“The reason to move is to reteach our bodies their loveliness.” Geneen Roth in When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair.
When I speak or counsel or write about midlife divorce recovery, I almost always mention the importance of exercise. Research from all over the place re-confirms the fact that exercise is good for us. In both normal situations (like everyday life) and really stressful situations (like midlife divorce), exercise has a way of not only helping us physically, but it evens out our emotions as well. Plus there are all those endorphins that start running around making us feel better and be more energetic and vigorous and optimistic and sleep better and all that.
Without question, exercise is therapeutic. But as Geneen suggests we must stop battering ourselves and feeling guilty and telling ourselves “we’re not enough like we are” and that we need to be thinner or harder or stronger to be okay. Here’s how Geneen ends her chapter on exercise: “The new ads for The Body Shop say, ‘There are three billion women who don’t look like super-models and only eight who do.’ In the end moving your body is not about flat stomachs or thin thighs; it’s about being one of the three billion women on the planet who are lucky enough to have arms and legs that can surge with energy, to be warmed by the sun and slice through the wind and water. Moving is about the fundamental joy and gratitude of being alive. The rest is gravy.” I agree wholeheartedly. Celebrate the glory of being alive! Put your head back. Reach your arms up. Laugh or shout ‘Thank You!’ Get up and move and truly embrace your body’s loveliness!!
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 (NIV)