Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Intuitive Movement

Dear Annie,

Thank you so much for your well wishes at the end of your last letter. This past weekend was so sweet (+ bittersweet) and joyous and celebratory and everything a college graduation should be, chock full of good food, final goodbyes, pictures with friends, family, and faculty, and prayers of thankfulness for what these past four years have entailed. I cannot believe you went through all of this a year ago already--seems like just yesterday we were having coffee at the Lucky Llama on the morning of your graduation. Wow!

And just like that life changes already! I am 100% in 'wind-down' mode from the excitement of graduation, the franticness of finals, and the stress of tying up loose ends (ex: training my replacement at work + packing + trying to tell people how much I love and appreciate them). You and I talk pretty regularly about self care and it has been interesting to see how I have already shifted into that mode in the past 48 hours. One of the things I love to do most for self care is walk around my neighborhood's perfect 4.5 mile loop while listening to a new podcast. My absolute favorite is This American Life, but this morning I listened to one called Food Psych by Christy Harrison because one of my favorite food/life/intuitive eating bloggers, Kylie Mitchell from Immaeatthat.com was on one of her shows. Christy's podcast is all about finding true health (emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc.) no matter what size/shape you are, listening to your body's natural instincts when it comes to food, and calling our diet-obsessed culture/society for what it is--disordered! This specific podcast with Kylie focused on her own journey from disordered eating/exercise to becoming a dietitian that helps those suffering from an eating disorder. I mention all of this because 1) I love their work/message and think you would too and 2) because Kylie mentioned something that I'd love to hear your insight on; she talked about how her previous obsession with exercise lead her to focus solely on movement (not 'exercise') that felt good and connected her with her body, not dissociate from it. For her that looked like Yoga! She talked about how at the beginning of this process she stopped all exercise and just laid on her yoga mat with her hands on her belly, really connecting to the sensations of her breath rising and falling and focusing on connecting with and accepting that part of her body.


For many years of my life I played a competitive sport, whether it was gymnastics, soccer, or track and field, and sometimes those sports require you to just push through the pain and discomfort, focus harder, and dig deeper. Through my own journey of discovering intuitive eating/movement, it's been interesting to hold those past experiences, my love for goal-setting and persistence in tension with listening to my body and doing what feels good. For Kylie, feel-good-body-movement is what she chooses for her own personal health, but for me, I think there's some sort of balance between doing hard things and really pushing myself (ex: training for a half marathon) and listening to what my body wants/needs. I'm not training for anything and my climbing membership from the SB rock gym is now expired, so it's been fun to think about what's next. I haven't trained for a half marathon in a while, so a new race registration might be in the works soon... :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Does Yoga help you connect with your body like it does for Kylie?
Have you seen a change in how you think about/accept your body since you started practicing Yoga?
What does your ideal intuitive movement look like? Mine is walking + podcast as mentioned above.
Do you find yourself more in one camp or the other (intuitive movement vs. pushing hard for a goal)?

I am SO excited to move to Colorado in 3.5 weeks--it's such a beautiful state with so many opportunities for trying new forms of movement/exercise/activities. I think part of that transition for me will involve way more hiking, climbing, and maybe joining a running club?
I'll keep you posted!

Love you,

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