Exercise should not be a chore. Working out makes you feel terrific and look even better. Your skin glows, your clothes fit better, your sleep is more restful and satisfying at night.
So why do we sometimes dread it?
In the past I sometimes struggled with working out and I could never really figure out why. I’ve always loved movement. Just about anything to get my body moving and my muscles working is enough to make me smile. Dancing, stretching, swimming, working out — it’s always been a guarantee feel-good experience flooding my body with endorphins, confidence and a satisfying strength. But there was a time when my diet was a mess and my motivation for working out was completely wrong. I was overeating, then under-eating and my weight was all over the scale. I had gotten into the habit of looking at exercise as a punishment for my body, not a reward.
With this negative approach to exercise no matter how much I worked out I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted, and I certainly wasn’t having fun. At the time my body was totally stuck and when it came down to it, so was my mind. It wasn’t until I took a break from dancing and working out that I was able to slow down and remember that the whole point of exercise is to feel better and become healthier, too. I also realized that the struggle I was facing with taking care of my own body was such a waste of time.
I was in school at the time and had lots of free time on my hands. The lightbulbs went off as I began to process how fortunate I was to even have the time in my life to workout. I decided then and there to shift the way I was thinking about exercise. Instead of dreading working out I would delight in it! This is me time! I told myself. I’m doing something nice for my body today! That simple shift in my perspective changed everything. It was a critical part of me getting into the Ballet Beautiful mindset and learning to treat my body with love.
If you are struggling with motivation, don’t freak out. Try and think about exercise and healthy eating as a way to pamper rather than punish your body. And keep your focus on the prize! Concentrate on how great you will feel not only during, but after your workout is done. Do what you can to carve out some you time, indulge in a workout, and don’t forget to have fun! xoxoMary Helen