I'm a sexual abuse/rape survivor. I've been lifting weights for three months now and am feeling good and losing weight! For the last week however I felt anxious and fell off my diet and started eating cookies right after I got home after lifting. Since cookies weren't ever something I ever really ate before I was confused by the sudden attraction to them. I also started drinking soda (my comfort food) again after 3 months of not drinking it. SOMETHING emotional was going on. I just didn't know what!
Then today I worked out and had all kinds of sexual feelings, and was aroused and turned on just from doing barbell curls (alone!) I found my trainer in the gym and asked her what was happening (I felt like a freak) and she was very kind, but laughed and said weight training is very intimate, very physical. Weight training and exercise is all about our bodies and getting in touch with all kinds of feelings, fears, emotions, desires etc. She said EVERYONE feels sexual or turned on, or aroused or *good* at some point in their weight loss, weight training journey if they get serious and really into the training. It's a normal thing. She said for abuse survivors (she is one her self), that the sexual feelings can be frightening, or scary and that many women simply stop lifting when they start to feel those urges because it often triggers the abuse memories.
I was so relieved to hear that! I came home and threw the rest of the bag of chocolate chip cookies away! I had lost my desire for them! I thought/think it's important to post this topic here because it was such a major discovery for me, and I thought it might help others too. Weight loss, looking good, looking desirable and even looking *sexy* is something I think most of us are after. The emotional awareness and training is just as important (if not more so) than the weight training. Yet, I've never seen any articles on this topic! Have you? If you are an abuse survivor, what has your experience been? Scary? Odd? Were you wondering if you were the only one feeling these things?
Okay, did more reading on this. According to various studies, weight lifting and exercise increases testosterone production in men and women - after 6 weeks of workouts for men and after about 8 weeks for women. It also increases blood flow to the heart and other organs (vasodilators), helps ease the pain of fibromyalgia. Testosterone helps in muscle production and yes, it's a natural part of who we are and our natural drives. No wonder so many people meet and fall in love on the Biggest Loser!!
Well, I do remember 7 years ago when I had money for a gym membership and no children...I used to do 1/2 hour of cardio and then 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours of lifting. I loved it and my sex drive definately was increased and I craved lifting. I miss it so much....wish I had the money to go back to the gym, now I have three kids 5 and under and 1/2 the muscle I used to and basically no sex drive....