In our culture, exercise is seen as having to be vigorous, exhausting, intense, and long-winded, in order to be effective. Let’s begin to challenge this notion since it can be harmful to our bodies and our psyches. Movement can be as easy as it sounds. Moving your body.
From Tai Chi to Swimming, Bowling to Interpretive Dance, movement can be something you enjoy doing and look forward to, as a means to get connected to your body, not to punish it.
Those of us with an eating disorder have likely utilized some form of exercise to burn calories. Instead, begin to see it as a form of creative expression in your life. For me, lifting weights became an exciting way for me to spend quality time with my body, feeling my muscles connect to my joints and myself get stronger over time. Training for strength allowed me to begin a different and new relationship to my body that was more respectful. I learned that if I treated my body with reverence by getting enough sleep and rest, eating all kinds of foods that nourished me, and especially speaking to and about my body with kindness…I could get stronger, try new things, and begin to trust that my body wants me to be healthy. This was very rewarding in a whole new way.
What Happens Next?
I want to acknowledge you for taking this time for yourself and being so brave and inquisitive. I hope this process has helped you create a movement practice that you enjoy and that feels good. Healing from an eating disorder is not an easy journey and I want you to be able to give yourself some compassion and reverence along the way. When in doubt, connect back to your healthy, vibrant version of self. (S)he is always within and around you. (S)he loves you and is championing you along all the time. As am I.
Moving forward, know that you will make mistakes, stumble and end up at dead ends more often than not, but never give up on yourself. Pause and rest but do not stop. Your movement practice is here to help you heal and literally move and shift out of a dark place. Your journey to health and healing is just beginning and, like any new skill, it will take practice.
Below are a few questions that you can ask yourself if you feel lacking in motivation or are questioning your ability to heal:
- Why did I decide to begin this journey to health in the first place?
- How has my movement practice made me feel over the past few weeks?
- How can I give myself some compassion and kindness in this moment?
- Who can I reach out to for help and support?
Remember…this is your journey and there is no perfect way to do it. Think of all the love and support you have around you and that you have created within you.
Need more support?
- Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about where to find support or treatment in your community
- Submit a question that will be answered online anonymously via our Ask Joanna section
- Find a therapist that can support you through the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors
Kirsten a CPT and Life Coach who specializes in connection to body and self through Mindful Movement. She recognizes the great need for movement as a part of Eating Disorder Recovery, since much trauma can be held within our disconnection from our bodies, which can therefore separate us from our healthiest selves.
She offers sessions that help to create an understanding of how to move your body through this world in the most aligned, joyful way for you.
She knows from experience that healing isn’t easy, but that it can be the most beautiful and transformative journey of your life.
You can follow her work on Instagram @moved.coaching and @moved.community ; and contact her at her website www.movedcoaching.com