By now I’ve worked with thousands on Cura Romana. I have tried to help them come to terms with the fact that the program has little in common with conventional slimming diets. These demand that you grit your teeth, summon up every ounce of willpower, and exercise like a fanatic not only while you are losing weight but ever afterward. Such an attitude breeds fear. We have been taught by the media and all those slimming gurus that, just like denying yourself the pleasure of eating delicious food during weight loss, if you don’t force yourself to exercise vigorously you will never reach your weightloss goals. After all, we are told, the body needs discipline. Like a resistant child, the body must be forced to do what is good for it whether it likes it or not.
Nothing could be further from the truth. You do not need to exercise on the CURA ROMANA JOURNEY. Because of the dynamic nature of this unique protocol—unless you are someone who is in the habit of exercising regularly just because you love it—while you are on the rapid weightloss part of the program, exercise can actually be counter-productive. Why? Because the biological, physiological and spiritual transformation that takes place in your body on the program need space and time to be able to take place in their own unique way. So do the “miracles” of enhanced self-awareness and capacity for joy which participants report . Extra pressure exerted from outside by trying to push your body hard or altering the exacting dietary protocol because you think this will make you lose more weight faster will not work on Cura Romana. Don’t even think about it. Now, after more than three years of doing my best to get this through to participants on the program, I think I am beginning to succeed.
It is time for exercise to be reborn. Facing a run, swim or cycle as a chore is missing the point. Movement—whether dancing, yoga, weights, Pilates, swimming or what-have-you is never something you ‘should’ do because you are ‘supposed to’. Exercise has enormous value. It is an important key for reconnecting with your essential being: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So let’s throw out all the ‘shoulds’ we’ve had forced down our throat, and explore the real power of movement and discover how, when it is done for pleasure, excecise can literally transform your life.
MOVE FOR JOY
Joy is a powerful motivator. Once you discover this your whole experience of exercise changes forever. Far from being something you do quickly to get it over with—a chore you ‘virtuously’ suffer through—it becomes one of the most enjoyable parts of your life. American enthusiast the late George Sheehan, whose legacy still continues to inform people of the true nature of exercise, describes this experience well: “Exercise that is not play accentuates rather than closes the split between body and spirit. Exercise that is drudgery, labor, something done only for the final result is a waste of time.”
Running easily down a country road at dawn, gliding through water, speeding down a mountain covered with fine snow, are meant to be done for their own sake—for the sheer pleasure of it. The fact that these activities are good for you becomes incidental to the sensuous, delicious, unexpected pleasure you can come to experience. As you discover this for yourself, you begin to know what moving your body is all about. In the next few weeks I want to explore exercise—movement—and its relationship to joy, authentic freedom, and wellbeing on every level of our lives in a whole new way. I’m excited about doing this and I hope you will enjoy what comes of it and that in the simplest ways it can help enhance your connections with your own body and your life as a whole.