One of the most consistent messages I send to my clients in private practice is the importance of physical exercise. Blah, blah…those who don’t want to exercise have heard the same old story thousands of times. Getting someone to exercise who simply doesn’t want to is like trying to get a smoker to give up cigarettes – it’s an uphill battle.
Nevertheless, let’s take a moment and think about your relationship with your body. Overall, is it good, so-so, or not so great? Regardless of what you say in response to this question, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding – whether or not you exercise.
Some people may exercise and still not like their body, but they demonstrate their value of and commitment to their body by investing in it. At the same time, exercise is not the only factor that goes into the equation of how you feel about your body. When, for example, was that last time that you looked at yourself in the mirror for more than a minute without clothes?
A scene from a popular film, The Bridges of Madison County, comes to mind in which Meryll Streep takes a long, curious, and ultimately loving look at her body in a full length mirror. I know many of you might be terrified at taking such a gander – but why? And more importantly, do you think that’s something worth changing?
If you don’t have a good relationship with your body – manifested in avoidance of nudity in front of the mirror or of regular physical exercise – make it a point to think about how this relationship affects you. It is my belief that you might be carrying around an unnecessary load of shame, and I suggest it’s time to kick that shame to the curb and do something to improve your relationship with your body.