So what’s different?
I mean now that you’ve healed. Now that you’re no longer addicted to exercise, obsessed with your body, feeling a deep sense of repulsion and despair every time you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror.
What’s different is everything. And also nothing. For on the surface the only behaviour change really noticeable to the outside world is the fact that I no longer exercise several hours every day.
The everything remains mostly invisible to those around me. Things like;
I no longer panic when I gain weight.
My brain is not on a constant loop of calculating the amount of exercise I’ve done and the amount I still need to do each and every day.
When I look at myself in the mirror, I see beauty. I see a whole person with a soul rather than fragments of too big, too jiggly, too soft.
When I exercise, it is about the pleasure of movement. There is no longer any level of punishment involved.
My weight has stopped swinging erratically 25-30 lbs at a time because there simply is no “diet and exercise wagon” to be on or off. Things are level. More balanced.
I no longer vilify rest. I embrace it. And I do it a lot.
I inhabit myself and my body more fully than I ever have.
I am at ease when I walk into a room. Free from the anxiety of the constant comparison of my body to others and the judgements I once placed in their heads.
So while its true I no longer exercise obsessively and in many ways it may not seem as though not all that much has changed, in reality nothing is the same. Much like an iceberg, of which you see only 10 percent of it’s overall mass emerging out above the water, the majority of my substantial transformation remains hidden.
What’s palpable to you when you read the statements above?
Does resistance show up? Do you scoff? Or can you feel a sense of peace? Maybe even a small drop of freedom? Is there somewhere deep inside you where it also might feel like the truth?
These feelings, this expansion of consciousness, this dropping of the emotional and mental weight of using exercise to correct something you believe to be wrong…it’s available to all.
And with this note, I just want you to know that it’s possible. That there is a different way to invite movement into your life. A different way to inhabit your body and a different purpose for exercise that's far more expansive than simply attempting to change the shape of your body. And it’s where the real juice is.
It’s where almost nothing but mostly everything can change.
Lori Race is a healer, health clinic owner and writer with a passionate message to share from her past as a fitness instructor suffering from compulsive exercise disorder.