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The following is a letter I sent in late April to the women in my Large Women’s Health Project:

Since our recent Large Women’s Health Project Workshop, I’ve taken the direction to push myself to move more than I think I can. Probably most of us humans have distress recordings of being stopped from moving when we were little ones. I think physical moving is a contradiction to many oppressive internalized messages that stopped us—hopelessness, discouragement, powerlessness, and more. The following is how I am challenging myself to move more than I am “comfortable” with:

After our workshop I decided to walk ten thousand steps a day (about 3.5 miles). Before the workshop I had been walking five to eight thousand steps and taking the bus more often. A year before that I had been walking three miles to work three to four times a week. In other words, I had been gradually reducing how much I moved. It was feeling harder to move my body and I felt more pulls to eat.

In the past I had noticed that when I move more (walk), I think better about my body and nutrition and feel more encouraged. So after the workshop I walked four days straight—over ten thousand steps a day. Then I felt like I should “take it easy” for a couple of days. I walked a couple thousand steps less for two days and then had a re-evaluation. What was the “taking it easy” about? I was not tired or hurting, so maybe I could just keep walking ten thousand or more steps daily. Basically there was nothing to stop me except the messages I’d internalized.

So I have kept walking every day, and only two days since the workshop have I walked less than ten thousand-plus steps, and that was because I was traveling. For the past eight days I have walked from my home to work—three miles. [Currently I am walking four to seven miles a day.] Before I had been stopping and getting on the bus for the last mile, but there was no reason to get on the bus except for worrying that it “might be too much to keep going.” Another recording!

I am challenging the recordings and using my flexible mind to think about my movement choices. A wonderful benefit is that I feel more connected to my body and I eat better, sleep better, and have fewer pulls to eat to deal with feelings.

I encourage us all to move more than we think we can. In thinking about my body, my health, and my well-being, I have started on a good course and then stopped numerous times, and I have noticed the same with many of us who are putting attention on our health. In recent years I have focused on taking charge. When I notice I am gradually moving less toward being physically active and thinking well about nutrition and what I put in my body, I push myself to stay moving and to notice and discharge the early messages that “stopped” me. Saying no to the recordings and holding the direction for as long as I can, re-deciding when it fades, not blaming myself, and discharging, discharging, discharging are important.

Move, and notice and discharge about your recordings about movement. I hope you will share how things go for you.

Marion Ouphouet

Seattle, Washington, USA

(Present Time 188, July 2017)

Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00