Hey my friends!
As I mentioned previously, this weekend involved lots of physical inactivity. The first heat wave of the summer always tends to knock the energy right out of me, but I positively relished my three days of cooking, reading, and getting ahead on work. But it also lead to some reflecting…
Now what I’m about to say is just my opinion. I’ve noticed a lot of people in my life and in the blog world have experience with exercise guilt, and the reason I’m bringing it on my blog is because I feel like I have a different perspective. If you don’t feel like reading, then feel free to scroll ahead to some lovely pictures of corn bread!
Though I am well-acquainted with the guilt monster, I can’t say that I’ve ever dealt with exercise guilt. I think we all have different ways that we evaluate our bodies and whether or not I’ve moved a certain amount each day hasn’t really affected how I view mine. Growing up, I played outside, I lived in town where we walk most places, and I occasionally made my way to the gym. But I wasn’t cognizant of how being active made my body better in any way.
Even when I started reading fitness magazines as a teenager I didn’t think any of the content really applied to me. Call me crazy, bu I’ve always been pretty skeptical of how doing 60 squats three times a week could somehow morph me into a Beyonce lookalike. Whenever I’ve “worked out”, it’s never been to achieve something. It’s usually because I just wanted to move. If my butt got a little perkier, then cool.
Three years ago I started having pain symptoms that are now a “normal” part of my daily life. One major side effect of this the serious physical limitations of my body. During the worst stretches I was either on the couch or in bed twenty-four hours a day for weeks. I know this sounds like a nightmare to a lot of people, but I’m so grateful that during that time not once did I think about losing my mileage or getting out of shape. I missed moving around, but I never felt bad about it – what could I do?
I also think about the many people in this world with severe physical handicaps, including some of the people I’ve volunteered with. I never heard them express feelings of guilt because they weren’t more mobile.
I’m not knocking exercise by any means. I credit a lot of my pain improvements to physical therapy and that is certainly a form of exercise. I would never say that exercise is unhealthy. I guess what I want to offer to anyone reading is that there are other ways to measure our bodies than by how much movement we get each day. Sometimes I see the most awesome, smart, inspiring women deduce their entire self-image to how many miles they ran each day. It makes me so sad!
At the end of the day, our body is just a vessel for all of the wonderful things we carry around inside of us! I know that even though my body doesn’t do what I’d like it to most days, I am still the same person. I can still love and learn and have a sense of humor. And I wouldn’t trade any exercise goal for those abilities.
I’m not trying to preach to you all or anything, and I hope it doesn’t sound that way. I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me and that’s 100% okay! We all have a unique life experience that shapes our view on things and this is mine. I just wanted to share my perspective.
But now I’m turning it over to you guys, because I’m really interested to hear YOUR thoughts! Specifically, do you think that some people get too wrapped up in activity level as a way of measuring body image? How should we be thinking about things differently?
Before I depart, here are smeats from yesterday.
Pretty typical food for ninety degree weather.
Cornbread and (lots of) watermelon.
Favorite salad combo.
Carrots for studying.
Then there was the…oatmeal?
Banana protein oats in a cashew butter jar.
I had made these a couple of days ago and stuck them in the fridge because I changed my mind on what I wanted. I ate them cold for dinner last night and it was great.
Have a happy Tuesday!
Jam of the day: The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”