By Jessica Bernstein

Every time I begin a diet, a cleanse or a new workout routine, I want immediate results. I want that instant satisfaction I get when I see changes in my body. But it’s a no-win situation. The more quickly I see results, the more prone I am to relapse into my former habits since I give myself “breathing room.” And if I do not see the results that I am looking for, I usually give up and turn to overall self doubt. Yet again, I am sabotaging my ability to love my body. I begin to question if my body will ever be what I want it to be. Are my efforts hopeless? And, through all of my self-doubt, I lose sight of the value and long-term benefits of developing a simple practice, one that can offer stress relief and long-term health benefits.

If you missed Jessie’s last article, read it here.

My most recent attempts in self-improvement through diet and exercise have been through Core Fusion classes at Exhale Spa. I joined on January 1st, for a full year, with the goal of building my own practice. I gave up my gym membership, both because I was only going to the gym in order to say that I went and because I was no longer feeling any sense of satisfaction or accomplishment following my workouts. I was looking for something new and, more importantly, something consistent. A class offered me a support system: instructors and other members who would be there with me each time.

Now that I have been a member for one month, I can admit that my thoughts have deviated from my initial intentions. About three weeks in, I was not seeing the results I was hoping for. I even walked into the class one time demanding to speak with a consultant. I felt as though I had been made false promises; and again, without even noticing, I found myself subconsciously looking for the quick results. I was ready for a refund. But then, I checked myself, and decided to stick with the work. The next day, I went to class and saw myself changing in different ways than just my waistline. I was doing more push-ups then I have ever done before and stretching to lengths that I had never deemed possible for my body type. After that class, someone came over to me and said, “You have done this before haven’t you?” I felt strong and I felt great. Instead of focusing on the immediate visual effects, I saw the strength that I was building all over. I am learning to have patience and understanding, thus building a new relationship with my body.

In my last entry, I proposed the challenge of taking an inventory of one’s life, in the hopes that we can learn to practice the things that make us feel good and eliminate those which make us feel, well, not so good. While my daily practice may be through exercise, one can find a practice in many forms. You may find relief in taking photographs around unexplored areas of your neighborhood, or even in your personal moments, like when walking your dog in the morning. Since beginning the practice of Core, I have noticed that I am also putting less weight behind my meals and exculpating myself of the guilt that I often associate with my food. It helps me to let go of the obsession, even if just for a bit.

I hope that in making the commitment, we will gain the ability to tap into areas of ourselves that we might have never even known existed. We will realign our focus with positive aspects of our being to ultimately gain a new brand of appreciation and love for ourselves.

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