Writing on the mat, day 6

My notes from day 6 of my “Writing on the Mat” project – combining journalling with Pilates.  Find out more by clicking here.

Before Pilates

Well, I’m amazed to have reached day 6 without writing about that dreaded phrase “body image”, but here we are.  I suppose it’s impossible to write about any kind of exercise without addressing changes to the body.  For me, it’s not about weight loss – in fact, it’s not about any physical goals as much as it’s about emotional and holistic well-being. However, I have found that Pilates makes me feel more confident, and makes me take more pride in my body.  I found myself questioning whether this effect is mental or physical, or whether the two can really be separated:

I suppose personal pride should come from within, but that’s easier said than done.  In a way, writing turns saying into doing. I might think something, but writing turns it into a physical action. It puts it into the real world.

Both Pilates and writing have this effect for me – connecting the internal and the external.  It can make problems like pain and weakness more noticeable, but it can also make goals less abstract.

After Pilates

Perhaps also because it is day 6, today’s session felt like a chore:

I was looking for improvements, and things that could be improved… The session wasn’t bad but I had no strategy and was keen to finish, as I am now keen to finish writing.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, neither my journalling nor my Pilates are effective if I do not give them due time and space.  Though I had started by thinking and writing about goals, I had not paid enough attention to process, which led to an impatient and frustrated feeling throughout the session.

For me, a successful writing session and a successful Pilates session both depend upon being absorbed in the present moment, and the in the process.  Goals may work well for weight loss or a career change, but for me they are not conducive with over all well-being.

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