A big – no, actually a huge – shift for me after reading Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat is how I’ve come to love exercise. Previously, although I’d rarely allow myself to admit it, I hated exercising. I’d bought into the ideas that diet books promote:
- Set a goal for body perfection
- Create and hold that image in your mind constantly (and put an inspiring picture on your refrigerator), then
- Work and work, and work for it. Okay, I admit that’s not exactly the way they presented it in their books and programs, but that pretty much sums it up.
I tried that approach…not once, and not twice, but dozens of times. Plainly, it didn’t work for me. I was slow to catch on that it was pointless to keep trying the same thing again and again, but I just didn’t know a better way. My undying hope for a healthy (and perfect) body prompted me to try, try, and try again. It was completely exhausting and utterly disappointing.
Now I now have a beautifully expanded view of exercise that includes a loving, listening partnership with my body, a totally different intention while exercising, and reframed definitions of both exercise and what it means to be healthy.
I’ve moved from:
- “What is body perfection and how do I get mine there?” to “How does my body feel today, and what can I do to nurture and support myself in living my unique and vibrant life?”
- “What is the outlined routine that I must follow today whether I feel like it or not?” to “How does my body desire to move right now? Slowly and deliberately? Faster and energetically? Powerfully and with strength?”
- “I just have to get through this so I can get on with my day” to “Mindful movement is one of the most rewarding parts of my day; I love the experience of it.”
- “I’ve got to keep this up whether I want to or not because it’s going to make me into who I want to be; it is the only way to achieve my end goal” to “I love myself just as I am today.”
Mindful movement is an exquisite way to appreciate my mind, body, and health. It is a moment-by-moment practice and process that has no end, and it is an integral part of my rich and meaningful life. Experiencing mindful movement as a practice and a process has definitely transformed my perspective on exercising and my every day experience of it. It feels like this is the way life was meant to be.