I have been in the fitness and nutrition fields for almost half of my life now. I have also been an athlete for almost all of my life (except a handful of years in my late teens and early 20’s where I found partying to be more important.)
What I thought I knew about myself and my body, as it turns out, was only just a cover. It wasn’t until beginning my journey with the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, that I began to grasp how I had been pulling the wool over reality’s eyes for quite some time.
I have always been a fast mover and an energetic person, I thought I was just wired that way and my metabolism mirrored that. I have spent most of my life thin, with no obvious problems with food. I never felt like an anxious person nor was I emotional or dramatic…..just kind of focused on whatever goal I was working toward, personally or professionally.
When we started studying embodiment in the Training, I felt that I was one step ahead and that I fully understood the concept. I even created a blog several years ago about mindfulness with a handy acronym: Victoria S.A.I.D (Stop, Analyze, Identify, Distract) for mindful living.
But then, it dawned on me! Mindfulness and embodiment are very different.
I realized I have always just used my mind to tell my body what to do, not being in tune with what my body is telling my mind to understand! WOW! REVELATION!
And that is where everything started to change. I believe now that all of the rules I had put on myself to be healthy and fit, were because of what I learned to be “true” but may actually be “false” for me. All of my “energy” I could now see could be anxiousness I was trying not to feel, my goal-oriented behavior may be stress from fear of failure. I worked really hard to control everything, appetite, emotions, weight, physique.
I wasn’t listening to what my body really wanted and needed from me, I wasn’t even giving it a chance to give me feedback!
So now what? What has changed?
Thanks to my coursework with the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, I try to feel first and think second. There are no steadfast rules, I now just ask myself what does my body need today or even right this minute?
I welcome being still and truly feeling everything from my breathing to my heartbeat to all that is well, and all that is not. I have been able to work with some of my clients on embodiment as well, and it is very rewarding to see them embracing who they are and not trying to force who they think they should be.
My new motto: To quote one of my yoga instructors, “Listen to your body, because your brain will lie to you all day long”.
ABOUT VICTORIA BRADLEY
I have been in the nutrition field for over 25 years, a personal trainer for over 15 years and I’m passionate about helping women embrace their aging body and learn to “age strong”!
Loving our bodies in every season of life is possible and it is so rewarding guiding people to that relationship with themselves!