I find that it is easy to fall into the mindset that exercise is something we do to change ourselves. We exercise because we don’t like something about our bodies and we want to change them. This mindset may get us to the gym or that yoga class but it will not sustain a long term lifestyle change. Once we change that thing about ourselves, lose the weight or tone up, we quit. We quit because it was never something we did for enjoyment; it was something we did because we didn’t like ourselves. However, if we chose to adopt the mindset of exercising because we love our bodies and want them to be healthy, to feel better, to live longer and to wake up with energy we will continue to keep exercise in our lives forever. We will learn to love exercise because of what it gives back to us. It allows us to be aware and in tune with our bodies and have more energy for our work, friends and families. Exercise is something that our bodies need. When we chose to move our bodies we are caring for them. The people that I have seen make the biggest changes and sustain those changes started from a place of simply wanting to feel good in their body. It was not a decision based off of self hate but actually a longing to live life more fully and with more compassion towards their body.
I’m not saying that it is easy to change our mindset from disliking ourselves to caring for ourselves but I do have some tips on how to start:
Move a little bit each day. It could be 5 minutes to start.
Write one sentence after you complete your movement about how you feel.
Note your energy, sleeping patterns, water intake, food intake. (You don’t have to track it all perfectly at first but just start to be aware)
When you are selecting the type of workout for each day, choose one that you actually enjoy.
Do not focus on the numbers on the scale or the number of calories you ate, just observe how exercise is making you feel in your day to day life.