I hope you have a good couple of weeks. I have lots of good stuff to share with you now that we are all getting our kiddos back to school and transitioning to a new season.
Today, I want to share with you all an area of being human that once was self-evident. Our desire to move.
A couple of things before we dive in to this.
I, and we, want to understand that not everyone can do any activity if we just put our minds to it.
For example, I played basketball as a kid from 10-18, did months of conditioning to improve explosiveness years of running and could never dunk because my physiology (I have more slow twitch muscles for endurance then fast twitch for power AND I’m 4’11 lol). It’s not because I didn’t work very hard.
The same goes for weight. We can run, lift or stand on our heads but there is a limit to what we can personally do to change our bodies and the more we push beyond what our bodies capability is, the more likely we are going to break down in mental, physical and emotional functioning.
Will power only goes so far.
(for help moving to a trusting relationship with food and movement, set up a free clarity call now schedule at http://bit.ly/tracybclaritycall)
And the problem is, we worship in western culture the “no pain no gain” mentality and idolize athletes.
This is coming from an athlete as a kid that could see how the some people seem to think the atheltic kids were better somehow and how in PE, the same kids were always picked first, middle and last.
And how diet and fitness culture exaggerate the ability for exercise to create a huge calorie deficit enough to create weight change.
Getting the picture here? There are many factors that spoil our given bodily desire to move with the ability to know what we like, when to push and when to take it easy but still feel able to honor that “get up and go” feeling.
So, if you are struggling with exercise, here are some things to remember.
1) You are not better than or more special or morally superior if you regularly, and especially if, you are spending a significant amount of time per week at the gym, etc.
I am saying all the above gently because I was that person 20 years ago that ran and lifted and obsessed about how I looked to others using exercise. I had a huge hole of self-hatred, need to please others, shame and fear and I used exercise as a way to prove I was strong, didn’t have needs and run from emotion. It’s a painful way to live.
2) You are not less than if you don’t care much about movement or feel your speed is not “I can’t wait to workout”.
We are not morally required to find activities you at least don’t mind or love.
3) Bodies change. People change. Things happen.
We are going to age. Interests and priorities change. Illness and accidents happen that might limit what we can do. Take your time to grieve this. If you catch yourself in comparing what you used to be able to do and it’s negatively impacting you, take a step back and reflect on the present of your life and what you currently value now.
For example, I played a couple sports and enjoyed generally being active up until my early 30’s. However my main priorities are my family and career so the time I am willing to devote to activity is much less. Could I be “fitter”, yes. Is it a huge priority to do so, nope. Getting to this place is absolute peace and freedom.
4) If you are feeling guilty for missing exercise and you know that you do plenty of activity, start with decreasing the amount or intensity. Start paying attention to what happens with your hunger and fullness. See what it feels like to move how your body wants, not what you think you should.
5) If you are having a hard time getting going and you want to be for mobility, stress reduction and being more connected to your body, don’t set a huge goal of x number of minutes x times per week.
Start with thinking about what movement would feel like and what happens for you? Then planning how you would move and where and when? Then 30 seconds of just even getting up from your office chair, etc. You can up it from there.
6) Know that movement is always there for you and you get to decide what is best for you, where and enjoying both conventional or unconventionally discussed movement.
I am here for you if you are tired of any compulsions with movement and the frustration of not getting going when you would like.
PS: for more practical worksheets and suggestions about living actively without obsession, Head here: https://tracybrownrd.lpages.co/self-study-membership-site/