In order to live your best life, physical fitness is key. However, If you are suffering from an eating disorder and you are under the care of a physician, dietitian or therapist, talk with them about your exercise guidelines. In absolutely no way am I saying to go against professional medical advise.
Fitness is a Privilege
When entering into residential treatment at Center For Change, physical activity was taken away from me. While I wasn’t sure how I felt about this, I started to understand fitness and working out was a privilege.
The Center For Change has a phase program that requires you to advance in order to perform any fitness activity. In phase one, standing for too long isn’t even permitted. While this seemed a little ridiculous to me, I later realized that my treatment team was learning about my eating disorder. They evaluated and set goals and expectations that they deemed suitable. The hardest thing about treatment was listening and taking their direction. However, while I was there I made a commitment to myself that I would do it their way while receiving treatment.
Fitness and Mindset
I engrained in my head that if I didn’t look a certain way that I was not working hard. The thought of my body just being the way it is, wasn’t an option I was willing to accept.
Numerous times exercise privileges got taken away while in treatment. Reason being, my one and only goal was to change my body. I personally believe that working towards realistic goal weights and muscle gain is not wrong. However, having the mindset of ONLY working out to change your body is ultimately unhealthy. There is a balance between exercising to feel good and healthy while also having realistic goals set in place for something you may want to alter.
Keep In Mind
Working out is not something you HAVE to do, it is something you GET to do. It seems silly, but realizing this changed the way I looked at fitness.
Keeping in mind that fitness and movement looks different to everyone, begin trying new activities that are centered around movement. Also, realize that you do not have to follow a certain fitness plan. But while you are learning to value workouts, try activities you might enjoy.
While exploring different workouts and activities, I discovered that running and yoga are two things that I really like to do. In order to not get burned out with these activities, it is important for myself to mix things up and throw other activities in as well. This may be different for others. For example, a friend of mine runs 5 days a week because she loves it so much. Find your groove and figure out what works for you.
Year Round Fitness
If you live in a state that experiences all four seasons, you may think that getting outside when it is snowy is not possible, especially if that means going on a run. This is absolutely false. Below, I am sharing a link of a perfect solution to running outside in the snow. This morning I used the Yaktrax below. They were comfortable and helped me run through the snow with ease.
If you are not a runner, take them up the canyons for a hike. Of course wear them with waterproof hiking boots. You will not be disappointed.
Other Fitness Activities
If you are not a runner and don’t like to hike, there are so many other activities you can try. Some but not all include: ski or snow boarding, sledding with your kids (yes this is a work out), snow shoeing, going to a yoga or fitness class, going to a ninja gym, really the possibilities are endless.
Finding Bits of Identity with Fitness
One of the most amazing gifts we have is discovering who we are and how great we can be. This doesn’t come without hard work. Like I said above, find your groove. If you want to try many things, do it. Have variety in your workouts. Allow yourself to laugh if you do not perform the way you would like. Take the pressure off of yourself to be a perfect athlete because believe me, there is no such thing.
So make a commitment to yourself today to try something new, and let me know in the comments what you discover. I want to hear from you! If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at email@example.com. In the subject line please put comments or questions.
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