Life is too short, too precious, too arbitrary, too fleeting for you to spend one more minute, one more second at war with yourself. You know what I’m talking about.


When you look in the mirror and think ‘If I was just . . .’ Or when you debate in your head for twenty minutes about that really nice looking piece of pie. Or when you think to yourself ‘I should . . .’  Or when you talk to yourself like you don’t even like who you are, like you would never talk to anyone else.

I’m not religious, but this springs to mind.


How much time will you waste in this war with yourself? How many moments will you sacrifice to it? And when you get to the end of it, is it even justifiable?

Three years ago, I was so deeply uncomfortable with myself and with the way I looked. But if I could go back now and talk to that person I would tell her you don’t need to diet and exercise, you need to eat and move. Because all the joy, self confidence and freedom will come from allowing your body to do what it was born to do. Running isn’t a punishment for my body, it’s a celebration of everything it is capable of. I would tell myself back then that once you see what your body is capable of doing, it will be impossible for you to think one critical thought about it, no matter what it looks like.

To the outside, it might look like my body changed and so I changed how I felt about myself. But that is just untrue. It’s backwards. I changed how I felt about my body and then my life changed.

So when I see women being hard on themselves, their bodies and their achievements its heartbreaking to me. Because I remember what that was like. I remember that person who was so vulnerable and so completely unaware of just how tiny a cage she was building for herself.

If you have had a similar experience to me, it might be time to bust out of that cage, it might be time to love your body for what it can do, it might be time to celebrate that. It might be time to stop being at war with yourself.

If you are ready to start moving more and to stop the war with yourself, you might like our Learn to Run course. Registrations are open now. 



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Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. *sniffle* How does one do that? Break free?

  2. Such wise words, so inspiring. Body image is a constant war within ourselves so hard to break the cycle. But with each little step it can be done.

  3. I am trying so hard to do this right now. I am finally at a point of maturity (because I think that's what it really takes, for me) to discover that this isn't about body for me, this is about health - mental and physical. Any body trimming and toning that happens is just a perk at this point - simply a visual manifestation of the work I have been doing on the inside. You're so wise. Fan girl out.

  4. Zoey Dowling

    Gosh I love this! All of it! I started moving to lose weight but that fast became a side effect of the moving. I've never loved moving before because I always thought of it as a punishment like you said. Now it's something amazing that my body can do and I can't wait to get back out there and do it again!

  5. I love that you mention pie. I am constantly, constantly at war with this body of mine and look at all the amazing things it does for me. I'm working on it. In the meantime, I want to cut my hair short, I have the style decided on and I'm still scared and yet, life is so short! And hair grows. Might get it done to celebrate Melb Mara.

  6. Body Image is a big topic. If I could take back all the hours, all the events I hated and all the panics and melt downs I had before an event just because I felt fat it would make up a large proportion of my life. The interesting thing is that I never go to an event and judge a person by what weight they are. I do however remember the fabulous conversations, the fabulous people I clicked with and the women who exuded confidence in themselves. I have worried about my daughter taking on the negative vibes I might put out. I now live by the philosophy that the body is so amazing. The excitement comes from what my body can do. The happiness of feeling fitter. I said to a friend the other say. I have not lost weight but I would never give up exercise. It makes me soooo happy. sorry about the essay length response.

  7. Hmmmm - I think you may have been living in my head for a while !!!! Me xox