I am fully, 100% committed to intuitive eating. I've been doing a lot of self reflection lately as I am progressing through the processes and steps of intuitive eating. Self reflection sucks sometimes, I really get a good look at how F-ed up I am internally.
Exercise has been a bit of an Achilles heel for me over the years. I've gone from one extreme (in my early dieting days of HATING it) to the other (of obsessively exercising). I am working to try to strike that balance of exercise of finding the happy medium. The knowledge that exercise does not have to be a form of punishment or repentance for overeating or eating the "wrong" thing. I don't need to look at exercise through the eyes of a dieter and see it as another form of calorie restriction. Instead, exercise should be viewed from the eyes of a way to move my body in a way that makes it feel good. Over the years, I have been quite hard on it. I've pushed it beyond its limits on more than one occasion and really hurt it. Dumb, I know.
It is hard to stop when I am an exercise snob. A what???? Yep, I am an exercise snob. Something that is hard to not only admit, but put it in ink, so to speak. I will fully admit it, I love to exercise. Love it. I love the "runner's high" or euphoria or whatever you want to call it that I get from exercise. It feels good to sweat. But sometimes I do it for the wrong reasons. For the longest time I have had SP and my FB accounts tied. I would get my workout done and gleefully log it and click the "post to FB" button at the bottom. It would give me a huge sense of satisfaction, as if to say, "Look at what *I* did". I wasn't posting my exercise as a way to show others how healthy I was, it was a form of virtuosity. I have been showing off. When I have hurt myself in the past, it has been hard for me to back off, take a break, lay off. It is not only admitting defeat in a way, but damn, if I can't workout, I can't say "look what I did today".
It all sounds rather dumb when I put it out there.
Exercise and me need to find our common ground. I need/want to find that middle ground that I can workout and do what I feel like doing on any given day without the rules of exercise. I HAVE to do X days of strength training, I HAVE to do X days of cardio, I HAVE to do X days of yoga. Oh and by the way, it doesn't count if I don't have my workout out clothes on and am not drenched with sweat.......
Sigh. Yeah, I am a bit F-ed up with some of my thinking. I do think in a small way, I have been led back to intuitive eating via exercise. When I felt my knee starting to bother me a few weeks ago, I was finding it increasingly hard to want to stop, admit defeat, throw in the towel with Turbo Fire. I was twelve weeks into the twenty week program. I didn't want to quit. Come hell or high water, I was going to finish. I was going in tandem with the BLC. Giving up Turbo Fire was a sure way to put a screeching halt to any progress I was sure to be making...
Somehow, the quiet voice of my intuition spoke up a little louder than in the past and told me I probably better slow it down a bit. I silenced my stubborn side and listened to my intuition, which quite honestly, is a pretty big undertaking for me. I am glad that I did, because it has led me back here. To my intuitive eating roots. Where I belong, where I feel more secure and safe. I am committed to giving my all to intuitive eating, turning over my stubbornness, giving into the notion of trust. Trusting myself, trusting the process. I will admit it, it scares the hell out of me. Daily. Some might question where the security is in that, but it feels a whole lot better than pushing myself beyond the limits and inviting in obsession and self hatred. Learning to like myself better is a daily struggle, but one I am devoting myself to. Learning to like myself involves learning to trust myself. Learning to trust myself also leads to the principles of intuitive eating and the commitment therein.
Today I did pull out Turbo Fire. I felt like doing it. I went through the Fire 30 video and realized how good it doesn't make my body feel. The jumping and such really does hurt my joints. As much as it saddens me to say this. Maybe I can try to go through the videos and do the low impact version, I might find that I like that a lot better, but that would require me telling my stubborn side to shut the hell up. Today as I went through, I felt good doing exercise, but as my knee started to make some noise, I was questioning why I was doing it at all. This was, of course at the end. I looked over at my elliptical and wondered why I ever gave up on that machine? I look at my elliptical and think about how that is what I did back in my more "inexperienced" exercise days. That was what I did before I was "fit". Never mind the fact that it gives me the best of both worlds, a stellar workout that allows me to work up a sweat, but no impact on my knees to make them hurt. I feel like I have given up on it because doing workouts like P90X, ChaLEAN and Turbo Fire are more of what the cool kids are doing. Sigh. Exercise snob.... I spent a bit of time re-examining my workout collection (and I have a HUGE one) and looking over some of the videos and such that would be more conducive to me, what feels good and what I would like to be doing. I have so many. Turbo Fire needs to be shelved for awhile, at least until I can comfortably get to a point that I can do the modified workout and feel happy with that. I love yoga and I have a lot of that, my elliptical is always a good option with a fun playlist, I have some fun cross training type workouts that don't involve high impact, but use lower weight so it wouldn't strain my body. There ARE options out there, I just need to remove my black and white glasses to see them.
I just desperately want to get to a point with exercise that it is something that is pleasurable AND feels good. Not a means to lose weight, but a means to just move. I do truly believe that our bodies are meant to move but I am beginning to see that it is different for everyone. What works for one person, may not necessarily work for me. In the intuitive eating principles, the 9th principle says: "Exercise--Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm. If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it's usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time." My focus on exercise has been regimented and bordering on militant on more than one occasion. Focused on how many calories it will burn. Focused on compensating for foods eaten during the day.
On my return to intuitive eating, I see now, looking back where my flaws lied before with intuitive eating. I never really gave myself over to it. I was in a small way hanging on to the hopes of weight loss. I never really gave myself full permission to eat and eat what sounded good. Instead I had the "pseudo permission" they talk about in the book, where the guilt associated with foods still hangs on. I never gave up on exercise as a means to weight loss. I never shed my labels on eating, I still proclaimed virtuously that I was a CLEAN eater so I could hang on to some semblance of a label, which is where a lot of my guilt over food came from.
It feels so different this time. I am ready to fully commit to it. Turn myself over to it, the entire process from completely ditching the mentality, the labels, the virtues, the scale, reclaiming my love for exercise as a way that is just simply healthy for my body and makes it feel good. It is going to be a tough journey, not one I expect to take overnight, but rather be a process that I work through daily. But it is a journey I am taking daily, minute by minute and learning to like myself and all of the imperfections housed within (and yes, there are PLENTY
) but it does feel a whole lot better than constantly criticizing myself, hating myself, beating myself up. Nobody likes to be told they're no good, but yet I seem to do it to myself on a daily basis....