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The Mindful Athlete Stays Curious

By Katie Jeffrey

Female Runner Winning MarathonAnyone who is regularly physically active will experience workout days that are great, and those that are not so great. Individuals who exercise mindfully stay curious about these experiences.

Curiosity removes judgment and the resulting feelings of guilt or shame that can follow. Rather than allowing their less than desirable workouts to lead them to beat themselves up or forego all physical activity, they ask, “Why didn’t my workout feel better?” and “What could I do to modify my activity so it feels good again?”

If these less than optimal workouts occur often, the mindful athlete will analyze why it could be happening and then experiment to see what they need to do to change their experience. For example, they may discover that they are over-training, under-fueling, fighting an infection, or feeling bored with their current activity. Or they might realize that they are stuck in Overeating and Over-training Cycles—in other words, exercising to pay penance for what they have eaten—leading to a negative experience.

Tuning into and becoming curious about your physical sensations, thoughts, and feelings will connect you with your needs.  Determining what makes you return to moving your body again and again will help you discover the true value that physical activity brings to you.

 

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About the author

Katie Jeffrey, MS, RDN, CSSD Katie Jeffrey, MS, RDN, CSSD, is an athlete who is passionate about mindful eating and living. She is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and co-author of the upcoming book, “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Athletes: A Mindful Eating Program for Sports and Life” with Michelle May, M.D. Katie is also a speaker and a licensed Facilitator of the Am I Hungry? ® mindful eating program. She is the founder and CEO of FitNutrition, LLC which provides individual nutrition counseling, sports performance nutrition counseling, nutrition consulting and dynamic scientifically-based nutrition presentations on various topics for all age groups. Katie works with individuals to optimize their health by examining all aspects of their life as it relates to food and eating behaviors. As a specialist in sports nutrition, she is passionate about working with athletes to enhance their athletic performance.

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