Tuesday, March 23, 2010
This morning my physical therapist did some heavy duty stretching on my lower back and hip flexors. This was followed by a session of bio-feedback, which I find fascinating. The bio-feedback allows me to isolate and use certain muscles; working them within a certain range. Today the stretching left me rather sore and my selected muscle control was very challenging. After some frustration and lots of effort, I was able to complete the exercises. Before leaving, I asked my physical therapist if it would be okay for me to go to my water aerobics class. She asked me if I was sore, which I was, and discouraged me from going - just for today. Milder exercise would be better for me today and intellectually I know that. My immediate response to myself was, "You shouldn't have asked her, you just should have gone". Hello? What was I thinking to even have entertained that thought? If it's going to hurt me, why do it?
I should explain here that I have a history of compulsive exercise (which my physical therapist knows) and have injured myself by over exercising in the past. I switched to water aerobics because I can no longer do aerobics on land due to my weight and physical limitations. I love doing water aerobics and water jogging, so going without it, for a second day in a row, is disappointing. What concerned me today is the fact that I would even entertain the idea of doing a challenging aerobics class when I was already sore from treatment. Which brings me back to the statement "If it's going to hurt me, why do it?".
How many times have I over done exercise, eaten something that I knew I shouldn't or left myself wide open for emotional hurt? The answer is, more than I can count. And yet, I'm still doing it! I'm sure that if I tried to pick it apart I could come up with some deep seeded psychological reason for doing things that hurt me but the fact is, I need to change my behavior. Coach Dean hit the nail on the head with his article about guilt. I wrote a blog about it several days ago. We all have that little inner voice that tells us what we need to do. I just need to listen a bit more closely. My gut reaction is usually right on target if I can only get myself to listen to it.
My husband once observed that even if what I say is correct, if someone else (who I consider to be smarter than I am) says something different, I will toss aside my opinion and assume theirs is correct. He's right. After years of abuse while growing up, I learned to ignore my gut. Well, it is time to wake it up again! I need to re-learn the art of listening to myself. When I do, loving myself as I am right now, will be easier.