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An exercise in self-worth

I've always been the kind of person who didn't much enjoy physical exercise (other than sex, of course). After practicing yoga daily (okay, 5½ times per week) for 10 months, I needed a long break. 3 months, in fact.

Something I noticed, though, is that exercise mixes poorly with low self-worth and negative self-image, two conditions that I suffer from.

When I see myself as fat, weak, stiff, and just plain ugly, then I use exercise as a form of punishment to whip myself into shape. It's not a very pleasant experience, and I can't wait to get it over with.

And when I don't feel worthy, or when I feel like my worth comes from all kinds of strange things, like how much I'm able to produce or how much money I have or make, then I don't feel like I'm worth exercising for. I should be producing something. Do more, then perhaps we'll have time to exercise.

Of course, when this pattern is playing out, when I do feel like I have time to spend on myself, the last thing I want to do is exercise.

Since picking up yoga again, I've decided to only do exercise as a way to express love for myself.

I'm still finding my feet in it, but it's made a big difference. It feels much better now.

I want to know. How YOU experienced this? What have you done?

9 comments

@calvinconaway http://t.co/LjFEJtofxS
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Mikkel Landsdorf

I often find that exercising actually GIVES me self-worth: the body takes over, feels great, and the endless stream of (negative) thoughts quites down. And a more consistent practise have a general good influence on moods and joy. BUT for me it only works or works best in combination with some other form of selv-development. Exercising alone, won't do it and, if a pain is persistent, the joy of exercising becomes a poor substitute and a burden. So; work on more levels at the same time and they will all add to the release and betterment of all we are...❤
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Calvin Conaway

Absolutely true, too.
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