Friday, August 1, 2014

True Strength: Lesson from Spin Class

INNER STRENGTHGod gave me TONS of breakthroughs today, but not much time to write so gonna break them up. For today’s the focus is inner strength and what that means.

I’ve noticed that I have all this strength and willpower in spin class to push past the point when my muscles are screaming. I just hear the instructor telling me I can do it, and I feel the support of those around me pushing through, and I push. And when the time is up for the interval…I feel proud and happy. And it gives me the energy to push again. Then, before I know it, the class or the drill is over and I have pushed more than I ever thought possible.

Today in spin as I laid it all out in the class, putting all my anger, stress, and aggression from the day into class, I tapped into this strength again. I just took all of my emotion and pushed. And it was the best class I have ever had. I walked away feeling strong and capable and amazing.

I started to realize I call this kind of push strong and showing of willpower, but when it comes to pushing myself in recovery, I lose that characteristic. I just feel scared and weak. But this same strength, to push through the pain in spin class, it’s the same strength I can use to kick ED in the ass. I can take all my motivation and frustration with ED, and gear it towards pushing. No, not past physical pain (though sometimes with my tummy that is the case), but through the emotional turmoil.

I can push past all the things ED is screaming and do what is right. Just like when my body is screaming that I need to stop and I push through and my body realizes it is stronger than it thinks…the same goes for recovery. ED will be screaming I can’t or shouldn’t eat this or that, or I have to do this behavior or that behavior….but I can push through. I can use my strength, the strength of God, the strength of those around me cheering me on and fighting their own fights and push. Just like in spin I can push past what is screaming, and realize just how strong I am.

In spin, I push through each interval…focusing just on that moment, that interval..that’s all I have to get through and before I know it class is over. If I were to focus on the whole class I would get overwhelmed and not push myself as much (trust me I have done this). But when I take it drill by drill, interval by interval, moment by moment…and cherish each moment…I am able to push and enjoy class and before I know it it’s done. The same thing goes for recovery. I need to take it meal by meal, bite by bite. All I have to do is the right thing in that moment, all I have to do is get through that one freedom food….I need to be in the moment, just realizing the strength I need for the moment and the fact that I have it. I don’t need the strength to get through all of recovery or all of my meals in that moment, I just need the strength to get through what is right in front of me. And when the next meal or challenge comes, I will have the strength I need to get through it. But I need to just be in the moment, in the challenge, realize my strength, and before I know it, I will be free.

The last thing about this inner strength I see in spin that I now see is in and crucial to my recovery….is that both are ones to be proud of. I let ED all too often beat me up about my progress in recovery…either guilting me for doing it or making it seem insignificant in comparison to where I need to go. But whenever I push in spin…I am always proud. I never say it wasn’t a good enough push or am mad at myself for pushing through the pain…no…I just feel strong and capable and proud. I tell myself I have such strong willpower because I push through the screaming of my muscles, but if I push through ED I let him characterize that as loss of willpower….but he is wrong. It is a million times harder to push through the battle and screaming in my mind than it is to push through in spin.

I mean think of it this way. Tons of people in gyms all over the world push through their muscle limits every day. It doesn’t make me that unique. But recovery….pushing through a mental battle like an eating disorder….that is something only the strongest warriors are able to accomplish. Something only relying on the strength of God can make possible. And tapping into that strength, fighting the never-ending screaming in your mind….that takes true power, true strength, true courage. It’s something not very many people ever have to face and those who do face it know just how hard it is. So pushing through, kicking ED in the ass…it’s something to be proud of.

I know a lot of us with ED struggle with overexercise or exercise addiction. Well use your exercise love that has gotten so twisted to gear your recovery. Take that strength you once used in exercise (or still use if you are approved like me) and use it to kick ED’s ass and feel proud as you do it. Don’t let ED tell you you can’t, because you have shown you can push through. You have shown you are strong when you pushed your body in the gym, and so you can push yourself in recovery too. Tap into that inner strength, it’s inside you waiting to be unleashed…and kick some ED ass. And when ED tries to make you think it’s weakness that is allowing you to do the recovery things, tell him he is wrong. That it takes true strength, true courage, true willpower to fight against your mind and to recover. It is something to be proud of and is a battle God only gives to His strongest warriors. You can do this. The power is inside you. It is the Holy Spirit power.

It’s the power you use to push through a workout when it seems everything is screaming to stop. It’s the power in those moments to hear the voice saying I can do it, tapping into that, and realizing your strength. That’s the power you have to do the recovery thing when ED is screaming you can’t. It’s the power to hear the inner you screaming yes you can. Take it moment by moment, decision by decision, bite by bite. Tap into your strength and before you know it…you will be on the other side. Face your freedom foods, eat your portions, take your rest the life you want no matter what ED says. We can do this. With God’s strength….the strength He put inside each of us through His Spirit…we can do this. We are capable of more than we can imagine if we just give ourselves a chance. 

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