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Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

Exercise Resistant? Try this Movement Experiment

Blue Man Group PosterRecently, I attended a performance of  Blue Man Group. At one point in the show, the whole audience Blue Man Groupis prompted to stand up. Then these huge helium filled balls are launching into the theater. Audience members must use their arms to keep the balls aloft, or risk getting hit in the head.

For what seemed like 10 minutes or so, my arms were in the air –alternately, I was waiting for the next ball to come my way or I was relaunching a ball back into the air.

The balls were everywhere! It was really fun!  When it was over and we settled back into our theater seats, I was surprised to feel my heart pumping a little faster. I remembered what I’d learned in an exercise class once…to increase benefits of any exercise, move your arm movements above the heart and you’ll get a better aerobic workout.

Hmm…pushing the big balls up with my arms was not hard work. Still, it left me feeling totally energized and fully alive! I liked how I felt!

Lesson for me…movement does not have to be sweaty, require different clothes, or take much time… to have some positive impact in my day.

So, ever since Blue Man Group I’ve been mindful about doing one, small, extra thing each day to move my body a bit more?  I brought my big exercise ball up from the basement and now keep it in a corner of my bedroom. I’ll do a minute or two of jumping jacks on it while watching TV.  Sometimes, sitting on my in bed, I’ll do 10 arm circles…or 15 leg lifts while sitting at my desk chair, 10 toe touches first thing in the morning. I’ll clean out a closet (or just one shelf in a closet), wipe down the grout in my shower. Heck yes, these all count as movement!

What do you think?  Would you be willing to do an experiment, engage in one  small extra physical thing today…or some other day this week?  See if you feel any differently. Does it have any impact on how you or your body feel–no matter how small. Check in to see if you feel more alive, more motivated to eat a bit more healthfully at your next meal, maybe more energetic, more willing to tackle a task you’ve been avoiding. In my experience, one positive mindful choice makes me more willing to make another…

Mind you, I have never liked real exercise;  still have to force myself to do it…but I’m finding even just a little mindful physical activity has a ripple effect. How about you?


Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in empowering people who are working on emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Immediate Past President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com

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