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ASK MERRILY/Appearance

Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on May 20,2009
Filed Under Personal Development , Opinions,

Photo by John Arundel/Local Kicks
Model/actress Rebecca Pappa of New York City
vamps for the camera at National Harbor.

Dear Merrily,
I want to create a better relationship with fitness, health and food.  My pattern of going to the gym and eating healthy foods has been inconsistent for years.  As soon as I am happy with my appearance, I stop working out and eating healthy.  I want the gym and healthy eating to be a regular part of my life for good.  Why is it so hard for me to do this?
 My goal is to look better.  Deep down I know I don't really care about being healthy.  I wish I could care about health instead of just how my body looks. How can I do this?

Dear Appearance,

It’s a human dilemma – inconsistency.  We view accomplishment as an end rather than a beginning.

Your focus is on external things: gym, food, image, goals.  Are you more than an appearance?  

Bring your focus in with an intention to be vibrantly healthy.  An intention is more creative, empowering, and comprehensive than a goal.  It begins a process that is not looking for an end and has space for inconsistency.  

Keep a journal as you consider the following.  

Is health the absence of illness or an internal radiance brought about by continual attunement to the body’s needs?  Realize daily how much you truly value your health.

What is your relationship with your body?  Are you friends?

The human body is a miracle, an intelligent, communicative, self-healing organism.  It provides us with a vehicle for climbing China’s Great Wall, cutting the grass, earning college degrees, reading, enjoying sunsets and music, walking on the beach.  Without a body none of this is available to us.  Without health the spectrum diminishes.  

Breathe consciously, wiggle toes and fingers, be aware of your heartbeat.  Ask your body what it wants for lunch.  Ask what it needs when you are grouchy.  Wait patiently for subtle answers.  

Examine your beliefs around food.  Is food bad?  What is food?  Is there a relationship between food and health?

Can fitness be attained in other arenas than a gym?  What about walking or using a barbell or ball at home?     

As you explore your beliefs and experience your body, report back and we will plan a next step.

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