In my last post, “Get a Body You Love At Any Age” I mentioned “working in” as well as working out. That’s the idea I want to explore with you today – the idea of using movement as a way to connect with our bodies and tune in – not just a way to work out, lose weight, or get in shape.
So I’m not saying we should stop exercising. I am proposing that we stop exercising solely to lose weight, and I would love for this post to prompt a discussion we can have as a community here around this topic in the comments.
In an email from Lissa Rankin back in September, she was talking about finding your calling in life. She said, “The Uni-verse will conspire to encourage you to heed the call, even if it means thwacking you upside the head with the proverbial two by four. When you ignore the call, you may get sick. Your relationships may fall apart. You might find yourself in financial ruin. You may experience a loss so painful you’ll think you won’t be able to keep living. But you will. Because you’re on a hero’s journey. And the hero must prevail.”
This is exactly what happened to me the last few years working in fitness. I started to get this feeling that diet and exercise weren’t enough. We think we’re doing these things to look good, weigh a certain amount or fit into a jean size we’ve assigned our self-worth to, but really what we’re seeking in all of those goals are to FEEL good in our bodies. Maybe even to LOVE our freaking bodies.
This is the calling I was ignoring – to help women not only connect with their bodies, but to use their bodies to connect with their higher selves.
As a personal trainer, I began to suspect that people didn’t just need to, but wanted to go deeper, factor in their energetic bodies and intuition along with the physical bodies, but that doesn’t sound sexy-so of course, nobody is really looking for that. So I did what I always do, I tried it on myself first.
Since the summer of 2012, I’ve shifted my focus (even as a fitness professional) from “look perfect,” weigh a certain amount, or maintain a certain body fat percentage to simply enjoying living in my body. Moving in ways that feel really good, choosing foods that taste delicious but are also nourishing. Of course, shifting the mindset around all of that has been the most challenging part, but when you’re clear about going for a feeling instead of a look – it becomes easier over time.
At several points in this journey I’ve been reminded that “Motion creates emotion.”
I’ve shed quite a few tears in yoga classes over the years – mostly in hip opening poses (we store A LOT of emotion in our hips!). I’ve also experienced it during sprint workouts-when I’m running as fast as I possibly can. What’s interesting is the intensity of the movement is usually directly proportionate to the intensity of my tears.
With this in mind, I’ve started developing a new workout class that will be a full mind, body and soul movement experience. As I’ve been sharing this idea with women in my circle and at networking events when they ask, “What do you do?” I’ve noticed something interesting. This isn’t the type of experience women are searching for. By that I mean, no one is Googling, “full mind, body and soul movement experience.” BUT, when I describe it – they’re all , “yes, yes, tell me more!!” And I really think it’s because we’ve just been pounding treadmills, pushing weights, peddling our hearts out in spin classes and watching what we eat for so long – we’re freaking exhausted. We crave better relationships with exercise and our bodies, but we don’t know where to look for it. We’d love to make time to do a different type of workout everyday, meditate and go to yoga – but that’s pretty rare.
So let’s discuss this in the comments, are you vibing with this philosophy? How are you currently experiencing your body? What kind of movement experience would you create if the goal was to feel as amazing as possible in your body?
Lots of love,
Liz DiAlto is a Fitness and Lifestyle coach, on a mission to help millions of women all over the world get the bodies and lifestyles they crave. Recently named one of the Top 30 Motivators for 2013 by Shape Magazine alongside Dr.Oz, Jillian Michaels, Ellen DeGeneres, and more, Liz believes that willpower sucks and simplicity, motivation and enjoyment are the non-negotiable keys to achieving success. Connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and her website.