A few weeks ago I was asked the question “Why do you workout so much?” I paused. I opened my mouth. Nothing came out. I didn’t have an answer!
Shock. Panic. Disbelief.
How could something that I had done religiously for 16 years have no reasoning behind it? How could something that had become a full-time job have such a lack of intention? Earth shattering. I revisited the question. If I shorten the question to “Why do you workout?” I can answer it. Strength, health, stress relief, fluidity. The “so much” is where I get stumped. I’m not an athlete. I’m not training for anything. In fact the “so much” actually goes against any of the reasons why I workout. Too much working out doesn’t increase strength, decrease stress or improve health. In fact it worsens it. This realization for me was huge. I had never been faced with such a blunt, straight forward question about my habits.
Yesterday I was meeting with one of my friends, Lauren, who is part of my support system. As we sat there talking about my workout and yoga patterns, slowly chipping away at what I was going to now be doing each week I felt many shifts in my body as the internal battle between Hannah and ED ensued. In fact I even noticed slight changes in my face and posture as one or the other came out. She was questioning my habits, questioning my iron clad routine, which was well…based only in one of ED’s commandments:
“Thou shall always blindly do what you did the day before.”
Really? Obviously that has gotten me to a really awesome place.
As I sat there with Lauren, uncomfortable about what I was stepping into I made a joke about my abs disappearing. Her response? ”So what if they do?” Yikes. Another hard one. That resonated, reverberated in my head. I don’t have an answer. Fear (or ED) holds me back. Fear tells me that if I give up this vigilance I will automatically be sent back to childhood as a fat, little girl who was bullied. A little girl who didn’t have many friends because she looked different. My inner wisdom, Hannah, however knows that isn’t true. We can never go back to what was and besides even if we go full circle, it isn’t a circle. It is a spiral. A new perspective. Hannah doesn’t care about belly fat. Hannah doesn’t even care about weight. Hannah likes to feel strong. Hannah doesn’t like to look in the mirror and feel tired, scared, anxious.
As part of this journey, this intense conversation, I am going to be tracking my intentions, my motivations behind working out and yoga. I have a set plan. I have questions to journal about, to ponder. I’m nervous about it of course but I will do it. I have the discipline to have an eating disorder, to starve, to overwork myself day in and day out. If I have this discipline for evil I have this discipline for good and most importantly I have the POWER to flip it. I have this strength, this internal strength that could out lift anybody out there, but mostly importantly it will serve to lift me up and out of this deep well.
Play along. Answer this questions for yourself:
1. How am I feeling today?
2. Why am I working out?
3. Who is influencing this workout?
4. How have I fueled for my workout?