Moving Your Body Through Recovery

Recently Sunny and I were having a conversation about the important role that moving our bodies has played in both recovery and in our overall sanity with food and our bodies in general. The idea that exercise promotes health and well-being makes clear sense, but sometimes the word “exercise” or “working out” has the potential to get intimidating or set up an almost diet mentality, except in activity-form. Example: “Oh man, I haven’t worked out all week! I’m tired and lazy. Guess I there’s no use in going today.”

I also think I shy away from directly talking too much about exercise because it can mean so many different things to people and worry that it could potentially have sensitive associations (ex: a binge-exercise cycle or something along those lines). As much as this may be the case, it’s pretty clear that moving your body is important to both feeling good mentally and physically. As Sunny pointed out to me during our conversation, some kind of movement is usually part of a comprehensive plan towards recovery. The way she described it as movement really struck me and helped me to think about it in perhaps a better way.

I really like  referring to it as “moving your body,” because that can mean a whole lot of different things that can be helpful. We are all so different and finding something that you like and makes you feel good is so much more powerful and effective than just doing something because so-and-so told you it’s good for you…or will give you flatter abs, or whatever. I think in terms of getting sane with food, your self and your body, sometimes taking away the pressure of “I need to work out this exact way, to attain these specific fitness goals, so I can look this specific way,” can sometimes be more daunting than anything else.

In my experience, I have found that it’s really about finding the balance between what feels good and what you can see yourself doing on a regular basis and not getting too obsessive over it. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is go to a gym and work out really intensely, and somewhere along the way it has been drilled into my head (incorrectly) that I’m not really exercising unless I go really hard. Sometimes I end up not doing anything at all because of this! (So silly). By switching my mentality to just finding something that is just moving my body, it can really help motivate me to finding a healthy alternative that I enjoy.

Some alternate (from a gym) ways I like to move my body:

-Walking around my neighborhood or a pretty/interesting place (alone, with a friend, or with an animal)

-Hiking in the hills nearby, or on a trail (I hardly feel like I’m “exercising”)

-Dancing! (Putting on some tunes and rocking out can be really refreshing and good for the soul.)

-Jumping rope or hula hooping (I felt silly at first, but it’s actually really fun!)

-Doing a workout video in my room (or finding one online)

-Biking to do my errands instead of driving

-Baby-sitting my 2 year old cousin (she keeps me running around)

-Jogging to meet a friend for coffee/tea

Do you feel like moving your body is an important thing for feeling good? Do you ever get tripped up by putting too much pressure on it? -Morgan

For Food- and Body-Sanity Tips of the Day, follow Sunny on Twitter!

tweetTweet This


7 Responses to Moving Your Body Through Recovery

  1. Astrid says:

    Moving my body has been so helpful! I love varying my “workouts” and trying new things. Some days its yoga, some days my bike trainer, some days running. And today, I played a playlist I put together and just danced and did random exercises to get all nice and sweaty. I used to be in a state of mind where I would get obsessive over cardio. When this happens, I turn to yoga. It calms me, keeps me flexible, and is stille xercise. It wasn’t until I incorporated strength training that I started to feel my body getting stronger, healthier, and happier. This keeps me wanting to move and be inside my body. You are so right, Morgan, exercise is very much a key to recovery. But like recovery, it is not a perfect process to find a happy medium with moving your body!

  2. Katie says:

    A key for me is moving my body in a way where I am thinking about other things and NOT my body. Hiking, bike riding outside, long neighborhood walks; those are best for my mental wellbeing.

  3. Sunny says:

    Thanks for this great post on exercise, Morgan. It can be such a sticky subject for so many women with food or body issues. As soon as even a little part of me starts to think of exercise being “weight-related,” all the fun is taken out of it for me and it becomes a chore. Moving my body is all about being connected to my physical self and about mental health. Nothing keeps me as sane as exercise! (Speaking of which, I am just ACHING to get to a Pilates class…been so busy since coming back from vacay.) xo…Sunny

  4. Rachael says:

    I love moving my body. Nothing beats the high you get after running. It can take me some convincing to get out the door but once I do, its so so good. Exercise has one thing that has always helped me throughout my recovery.

    Plus yoga is fantastic!

  5. [...] week Healthy Girl posted about Moving Your Body Through Recovery, a post about the importance of movement in bettering your body image and learning to love your body. I couldn’t agree [...]

  6. [...] easy to get caught up in the idea of exercising, turning into yet another facet of the disease.  The Healthy Girl addresses this issue by explaining how to shift your thinking from “must exercise” to [...]

  7. sui says:

    Moving my body is DEFINITELY one of the key factors, kind of a final frontier, if you will, of my ED recovery! I used to binge because I wasn’t hungry very often (ironically) and I wanted to eat, and I also didn’t feel like I was doing much. Moving my body makes me feel good, and it makes me feel hungrier so I can eat more often! Hehe. I love that you call it “moving your body”, because that’s how I call it, too. Screw “exercise” or “working out”, moving & loving your body is the best :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *