How I lost 3 lbs. in a week by playing more.

For a long time, I’ve been this girl: Wake up, drive to the office, sit in front of a computer for about 8 hours, sit in traffic to drive to the gym, workout for 45 – 60 minutes, drive back home, repeat Monday – Friday.

As both a busy and organized individual, I compartmentalized my workouts just like I’ve done with many other areas of my life.

Wake up and get ready: 7am – 8am
Lunch and walk dog 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Workout: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Make dinner: 7pm – 8pm
Bed: 10:30pm

It’s a system, you see, but hot damn, that routine can start to wear on you.

I was feeling the pull for more time in nature, fresh air, movement, time to connect with myself, and open space without turning my whole world upside down.

You can only feel something for so long until action must step-in and actually create change.

So I jumped on my bicycle.

Yes, the thing you used to ride around as a little kid, visiting your friends’ houses in the neighborhood and playing for hours.

Play being the key word here, how often do you feel you play?

I started biking to work, biking to pick up groceries, and biking to my friend’s houses.

Suddenly, I found that I didn’t need to rush to the gym after work because in my “play” I was actually working out all day, every time I got on my bike.

I didn’t need to stress about what to eat for dinner that night because I began to pre-plan my meals, so 1 trip to the grocery store per week would have me set. I utilized the local delivery services and had grass-fed meat and veggies delivered directly to my home.

I would wake up and bike to the office with the sunshine on my face, and bike home with the afternoon breeze. Sure, some times it was rain drops in place of sunshine, but I promise you, that will make you feel alive.

This was FUN, and fun, I like!

So, I took it a step further and went all in.

I sold my car and started my adventure as a full-time bicyclist.

And the really awesome thing, I have SO much more time, so much more freedom, a stronger body, and a healthier bank account. I lost 3 lbs. in a week without needing to or trying to! It happened because I was having fun and doing exactly what I wanted to be doing.

I don’t have to go to the gym because I am working my legs, booty and upper body whenever I hop on my bike.

I’m saving money. Every time I look at my bank account I’m pleasantly surprised to see the numbers staying right where I left them. The lunches out, the 12 things I buy when I go to the grocery store instead of the one I originally went for, the quick mid-day shopping trip, all ceased to exist.

When you are only relying on the power of your own two legs to get you around, prioritizing immediately becomes incredibly important.

Riding a bike allows me to nourish my body & nourish my soul.

1. Cycling helps build a strong, healthy body.

According to Women’s Health Magazine, “7 Reasons to Start Riding a Bike,” a 135-pound woman pedaling 12 to 14 miles an hour blasts 488 calories in 60 minutes. If you live within 20 minutes of work, that’s a totally doable 20-minute ride each way. You could pedal to work twice a week and burn up to 3,000 extra calories—close to one pound of fat—each month.

2. Cycling reduces stress. 

Like with all forms of regular exercise, cycling reduces stress by improving your overall sense of well-being and self-confidence.  Cycling can also be used as a form of active meditation, the repetitive movement of each pedal stroke helps your brain and body relax the same way a mantra or guided meditation does.

3 birds with one stone: meditate, workout, and get where you need to go – talk about efficient.

3. Cycling builds stamina and endurance.

There is a huge hill that I could barely get up when I first moved to Austin, and now I bike up it hardly out of breath.  You will see your body and endurance shift before your eyes.  When your body has the capacity to take on more in this life, so do your mind & spirit.

4. Cycling provides time in nature.

The warmth of the sun, the sound of chirping birds, and feeling of fresh air in your lungs are all grounding activities; they connect you back to yourself and your body.  Many people work in high-rise buildings, travel on busses and trains, and spend no time connected to the ground and Earth.

The simple act of biking to and from work, or the store, a couple of times a week, reconnects you with your surroundings, creates feelings of positive emotions, and helps fight depression.  As you ride, you will let the day lift away and be present in each and every move as your legs carry you where you need to go.

5. Cycling gives you energy.

Between the coffee, energy drinks, naps, and pills, everyone is trying to figure out how to have more energy.  Well I say, live from the outcome.  If you want more energy, do activities that create a flow of energy throughout your body.  A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that bike riding improved energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65 percent. Why? Cycling triggers your brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is linked to energy, says lead author Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at the University of Georgia at Athens.

Biking is good for the environment, good for the roads, good for your city, good for your heart, and good for your soul.

Biking is my way of bringing play into my daily routine.

How can you bring play into your life today?