Blissful Body Fridays: Work Out To Be Happy!

running

Happy Friday, everyone!

I thought I’d share some “blissful” moments in my ED recovery as part of Blissful Body Fridays.  I was thinking back to some turning points in my recovery, and this one stood out to me today:

The day I started exercising for my mind, and not for the way my body looked.

THAT was a miracle, ladies and gentlemen, and if I could make this shift, you can too.

Let me explain a little about my process, and where I was at that point in my life.

It was about two years ago or so; I had moved to Winthrop in an apartment by myself, on the beach.  I had just moved out of the Somerville apartment I had terrorized occupied for six years prior.  By this time, I had given up a bunch of old, self-defeating habits and was feeling pretty good.  I was pretty busy in the evenings, so I realized the only time I could work out was in the mornings.  I had never done that before because I hadn’t taken care of myself enough to feel ok about running at 6am.

So I tried it.  And I loved it.

Why?

1.  My workout was done by 6:30, and I had the rest of the day to do what I wanted;

2.  Any anxiety that I had about the upcoming day was erased by the rush of endorphins;

and

3.  I felt powerful for the rest of the day.

And on days that I wouldn’t workout or wait until the evening, I would notice that my mood would be a little more quiet, my thoughts a little more racy.

(That’s why it’s so easy to become addicted to exercise!  You become addicted to the “high” of it.  It’s a tricky balance I still have to examine.)

So that’s when I realized I was working out for my mind, and not the number of my waistline.

Which was a pretty big effing deal for me.

Exercise became a lot more fun for me when I started doing it for my mind.  Before, it seemed tedious, something I had to “get through”.

And I believe I have been able to exercise long-term because I do it for my mind.  When I did it for my body, I did it in 3 month long increments (or so), and then would give it up for another six.

 

So, what about you?  Has exercise been helpful or hurtful in your body image/ED recovery/journey?

 

*Proceed at your own risk.  What works for me may not work for you.

2 thoughts on “Blissful Body Fridays: Work Out To Be Happy!

  1. For me exercise has been both helpful and hurtful. At first exercise was great because I loved how I felt due to that high you were talking about. It helped calm my anxiety and stress about food. As I started to work on eating more, I started doing it more and more until it was interrupting other parts of my life. Yes I was eating more, but I was using exercise to purge. I eventually realized I was addicted to it because I had to exercise even though I was injured, or sick and the amount of time each day I spent working out was reaching up to 4 hours at times. My body hurt all the time and yet I couldn’t not do it. I had to exercise if I was going to eat. I didnt want to give up exercise all together. But I knew it was a problem I had to balance out. I realized that my biggest problem was doing it alone. So, I started exercising with friends. When my friends said they were done, then I was done. It was like my friends were giving me permisson to be done. And thats what I needed. I needed somebody to tell me that it was okay to stop. There have been times where I needed to exercise but my friends were all unavailable to go with. So I would ask a friend to call or text me in an hour to tell me it was okay to stop. By doing this I have been able to really enjoy the benefits of exercise again physically but mostly mentally. Now the trick is, will I ever be able to exercise in moderation by myself again? At what point can I trust myself to give my self the okay to stop? Currently, with just having a baby, the doc says I’m only okay to walk for awhile. I’m anxious to get back into shape and to start working out and running again. And I worry about how I am going to handle it.

    1. I remember being anxious to resume running once I gave birth (congratulations, by the way! I hope you’re getting sleep.). But, I’m glad I took my time getting back into it because my body was so messed up after the birth. But that’s just me.

      I know you will be able to tell yourself to stop one day, but I can’t make you believe that. I remember feeling the same way and wondering if I could ever be healthy/healthier. If you really commit to it, you can. Thank you so much for reading. Peace to you.

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