I don’t feel like working out. I haven’t felt like doing much lately. I’ve been sick and though I am on the mend, I am still tired. Really tired. Trying to listen to your body is difficult when your mind is against it. What do I mean? Well, our bodies naturally communicate with us for what it needs. Hunger cues, pain, sweat, tears, are all things that tell us something about what our body needs. Fatigue and sickness are also ways of telling us to slow down, take a break, rest. But when you have had body image issues, your mind “intercepts” your brain, thoughts fight with the “you’re hungry, you need to eat” signals and “you’re sick, you need to rest” cues. So, back and forth, the body fights with the mind. Specifically, my body is fighting with my mind to be healthy, to get healthy, to stay healthy.

Honestly, for years I thought I was past this. I didn’t have this battle every day. I just went about my business. I worked out, I worked, I took care of my family. I wore the badge of “recovery,” mentored others, blogged, and counseled, and shared my experience. And maybe that was all true. I hope so. I truly felt healed, better, recovered.

But here is what I am coming to understand. It was easy for me to practice positive thinking, stay in my recovery mindset, and share my story, when my weight didn’t change, when I didn’t struggle with other health issues, when the stresses of life, for the most part, stayed manageable. But as I am aging, my health needs change, and as my weight changes (ahem, I have gained weight- a lot), it gets harder. When my stomach hurts, when I can’t run as fast or as often as I used to, when I see a double chin or a roll on my tummy, it’s harder to “walk the walk” in recovery.

It gets harder to do the next right thing.

It is hard to say,

you are more than your body

you deserve rest

you are worthy of love

it’s ok to not workout

It’s ok to not workout two days in a row

you are not a failure

you are beautiful

but even if you weren’t

that’s ok too.

So in the midst of making difficult decisions with my mom about her care, dealing with COVID and 2020 (2021 *eye roll), and all of the challenges that it brings, I still am fighting this battle too. But I have hope. This is a season. A difficult one. But seasons change. The ones we love and the ones we hate. Just like I won’t give up on caring for my mom, helping my husband as he recovers from sickness, and loving my children well, I will not give up on myself.

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