Almost two weeks ago my first article for Libero Network was published about why it's important to take a break from exercise during recovery. (Read it here!) So of course, ironically, the very same day my therapist told me I'm to a point where I should start incorporating a little more exercise into my regimen.
A few months ago if I was given permission to exercise I would have jumped at the opportunity. My mindset was still highly eating disordered and exercise was all about burning calories. I couldn't walk around the grocery store or out to get the mail without thinking about how many steps I was taking and the number of calories I was leaving behind. It's time, however, to slowly begin the process of learning to exercise in a healthy manner.
So here I am, two weeks after exercise has been prescribed and I have yet to take action. Why is it that exercise always seems so much more appealing tomorrow?
As a kid I was constantly on the go. At one point I was playing three sports and playing travel softball in the summer; I've never considered myself to be a sedentary person. Even after high school, I seemed to pick jobs where I was constantly running around a kitchen for hours on end. Sitting still didn't happen very often.
Eight months and fifty pounds later, it's safe to say I am in the worst shape of my life. Last week after taking the stairs to the third floor at school, I caught myself out of breath and seeking out the nearest drinking fountain. When did this happen? This afternoon I took a twenty-five minute walk and there's a good chance I will be sore by morning.
So why is it I seem to be having such a difficult time starting up an exercise routine? This seems to be a problem for many of us, not just eating disorder patients.
With yoga being my exercise of choice, I'm terrified of making a fool of myself. Not only will I be the least in shape, but my flexibility has always been terrible. Just like eating, exercise is something I will have to re-teach myself how to do. There's a major difference between exercising for enjoyment and exercising to burn calories. In moderation, like everything else in this world, fitness can be a huge part of a healthy lifestyle; I just need to make sure I have the right mindset when I finally do get started.
After doing a little research, I have found that eating disorder recovery and yoga are a match made in heaven. Rather than competing with the person next to me running five miles on a treadmill, focusing on the self and being centered is taught in yoga. Mind body awareness is a great way for those who struggle with body image to become more in tune with their bodies. Yoga is about letting go of negative thoughts and judgments. There have also been studies done that suggest yoga can help relieve anxiety, improve posture, boost energy and strengthen the mind.
I'm running out of reasons to keep avoiding a yoga class.
Oh and I forgot to mention, my parents paid for my first few classes as a Christmas gift; so there's truly no excuse.
Just like every time we are pushed to face something new in life, it can leave a nervous jitter behind. There have been way too many times I have ran away from something new because it left me with an unsettled feeling- but I'm done with that. I made a choice to trust my treatment team a long time ago and this situation isn't any different.
Sadly, my days of being a lazy bum are over. In no way does this mean I will be spending everyday this week on the treadmill; my therapist and I would be content with one measly yoga class. But, like many things I have chosen to leave in my past, after a little time, it all starts to make sense why things happen the way they do. For this week, my goal will be to go outside of my comfort zone and add a little fitness back into my life.