How to Love Exercise (and yourself)
The other day, I went out or a 6km lunch-time run and when I came home, I was feeling on top of the world (oh hey endorphins).
I looked in the mirror and thought WOO I am looking goooood.
Am I super lean? Nope. Do I have major booty gains? Nope. But did I feel proud of my body for what it had just achieved? HELL YES.
*Does a happy dance for practising self-love*
Then literally my next thought was, ‘oh it’s such a shame I have no one to appreciate this.’ (Warning: apparently I can be really vain). And that’s when it hit me. I reality checked myself right there and then – who cares if anyone else sees how toned/lean/healthy you look? You got to work out for YOURSELF, not just for the compliments from others.
If you’re working out to impress someone else; to gain recognition or validation from a partner, friend or workout buddy, then you’re doing it for ALL the wrong reasons.
You MUST do it for yourself. After all, you’re the only person who really matters. You’re the only one who will truly reap the benefits of working out, and if you incorporate exercise into your lifestyle for the rest of your life, you will feel the benefits forever.
your mind-set is one of the hardest things you can do, but by following the
three principles below, you will begin to love exercise and yourself.
Set targets that are not aesthetic
Set a fitness or strength related goal for yourself – sign up to a 5 or 10k; work towards a 50kg deadlift; work on being able to hold crow pose in yoga.Set any goal you can measure your progress with that doesn’t involve weight, waist size, dress size or thigh gap.
Work out to feel good
I always notice that I feel so much better about myself, my body and my life in general after exercising. If you start working up a sweat 3-5 times a week, I PROMISE you will feel happier. But only if you see it as a way of nourishing your body, not a punishment for what you ate yesterday, or what you drank at the weekend. Your motivation to work out should come from a happy place of self-love and appreciation for your worth.
Be kind to yourself
If you ‘slip up’ and have a heavy weekend filled with alcohol, pizza, chocolate... whatever your vice is... don’t beat yourself up. Accept that it happened, acknowledge how the food has made you feel, and move forward. Plan your workouts for the following week and
stick to kill them. One binge will not make
you fat. One chocolate bar will not undo your abs. One week of no exercise will not
leave you with shrivelled up muscles. The key is accepting yourself - 'bad' decisions and all - and still moving forward in a positive way.
And if feeling amazing for yourself is not enough to convince you to work out, other positive side effects of exercise include...
- Feeling physically stronger and leaner - who doesn’t love feeling like Popeye?
- Being able to eat more food. Because let’s face it, this is the main reason most of us work out. WE LOVE THE FOOD.
- Being more productive and creative - banish that brain fog!
- Feeling happier – thanks endorphins