Exercise. Many of us we have a serious love/hate relationship with this word. Have you ever started on a workout plan, determined that this will be the start of the new you only to find that a week later you are back on the couch or skipping that spin class? Yeah me too. The problem is I used to workout for the following reasons:
- To punish myself for eating too much
- To get rid of excess weight that I hated
- To get that “perfect beach body” before I went on vacation
- So that I’d be attractive to men and feel loved
The motivation was all negative and rooted in a lack of my own self love. I believe that our life is a result of many cause-effect relationships where the effect always mirrors the true intention behind the cause. I believe the reason WHY you are doing something is almost more important than WHAT you do in determining the outcome. In the past the WHY driving my workouts was rooted in “not enough” and therefor the experience or effect I received was just that. Not enough. Not fun. Disjointed. Unfulfilling. My body and weight reflected that but more importantly my mindset reflected that.
Here’s the thing…there are so many benefits to exercise that you can’t measure in a before-and-after picture and that are a reflection of self love. When we start to tune into these “invisible” benefits it helps our mind link exercise and pleasure which is the secret to building new, healthier habits. When our WHY for exercising becomes grounded in self love the outcome will reflect it and your mind, body & soul will become more vibrant than ever before.
Here’s a list of the self-love rooted reasons I make time to move every day:
- Heart health – I want to live until I’m 100!
- Increased energy without all that coffee
- To detox my body, skin & mind through sweat
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Improved mental clarity, focus and resilience
- I’m a more patient, kind and present mom after
- Increased creativity – I often come up with my best ideas when my heart rate is up
- It’s where I go to battle with my inner demons in a healthy way
- Better sleep
- Keeps me on track with my daily water consumption. When I’m exercising I’m thirsty so I’m craving water rather than just forcing myself to drink it.
Another bonus? When you shift your mindset from working out strictly to lose weight you can focus on choosing activities that bring you joy so that you maximize the benefits.
Not sure which activities bring you joy? Think back to when you were little. What did you love doing? Skating? Soccer? Sprinting around the park and climbing trees? Do that! Don’t worry if it feels silly. Just tune into whether it brings you joy and how you feel after. If it gets you off the couch or out the door and moving that is the best place to start. I get bored doing the same activity over and over so I like to switch it up between yoga, swimming, power walks and boxing. After having my babies I’ve also been loving the Sweat app because it gives me 28-minute workouts that I can do from anywhere.
Alright, help encourage other Raw readers by sharing what kinds of movement bring you the most JOY in the comments below!