Instagram post by @jlmansell Jennifer Mansell

Last week marked 1 year since I gave up lifting weights and decided just to dance instead.
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At the time I was terrified of gaining weight. I had been lifting weights with increasing intensity for 5+ years and had become obsessed with needing to workout hard to feel good about myself and my body.
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My relationship to the gym was not a healthy one.
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When the time came to give up the constant pushing to be stronger, fitter, leaner, and better I felt like I was giving up.
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I had so much anxiety and fear but somehow knew if I could get through the shock there would be a gift on the other side.
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So when my alarm went off at 6am on my first morning not going to the gym I got up, got dressed and stood on my front porch staring at the road. "What now?"
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I knew I still needed to move but nothing felt satisfying if I wasnt "crushing weights" or killing myself on the step mill.
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So I decided to do an experiment (mostly bc I was freaking out).
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I would go to the park every single morning and sit on a bench.
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That was my only guideline to begin with.
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I would close my eyes and ask my body what it needed most.
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Then, I would follow her.
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Some days I did jumping jacks.
Some days I danced.
Some days I just laid in the grass staring at the sky.
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Some days I felt like I didnt do enough and got really down on myself about it.
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Other days I felt deeply nourished and content with my new found practice.
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Now that its been a whole year I can say that I made the right choice for me at that time.
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I needed to de-intensify my life and start listening more to the whispers my body was telling me.
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I needed to workout from a place of love for myself instead of fear of gaining weight.
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I now feel free to do whatever my body wants as my daily movement.
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I no longer have to workout to feel good about myself and that in and of itself is a mega shift for me.
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I can now do it just because it feels good.
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I am even actually excited about lifting weights again now that I have no inner narrative about it.
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Its funny how much can change in a year.
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How you can come full circle back to where you started yet have come to know yourself so much deeper along the way.

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