Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SWEAT…..My Guilty Pleasure

When I was fat, miserable, and completely unhealthy, I used to sweat just walking, and I didn’t walk enough. I despised sweat. It was so GROSS, ewwwww. Today, though I have a new guilty pleasure: I desire sweat. Sweat and I have fallen in love…..and this is how I got there.

When I first started to work out at almost 250 pounds after my second child was born, I was my own worst enemy. I would work out and eat well one day and then have a bad day (eat some pizza rolls and ice cream) and let the ONE bad day turn into BAD YEARS. At about 26 years old I was told that if I didn't lose the weight I would be diabetic by thirty.

This is where the MAGIC happened. 

I committed myself to working out and eating healthier. I didn't want the quick fix anymore, I didn't cry when I exercised. I became a machine, I became strong, I became patient, and I lost 100 pounds. It only took me FIVE long years, (yup no Biggest Loser fast fixes in the real world folks) but I did it!

I didn't give up. I didn't let one bad day turn into shame, guilt and fat in which made me HATE myself. Sure I still have bad days, I’m not perfect. I recently gained back a few pounds, I hope its muscle but I’m sure it was the blue cheese fries and bread I recently indulged on in San Diego. The biggest difference is NOW when I have those days of imperfection, whether it is in my nutrition, physical triumphs or fails, or life in general I know anything worth while has to involve SWEAT. I sweat often, and I sweat proud.

Work Hard Ladies and Gentlemen, make every minute of your exercise count. Become a sweat machine. 

(Image courtesy of Fitness World on Facebook.)


Here are a few benefits of sweating it OUT:

1. Sweat is your body's natural way of removing toxins- Sweating helps remove toxins and disease from the system. Up to 30% of the body's waste is removed through sweat. In many countries, at the first sign of illness, a dry sauna is often the first step towards avoiding or reducing symptoms... a good sweat has the power to stop a cold in its tracks.

2. Sweating can improve cardiovascular health- When your body heats up and starts to sweat, you breathe faster and the heart works harder to improve circulation in order to return your body to a normal temperature. Regularly working up a good sweat can have long-term benefits for these reasons; your heart is a muscle, so you know it's getting a workout when you sweat.

3. Sweating helps you lose weight faster- Exercise is a key component in weight loss. Aside from all the physical benefits, as the body heats up through exercise, water-soluble fat leaves the body in the form of sweat. We've all heard people talk about "burning calories" and"melting off pounds"... little do they realize that really is what's taking place!

4. Sweating can beautify your skin- As sweat moves out of the body through the skin, it unclogs pores, and this in turn can help clear up acne and other skin conditions. Heavy sweating, when done regularly, can help to slow down the early signs of skin damage and aging.

5. Sweating helps to relieve stress- Endorphins are chemicals that are released by the body in certain situations such as stress, fear or pain. When you sweat from exercise, endorphins are released. This helps to not only give you that "second wind" or “runners high” to power through your workout, but it also helps to brighten your mood and lower stress levels. Passive sweating (such as from sitting in a steam room) can also be very therapeutic and has been associated with reduced levels of stress.

1 comment:

  1. I love to sweat, as well. My workout does not feel complete unless my sports bra and tank top are drenched. I am like you, I am addicted to sweat! Keep up the good work, Andrea! You look awesome!