For most of my life, I saw exercise as a punishment and something I had to do to lose weight, be a certain size, and ultimately to be good enough. After years of struggling to exercise consistently, I realized that I needed a mind shift. I needed to learn to move my body from a place of love rather than hate.
Coming into 2017, I decided to drop the resolutions and focus on intentions that are rooted in how I want to feel. The thing with resolutions is that we are telling ourselves that there is something that needs to be resolved or fixed however the truth is we are perfect and whole just the way we are right now. When we focus on our core desired feelings, we can take actions based on how we want to feel versus taking action because we think we have to, should or need to.
After doing an intention setting writing exercise by Danielle Laporte I came up with my core desired feelings for 2017. They are energized, connection, bold, integrity, and abundance. When I move and exercise from a place of love for my body rather than from a place of hate towards my body then I am able to feel my core desired feeling. I feel energized after Zumba class, I feel connected to my body after yoga, I feel bold after trying kickboxing for the first time and wearing my cute fitness gear, I am in integrity with myself because I went to the gym when I said I would (if it’s on my calendar then I am going. No excuses), and I feel abundant because I prioritized me time.
In addition to focusing on my core desired feelings there are 3 mind shifts that I have adapted which really help me workout from a place of love and hopefully, they will help you too.
Tap Into Your Inner Child
If you are anything like me then you can relate to the overwhelming feeling of “I have to workout” or “I really should go to the gym today”. When we approach working out from a place of “should” we are ultimately setting ourselves up for failure because we are programmed to want to rebel against the things we are told to do. One of the things that helped me when I was shifting my perspective on working out was to observe kids. Kids love to move, run around, be outside, and play. One of the worst things you can tell a child is that they aren’t allowed to go outside and run around. This is because we are meant to move our bodies, our bodies crave exercise, but somewhere along the way, we forgot. It’s our job to gently remind our brains that our bodies want to move and have fun. Be curious. Try new things. There are so many ways to move our bodies. We don’t even need to go to the gym if we don’t want to. Through exploration, I have found forms of movement that I love including Zumba, kickboxing, spin, and yoga.
Quit The Comparison Game
Walking into the gym, yoga or spin studio for the 1st time can be super intimidating. I still feel intimidated and start to compare myself to others in the dance studio sometimes and I’ve been going to Zumba for years. I have to consistently remind myself to just focus on my body, get present and connect rather than looking around and comparing yourself to others.
The tricky thing about compassion is that it makes you want to quit before you have even really started. I hadn’t been to yoga in a few months, ok, more like a year and I went to class the other day and I was having a really hard time getting into a shoulder stand. This is a position that when I was practicing yoga regularly was really easy for me. Right away my mind went to, “What’s wrong with you?”, “You use to be able to do this”, “You stuck”, “I am never coming to yoga again”! Yup, comparing yourself to yourself yesterday, last week, last month or last year is just as bad. I was ready to quit yoga forever, but I realized that was just my fear talking and I had a choice. We always have a choice. We can listen to the negative self-talk or we can be gentle with ourselves. When it comes to working out, it can sometimes feel like a daily practice to release the comparison. Knowing and accepting that you aren’t going to be great the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time you try something helps remove some of the pressure, judgment, and negative self-talk. The goal is to be gentle with yourself and ask, “Did I enjoy this?, “Do I feel good after class?”. If the answer is yes, then keep going!
Dress How You Want To Feel
My personal style motto is dress how you want to feel and that also goes for workout and fitness gear. I am all about feeling bold and making a statement which is why I love GapFit for GapFactory. They have an amazing selection activewear tops, leggings, and sports bras – and I got this entire outfit for less than $75. There’s just something about having new gear that makes you want to get out there and move your body.
Thank you to Gap Factory for sponsoring this post.