Work It Out

My body and I have had a tumultuous relationship at times.

As a kid, I pushed my body to the limits doing gymnastics. When I quit gymnastics, I transitioned into dance. And then into sports like field hockey, soccer, and softball.

My body was agile, strong, and ready to take on the world.

As I got older, my level of physical activity waned. I stopped playing sports and starting working out. I would have bursts of time spent at the gym — going 4 days a week at my peak — only to stop it altogether once I left graduate school.

When I was diagnosed with food sensitivities, that loving relationship I had grown accustomed to turned into one of frustration and fear.

Shortly thereafter, I was in a car accident that left me with a sciatic nerve in my lower back.

Trying to get pregnant brought on a whole new level of frustration and hatred. For four years, I tried to will my body into submission; to force it to do something that it wasn’t ready to do. It repaid me with a miscarriage and even more frustration and anguish.

My mantra during those years was, my body is broken.

It had somehow failed me and led me astray.

I did a lot of soul-searching during those years. I worked hard to heal emotionally and physically. I did meditation regularly. I journaled and released old stories I had been carrying around. Including the story (and belief) that my body was somehow broken or defective.

My body and I, we’re back on loving terms.

We’ve partnered together to create some amazing things. We have healed together. Shed old stories and aches together. We even created and nourished life together.

Through it all, I’ve realized that I don’t always treat my body well. I give it crap and expect it to function without fault. I run it down and expect it to continue plodding forward without so much as a pause. And I sit on my bum all day long, while still expecting it to be strong and lean.

No more.

I am taking care of this body of mine.

Showing it how much I love and value it… all while kicking my own ass into gear. Instead of thinking about how miserable I am or how unhappy I am with how I feel, I’m doing something about it. I’m eating better and working out for the first time in 2+ years.

And you know what? It feels amazing.

(Even though I’m fairly certain both my body and I have the same level of hatred for those goddamn jump squats.)

What is your relationship like with your body? What could you do to show it some love and care?

More about Emily Levenson

Emily Levenson is a therapist turned holistic health coach, podcaster, meditation encourager, and seeker of everyday magic. Emily recently kicked off her third #The100DayProject, focusing her efforts on daily meditation.

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