What you’re currently doing, or not doing, in your life should not define you.
I used to identify with the activities, practices and behaviors (workouts/diets) that I participated in to the point of letting it define who I was as a person.
The problem with was when my boat in life got rocked, (which it always will), and I wasn’t able to, or didn’t want to “do” those things any more, I felt GUILTY, lost without them, and subsequently unable to honor what my body was actually asking me to do.
When we’re able to choose what we want to do and remain comfortable in who we are outside of those things, those “things” can come and go without our feathers getting too ruffled (i.e., losing our shit, getting depressed, feeling lost, feeling guilty, feeling like failure, etc.)
CASE IN POINT
I used to pretty much define myself by a variety of the workouts and/or diets. Identifying statements included the following:
I am an Intermittent Faster
I am a runner
I am an Olympic weight lifter
Yet, every time I needed (or wanted) to step away from, take a break, or gasp, quit doing one of these things I would feel super guilty. Guilty to the point that I would often continue it, pretty much forcing it, which was waaay more detrimental. (Don’t do this people!)
Life changes, our bodies change, our circumstances change.
Don’t get me wrong, every single one of those things I listed above are great, and were great for me during that season. But defining myself by them prevented me from being able to move on to the next thing, the next season of what my body and my life was ready for.
HOW TO KNOW?
Self-awareness and self-compassion allow you to make choices for yourself based on how you do and don’t want to feel! So for me, I know that I want to feel:
Strong, supple, agile, lean, light, feminine, fit and free.
And I know I don’t want to feel:
Achy, heavy, stiff, tight, deprived, neurotic or exhausted.
For me (and again, this is my experience, please relay this message to your own experience. I’m not saying anything against any of these activities, I think they can be great for the right person and time), but for me, I was feeling ways that I flat out didn’t want to feel anymore.
Breaking up with cross-fit was hard (and actually took me a couple years to do because I was so identified with it!) but it unfortunately had contributed to and was preventing me from fully recovering from Adrenal Fatigue.
Giving up running, something I had enjoyed for 20+ years was sad but the relentless hip pain it causes had become unbearable. (Gah, I sound old!)
I had to step away from Olympic lifting because I was tired of the chronic neck and shoulder pain (I ain’t got time for that!)
And loosening my reigns on my super strict Paleo diet and IF regimen needed to happen when I became aware of unhealthy thoughts and behaviors around food that I believed these practices were at times contributing to.
So now my choice and activities directly contribute to feeling the way I want to feel in my body.
Right now, and this is always subject to change and likely will, I enjoy a combination of Kettle-bell, Barre, Cycle/HIIT classes and walking my dog. These types of movement/exercise makes me feel strong, supple, agile, lean, light, feminine, fit and free.
While I still embrace a ‘real-foods’ framework and am a fan of Intermittent Fasting, I primarily focus on eating intuitively so that I’m always in tune to what my body needs and never feel deprived.
Releasing the need to identify with or be defined by my activity, exercise or diet has been extremely freeing.
Make a list of how you want to feel in your body and a list of the exercises, diet/s, activities, etc., that you currently partake in.
Are you feeling the way you want feel?
Could you feel better by making some adjustments?
Do your thing, listen to your body and your heart.
You are you outside of what you do.
The more you can be comfortable in that, the happier, and likely healthier, you’ll be! ❤
I want to hear from you! Have you had to “break up” with a diet or exercise regimen that was no longer serving you? How did it go?