Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

January 7, 2021 // Archive

Date based archive
07 Jan


Well each of you know how much butterflies mean to me and their significance (don’t worry I will fill you in if you don’t). Butterflies are symbolic of our fitness journeys in a number of ways, most obviously revolving around the idea of change. In this Blog, I will discuss both the scientific and symbolic elements of a butterfly. May this spring fill your surrounding air with beautiful butterflies….

So the basic childhood story we learn begins with the caterpillar who eats lots of leaves and grows bigger and bigger over time. It sheds its skin a few times in the process and eventually hangs itself and spins a cocoon. In time, the cocoon emerges into a butterfly.

There are a number of symbolic meanings associated with this process. The butterfly emerging from the cocoon represents a new life and freedom. From a brown and gray cocoon, out comes a bright and colorful flying creature. The stages a butterfly goes through in the process of its transformation are very much like that of our lives and fitness journeys. We experience growth and moments of vulnerability. We are undergoing a transformation ourselves. The caterpillar is unrecognizable in the end. I love to hear clients share stories of when they encounter people in their lives who have not seen them in some times as they have undergone their very own transformation. The compliments and praise are encouraging reminders of the hard work one has accomplished. There are religious and faith related symbols of butterflies as well.

A funny thought I had was the caterpillar’s life revolves around eating. It is in constant search of leaves in order to feel completely stuffed so that it can grow. I’m sure some of us have had that feeling on our fitness journeys as we learn portion control. I’d be a rich woman if I charged for every complaint I heard about never feeling full at first when we start to replace old eating habits. Our weak moments cause us to over indulge, but we learn that we don’t have to be stuffed to be satisfied.
Butterflies are also symbols of lost souls. For me a butterfly represents my mother’s spirit. After her passing, it seemed that any significant occasion, holiday, or moment, was somehow marked by the appearance of a butterfly lingering in my presence. I just knew it was her bringing her love and spirit to be with me. As a result, my husband and I released live butterflies at our wedding (a project my brother was assigned to haha) and our guests were camera ready for the one butterfly that sat on a flower the entire ceremony. It was her.

I remember being told as a child that if you touched a butterfly it would no longer be able to fly. However, this is definitely not true. They’re actually playing dead. I have been to exhibits and personally touched quite a few so don’t be fooled. Some of you might “act” too sore in order to do chores around the house or tasks you want to avoid haha, so you “play dead” to procrastinate.

Well, this Blog served as an emotional release for me as well as sending a little personal touch about myself to you all. For those of you who see my tattoos, now you know their meaning as well. I’d love to hear about your butterfly symbolism if you have any. Go spread your wings now, continue to work on your transformations, and embrace the changes to come on your fitness journeys.