What is my relationship to movement?
My relationship to movement is nothing like it used to be, that's for sure. This post is going to be pretty short because there isn't as much to say. I used to exercise to burn off calories, manipulate my body shape and size, and make me feel "better" about myself. I did this throughout my eating disorder (when I was medically stable enough) and in my early recovery.
The concept of just moving my body joyfully wasn't introduced until 2013 when I met Dana and Hilary from Be Nourished. Suddenly these women were telling me that I didn't have to torture myself in the gym doing machines that I hate or go out running on a foot that I kept re-injuring. They said I could find some type of movement that I felt enjoyable and do it for only as long as I wanted, at the pace that I wanted, and simply because it felt good to move.
The message came at a good time because I had recently been diagnosed with cancer and would spend the next 2 years having multiple surgeries. I was in no condition to bust my ass at the gym, but I was in perfect condition to give this idea of joyful movement a try.
I discovered I like walking. Sometimes I like fast walking and at other times I just like to meander. I've taken my dog on anywhere from 15-90 minute walks and both feel equally good to me because at that moment that's the length I needed. I discovered I hate lifting weights and doing sit-up, even though I'd been a gym rat for YEARS and I thought true beauty only came from crunches. I'm proud to say I haven't done a crunch in 2.5 years and I feel great! I still have a gym membership and I enjoy using it when I want and in a way that I want.
Joyful movement taught me something else that was profound: if I didn't feel like moving, that was okay too. Some days I don't have time to go on a walk or to the gym and on other days I just flat out don't want to. Either way, I'm okay! I can choose not to exercise and it doesn't mean I'm lazy or ugly, just as getting out there for a walk doesn't suddenly make me a pretty, productive human being.
Does whether you exercise or not effect your self-worth? Do you push yourself beyond comfort in order to look or feel a certain way? Do you maybe want something else?
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