I used to exercise because I was ashamed of my body. I worked tirelessly to make it look like something I thought it should be. In the process, I looked rather good :). But in that same process, came arthritis, multiple overuse injuries, and even lower self-esteem.
Honestly, I was doing these exercises so that what you see would be good. Not so my body would be strong and healthy.
I was not eating to fuel, energize, or even heal my body. I was eating so I could attempt to be a certain size.
At some point, I may have gotten down to that size. But my low self-esteem did not even allow me to celebrate.
Apparently, I am not the only one. In a 2010 study:
28% of exercisers identified increased exercise rates when feeling overweight (Exercise More When Feel Fat, ranked first).
This is dangerous and increases your chance of injury. Not to mention the mental stress. Resulting in the whole bullshit cortisone stress cycle. Who wants that?
Therefore, when it comes to the psychological aspect of exercise: Easy Does It - Don't Overdo It.
And make sure you are participating in a workout program that appeals to your sense of fun.
Fortunately, there's another study which, study senior author Kathleen Martin Ginis determined:
"We think that the feelings of strength and empowerment women achieve post exercise, stimulate an improved internal dialogue. ...This in turn should generate positive thoughts and feelings about their bodies which may replace the all too common negative ones."
Let’s start focusing on "Fitness" rather than "Fatness". TWEET THIS
Perhaps, give more attention to how the workout makes us feel and how our bodies are getting stronger.
What about this: Keep a fitness journal that does NOT contain any weight measurements at all. Instead, track your goals for number of reps, and how you feel at the end of each workout session.
Furthermore, we might want to stop comparing our fitness journey to others’.
My exercise now?
- Soothes my soul
- Gives me mental clarity
- Encourages strong bones
- Boosts my self-esteem
- Relieves my arthritis,
- Helps in my fight against depression
- Just makes me feel more loving toward my glorious body
- Exercise makes me stronger and assists in keeping me in optimal health.
One of the best reasons to exercise is to feel pure joy.
You can’t build joy on a feeling of self-loathing. -Ram Dass
Where are you in your fitness journey? Do you need to be kinder to yourself today? I hope this helps set your mindset on the right path.