In-Between Thoughts: Bad Body Beliefs

Holy crap. Lifting after four weeks off makes for a VERY sore upper body. Even as I’m lifting now, four days later, I feel the soreness. Honestly? IT FEELS SO GOOD. I missed this feeling. Now to count down the days until my herniated disc heals and my lower body is set free!

Speaking of herniated discs…

As expected by everyone but me (I’m a slow learner), this physical injury has had a rather intense effect on my mental well-being. I’ve been pretty depressed about not being able to lift, do Insanity, or run. I miss those activities something fierce.

You know what I have also missed? Being able to eat all I was eating and maintain my weight. I worked hard last fall and lost about 13 pounds. I feel really good in my body and am committed to staying here. But fulfilling that commitment comes a lot harder now that I’m no longer burning as many calories.

As you can imagine, this has brought up A LOT of my terrible body issues.

My body needs rest. I had beaten my body up and my back gave up the fight. This injury was the result of me pushing myself to a state of actually unattainable physical toughness and… perfection.

I am a horrible perfectionist. Just terrible. I tick almost all the boxes of the ten kinds of perfectionism. Those perfectionisms come with a hell of a lot of bad belief baggage. The Triple B. The BBB (move over, Better Business Bureau).

My physical injury and its effect on my life has made some of my horrible beliefs about my physical body very clear. My depression signals that:

I believe if I gain weight I am less worthy or desirabel than I am as a thinner person.

I believe what I look like means something essential about me.

I believe it is more important to conform to an aesthetic ideal than to be healthy.

I believe the perfect body is attainable and a moral perfection.

These beliefs are all, pardon my French, total shit. I would never believe them about others because they are cruel. I just believe them about myself.

Or do I?

Because all qualities are only seen as good or bad first in comparison with another and then both in comparison with a standard of some kind, perhaps I am believing these awful things about other bodies and other people as well as about myself.

I am already becoming less judgmental about what people do at the gym. Before I’d think “Lift a real weight!” “Why come to the gym to walk on the treadmill?!” Etc. Now I am lifting carefully and walking on the treadmill because it’s what my body needs and all that it can handle. That is such a good thing and who am I to assume others are not also working out under their own pain or limitations or fear?

Why continue to believe the worst about myself and others?

That sucks. I don’t want to do that to me. I REALLY don’t want to do that to others.

So I guess this old herniated disc crap is going to end up being good for me. It’s forcing me to have perfect posture at all times. It’s forcing me to confront my bad body beliefs. It’s forcing me to take care of my body rather than going all CHALLENGE CHALLENGE CHALLENGE ALL THE TIME.

After today’s careful upper body lift and 35 minutes of slow, low-impact cardio. Happy to do the workouts I once pooh-pooh-ed.

My body is precious. It carries me. It probably gives rise to who I am. It allows me to taste, smell, see, hear, and feel beauty. It allows me to read things that make my brain happy. It allows me to EXPERIENCE. I want to be nice to it and believe kind, gracious things about it. I may be a slow learner, but since this herniated disc appears to be a slow healer, I am fortunate to have plenty of time to really learn this lesson.

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