All About Intentions

I am really bored with talking about food, and I am sure you are sick of reading about it.

When you take a simple thing like cheese off the forbidden list, it really doesn’t seem that exciting anymore.

However if you took me for frozen yogurt, I might jump up and down.

I am obsessed and not afraid to admit it.

Anyway, because eating disorders are NOT always about the food I think it is important to explore other avenues of your life that you feel are important.

Fitness has ALWAYS been important to me.

-Insert groan here because I know what you are thinking…

Exercise addiction has been part of her past…ED wants her to think physical activity is important…she doesn’t really like it….”

I am sure those thoughts are or did cross your mind when you read the word “fitness,” but hear me out, because over the past few months my relationship with exercise has definitely improved, and helped me learn things about myself I am now ok admitting.

1. I don’t LOVE the treadmill.

If you asked me two months ago I would have sworn up and down the treadmill was my best friend.

I HAD to start the day with those red digital numbers that taunted me on the screen.

I HAD to meet my time, speed, and distance goals (even though they were a lot lower than in the past) because without their validation, I was a failure by 5 am.

I still like the treadmill. I still use it, but it is by no means my favorite form of activity.

The past two mornings have been so nice (holler to below 70 degrees!) and I just couldn’t resist watching the sunrise as I took a stroll through the neighborhood.

The best part; no Garmin, no timer, no way to measure anything. Just music, the outdoors and me, which is the perfect way to add some energy to the morning.

2. Dancing IS a workout!!!

Again, if you would have asked me a few months ago I would have said dance was absolutely NOT a workout!

It is too much fun! Its not structured! There is no way to tell how many calories you are burning!

Well hello! Those are some of the greatest things about it!!

I would SO SO SO much rather dance than get on the treadmill because you can do it with friends, you can move your body any way you want, and music is SO therapeutic.

For those of you non-believers out there, you have to listen to techno or some form of house music.

The songs that do have words have amazing meaning, and those that don’t, are just awesome to improve your mood.

Mark Knight “Alright,” and Gareth Emery (pretty much anything) are my current favorites but my playlist doesn’t discriminate, and you shouldn’t either 🙂

But regardless of your selection of tunes, I really do think dancing is a form of expression that is so wonderfully freeing, beyond compare to anything I have ever experienced. I believe it is my most effective form of therapy.

3. Exercising alone is not nearly as exciting.

I used to HATE HATE HATE working out with others.

Unless I was practicing with my squad or just happened to be next to someone I knew at the gym, it was atypical to find my jogging along side someone.

Back in my non-ED days I enjoyed racing with my husband because it was a goal we could set together, we got to travel to some awesome places (DISNEY WORLD!!!) and I loved that he would be cheering me on at the finish, pushing me to go just a little bit faster.

But when I started getting ultra competitive and working out to the point where I didn’t want anyone to know, solo seemed like the best option.

And it was if I wanted to stay seriously sick…

Now, I chose to walk with my mother-in law some Saturdays, go outside with my sister if she wants to take a few laps around our development and talk, and last night I even tried yoga!

This is also another reason I like sweating it out at a club; you are surrounded by others who aren’t there for the caloric deficit, but for the camaraderie and FUN!

Health is not dictated by the number on the scale, but instead is an overall package that INCLUDES mental wellness too.

I have learned that when fitness is a choice, you are doing it in forms you enjoy, with those you love, and not according to a watch that measures steps, times and distance, the concept and happiness factor changes SO much for the better.

As with most things in the recovery world, determining if physical exertion is a good or bad thing for a person comes down to intention.

If I got on the treadmill in the morning, hating every second, cursing the damn machine, but using it anyway because I felt I HAD to BURN CALORIES, then I think it would be incredibly detrimental to my progress.

Just remember recovery is about self-discovery and it is ok if these things aren’t your cup of tea; there are plenty of interests out there for everyone and that’s what makes this exciting!!

But if you genuinely love being active, can compensate for the energy expenditure, and incorporate these hobbies in a BALANCED/appropriate manner, I don’t see anything wrong with being true to your passions.

Hopefully this weekend you will find me in the club 🙂 Its only a few days away!!!

Happy Thursday!

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5 thoughts on “All About Intentions

  1. I think exercise is a very tricky thing to manage when recovering from an eating disorder, mainly because it is very hard to pinpoint the intent. I’ve never considered myself an over-exerciser, or even an athlete, but I have (in the past) become very obsessed with making sure I get “enough” exercise every day and that every day I exercise for a certain amount. To an outsider, it seems normal, but in my mind, it was complete emotional chaos. Like you said, it was my intent that was wrong.

    I like that you are trying new ways to move and be active instead of being a slave to the treadmill. I totally agree with you about exercising with others – it is WAY more fun. Even if I don’t know a single person in a class, I still enjoy doing group classes way more than doing it alone. It’s so cool to see so many people with different body shapes and types and different health goals all participating together.

    I actually think the intent thing can cross over into a lot of areas. Yes, eating disorders are defined by the “symptoms” or “behaviors,” but really, a lot of these behaviors are not inherently bad for people. Like you said, the mental attitude behind them is what matters. Am I running because I like it or because I’m supposed to? Do I really like oatmeal and greek yogurt or am I eating those because they’re safe? The scale can show that we’re “recovered,” but our minds can still be in crazytown. You’re so right about the self-discovery thing. Did you enjoy doing yoga?

  2. Love this! I’ve been struggling with this a lot recently…fitness is such a hard thing to navigate, especially for those of us who have literally been exercising since we were born (which includes you and I). I have been loving some yoga lately though! What kind did you do?

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  5. Great post. I can relate to a lot you write! It’s tough to find the balance and not become too obsessive when you’ve got the ED vulnerability and you also love working out.

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