Dancin’ on the Treadmill


Usually, when I exercise, it’s fraught with guilt. Same song, 17th verse. I’m not exercising enough. I shouldn’t have eaten that (whatever). I’m not exercising right. Yada. Yada. Ya. Da.

Intentional Eating addresses the area of exercise as well. But with a twist. Instead of exercising, you experiment with moving your body for the purposes of feeling good.

Tonight I felt ready to try this so I headed to the basement to our treadmill. After tracing all the extension cords hither and yon and figuring out I couldn’t plug in a light if I was going to keep the treadmill and the freezer plugged in, I decided to listen to music instead of read while I walked.

I’ve always liked the info the treadmill gives me — calories burned, distance covered, total time, miles per hour. I’m kind of a numbers chick. And tonight I glanced at those numbers every so often, but the experience was much more about walking, listening, and eventually dancing. I adjusted the speed a few times and got it up to a “good” pace, then when I felt like I needed to, I slowed it down, dancing all the while.

The best part of this paradigm shift is that I don’t have to make any rules about EXERCISING. I don’t have to feel guilty for not setting up a schedule, or for setting it up and then not keeping it. Oy. But as I listen to my body about being hungry and full, so I will listen to my body about needing to move and needing to be still. Or at least I did today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

My playlist tonight:

Walk — Foo Fighters — Steven Manuel sang this at Crossroads this Sunday and it was electric!
Take Me Out — Franz Ferdinand — overheard this on Eli’s computer one day and I like the energy of it.
Joe Satriani — Is There Love in Space? and Flying in a Blue Dream
My Chemical Romance — Planetary GO
downhere — Hope is Rising

I think the treadmill said 35 minutes or so was my total time, but what a difference to just enjoy the process of moving, of dancing, experimenting with different gait paces based on the music I was listening to, and to feel the freedom that comes with enjoying movement.

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