appreciate the qualities of a finisher as it relates to getting fit. When we do what we have previously deemed impossible, such as work out at 5:00 a.m., train to run a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon, it builds us physically and mentally. It requires us to be open and develop a yearning for what lies ahead in terms of training. 

Many people may give up and decide to take shortcuts and quick-fix remedies to weight loss. I understand that some people may use these quick solutions to jumpstart their weight loss and healthy living journey or when it is medically necessary, but a majority of people are simply trying to find a more convenient way to lose weight without having to put in the hard and disciplined work that is required. Let’s be honest: Exercise is not always pleasant. If it were, a lot more people would probably do it. Eating healthy is not always tantalizing to the palate. It is painful sometimes to wake up early and commit to an exercise program. It can be challenging to eat salad during Sunday dinner while everyone else is eating homemade bread and smothered chicken. To develop a yearning, you must develop a discipline. Developing a discipline is not always easy, but as you may have heard, “pain is temporary.” Your efforts to work out and eat healthy might appear painful, but sooner rather than later – we will benefit from good health, energy, better attitude, improvements to your mood, and an improved body image. 

Yearn for daily routines that create patterns of excellence. The way to turn around unhealthy habits is to 1.) Incorporate fitness on a regular basis in your life, 2.) Eat healthier, 3.) Understand that exercise breeds many other benefits too such as an improved mood. 

When we begin a fitness program or decide to live healthier, we immediately set out to change all of our unhealthy habits and behaviors at one time. Although this is quite admirable, it may not be the best approach for long-term success. When it comes to living healthy, you want to incorporate changes that can last a lifetime, not just a few weeks or months. Let’s face it – you didn’t pick up these habits all at once, nor did you pick up any extra pounds all at once, so why would you think you have to get rid of them all at one time? Try focusing on making one change at a time. One week, try setting a goal to drink more water. Next week it could be getting in three workouts instead of one. Be open to trying different routines, be open to taking small steps to your ultimate goal. Human psychology is somewhat predictable in that quite often we feel overwhelmed when too many changes present themselves at one time. We are seeking transformation, which is really another word for lasting change. Developing a yearning for lasting change even takes time. The more you continue with your routines, the yearning 

becomes easier and guess what? Yes, you guessed it! You will yearn for your workouts. Sounds crazy? Sounds impossible? It really isn’t, it has proven true for me. Lastly, be careful of others who constantly remind you of what still needs to be changed about you! 

You are in control of your own body. All you have to do is be open and develop a yearning to start and continue with exercise habits that you know are beneficial. 

Go ahead, the journey will be exciting! 

By: Eden Barbee-Mabry / (@gardenonthegram – IG/ @EdenJBe – Twitter)
Eden Barbee-Mabry is an Education Support Analyst with the State of Georgia. Eden is a native of Kalamazoo, Michigan and was led to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia after graduating from Clark Atlanta University in 1988. Eden joined Black Girls Run! in Spring of 2016 and graduated from the Walk B4 You Run program in June of 2016 and is currently Run Lead for the Fairburn, Georgia group. Eden is a purse lover and strives to inspire every woman because her belief is that although the circumstances may be different, every woman can extract strength from another woman’s story.