Have you let "life" get in the way of your physical activity?
Me too. After having three kids, trying to get a private practice up and running while also holding down a part-time job has left me with mixed priorities. My physical activity got pushed to the bottom of the list, but recently I am believing that I am worth it. I am worth the time it takes to have fun in the gym, to take care of my body, mind and spirit through lifting weights. This is not effort to get my mommy body back, but an effort to be active so I can be strong again. This is an effort to keep my body from deteriorating to a point where I can't move well, have little flexibility and simply can't participate in life the way I desire. I have been more active recently and it has been liberating on some days and other days...well, not so much.
I went one week between weight lifting sessions.
When I went back to the smith machine after 7 days of missing it, I had a realization of how weight training is like training to be an intuitive eater again. Here are a few key points I observed.
IT TAKES DESIRE & MOTIVATION TO GET STARTED AND KEEP GOING.
You must WANT to make a change, understand the why behind the change and have a realistic vision of the outcome. If intuitive eating (from here on out to be referred to as IE) becomes about weight loss, it simply becomes another diet. So, be mindful of WHY you want this new path.
INTUITIVE EATING NEEDS A STRONG FOUNDATION
I have lifted weights most of my life. So, I have a good foundational knowledge of form, appropriate exercises, reps & sets as well as weight progression to get to my next lifting goal. Intuitive eating needs a strong foundation as well. This means understanding why diets don't work, awareness of how they have hurt you and the basic principles of IE.
CONSISTENT TRAINING LEADS TO GREATER SUCCESS
If you have ever spent time in the gym, you understand that time off leads to muscle loss and it can take time to rebuild strength, stamina, flexibility and even to reach the point where you left off. Even with just a week off, I experienced this "set-back", if you want to call it that. So it goes with IE as well! When you take a break from it, the trust you have in it fades, your awareness of hunger is questioned and fullness becomes something to avoid. But in all of this, you can give yourself GRACE.
IT'S A JOURNEY AND IS DIFFERENT FOR EACH PERSON
Over the years I have come to learn and embrace (most of the time) that comparing my lifting journey to those around me just sets me up for disappointment. Yep, even when I compare to myself saying "Just last week I could lift X pounds for X reps and X sets. I 'should' be able to do more." Instead, I offer grace and compassion to my mind and body as I push through the best I can for that day. The same can be extended to you during the intuitive eating journey. Some days you will simply miss your own target, that's okay. You are not a failure. You are not doing it wrong. If you have missed some of your "training days", when you pick back up on the IE process, it may be a little harder. Again, that's okay.
Take time to embrace the process. Aim for consistency, but when you miss, don't give up on yourself, or the process. Shower yourself with grace and compassion as you pick back up, even if it is not quite where you left off the last time. And remember:
You are loved.
You are accepted.
You are more than a number.
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