“Lifting Heavy Things” by Laura Khoudari
is a motivational self-help book that explores the connection between health, fitness, and trauma, providing valuable guidance on mitigating the effects of trauma on the body.
Khoudari’s experiences with trauma and subsequent journey of reclaiming her power through weightlifting lend authenticity and depth to the book. As a fitness trainer, she delves into how trauma can impact the body, often manifesting in complex ways such as affecting personal boundaries or inducing feelings of numbness.
The book is divided into three sections, each addressing a crucial aspect of integrating Khoudari’s system into one’s workout routine. These sections cover mental preparation, physical awareness, emotional healing, and resilience. Khoudari delves into the psychology behind trauma, shedding light on how the body responds to various stimuli. She introduces the concept of the “window of tolerance,” emphasizing that individuals who have experienced trauma often have a smaller threshold for stress before reaching a breaking point.
The book’s organization follows a logical progression, with each chapter building upon the previous one. The language is kind and encouraging, motivating readers to take small steps in overcoming the mental obstacles that may hinder their progress in the gym. Throughout the book, Khoudari gently reminds readers to pause, check in with themselves, and remain mindful of their surroundings—a crucial aspect of the practice. Each chapter concludes with a list of actionable items, including mantras to combat negative self-talk and specific exercises to target different muscle groups in the body.
Khoudari offers tangible guidance, acknowledging her privileges and sharing her challenges in fitness. She dismantles fatphobia by recounting her own experiences of humiliation during high school gym classes and instances of bullying. Stories from Khoudari’s clients represent a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds. At times, the book takes on a memoir-like quality, which adds accessibility and compelling depth to the overall narrative.
“Lifting Heavy Things” draws on personal experiences to provide motivational insights and practical strategies for mitigating the impact of trauma on the body. Laura Khoudari’s empathetic approach, combined with her expertise in fitness training, makes this book a valuable resource for individuals seeking to heal and reclaim their physical and emotional well-being.
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