Bring the Body and the Mind Will Follow
Years ago when I first started working out at the gym I hated going. Sometimes I would have so much angst around it I would work myself up into an emotional frenzy. I would tell myself stories about the people at the gym and how they were going to judge me and stare at the fat woman on the treadmill. What were the facts? I had all kinds of stories I came up with to beat myself down. If it wasn’t the members of the gym, it was the owner or the cute girl that ran the front desk. What were the facts? I’ve been a member of many gyms over the years. There was one that had a daycare for my young kids. I finally stopped going to that one because the story I told myself just became too much. I would go there with 3 or 4 kids in tow. And the story I told myself, which is hard to admit now, is you wouldn’t be so fat if you didn’t have all these kids. And I was sure that everyone in there was thinking the same thing. It finally became too painful and I quit going. So what were the facts? The facts wouldn’t have served my purpose, which at the time, was to make myself less than, to be a victim, to play small, to not be good enough. The facts would have said you have no idea what people are thinking, have you asked them? That doesn’t help shame myself, which is what I would do with the stories.
Sometimes I made up the biggest stories and I did it so well I didn’t go that day. Sometimes those days would be streamed into weeks of not going. Then I would feel guilty because I had paid for the gym, but wasn’t going. Go ahead Amy, be like 75% of the people in the world that sign up for a gym membership and then not go. Those were days of absolute defeat. I hated those days. And then I hated myself. First I hated myself because I didn’t go. Then I would hate myself for allowing the stories in my head to keep me from taking care of myself. And usually, those days were followed by a trip to Hardees. Drown the feelings Amy in the food. I didn’t know what I was doing consciously until years later. I stayed in that cycle a very long time.
So believe it or not, I only became consciously aware of the STORY telling I do, and did, through this work with Brene Brown. And I still tell myself stories today. Yes, I am more aware of them, but I still do it.
So today, I got up at 5:00 to get myself ready to go to YOGA (I love my yoga class) and the stories started. I don’t have anything to wear. What if my blood sugar is too low to do yoga and then go to the gym ( which is the routine on Friday’s). How embarrassing would it be to “crash” (blood sugar) in the middle of class? Same story-telling, different day in my life. But you know what? I have a different plan today. So I let the stories surface, I let myself go on for a bit. Then I say “bring the body and the mind will follow”. Amy, just “bring the body and the mind will follow”. Just “bring the body and the mind will follow”. Just get yourself there and it all changes. The stories subside and I relax and I do my yoga practice and the gym and all is well. Never once has this been a bad decision in the last couple of years that I have been telling myself this.
This, I now see, is that self-discipline with love that I mentioned in a previous blog. I’m learning and growing.
So when you find yourself up against the wall and your ego is trying to still run the show and create drama where there isn’t any, either with others or right inside your own head, check your story. What are the facts? And then just BRING YOUR BODY and YOUR MIND WILL FOLLOW. Trust the process.
Enjoy your weekend 🙂