For the Love of Fitness

Real talk: There’s a lot I love about fitness, of course. But I’ve fallen off the wagon so instead of talking about what’s happening or going well today I need to talk about what’s not happening on this journey and how I ended up where I am now.

I’ve been thinking about the factors that hinder my fitness journey.  I mean, you’d think if I really wanted it then the commitment would be easy, right? So how am  I sitting here at the heaviest I’ve ever been feeling like today I’m at the beginning, again? (or still?)

Of  course, I’d be starting today because it’s a Monday – all new journeys are best started on Mondays.

But what makes it so hard to get anywhere with this journey?

This week I realized that one of the biggest factors has been the source of my motivation.

You see, the very first time I even thought about a treadmill or “getting in shape” it was because I hated my body.

But the longer I’ve been on this fitness journey the more I’ve found it’s a journey of love, not hate.  It’s a journey that encourages us to love what we do. Be it yoga, running, lifting, swimming or a sport – we’re supposed to enjoy it. And when it comes to our bodies, we’re supposed to love them too. Love them because they carry us, support us, they are how we participate in that activities we enjoy. So we owe them some appreciation.

How can I enjoy an activity I’m only doing to change a body I refuse to love? I was trying to enjoy a lifestyle that is full of positivity but I was approaching it with all the wrong ideas about motivation and dedication.

Hate only gets you so far.

There are lots of enlightened quotes about karma and positive vibes and letting go of the negative in our lives.  We usually think of these mantras as survival tips for jobs, and friendships and family.

But they work in fitness too.

You have to let go of that negative energy and not act on it.

I get about two and half weeks of progress when I’m working with hate. I get two and a half weeks of routine treadmill time, vegetables and daily water quotas.  I get two and a half weeks of forcing myself to do all the things I’m told will help me leave behind a body I hate and build the dream bod.

And then…

I focus on things I love.

Because it’s easier. And more pleasant. And feels more natural.

However if choosing to eat right and work out were only things I did in response to negative thoughts, those objectively healthy habits get left behind when I start seeking all things positive and pleasant.

It’s like a natural process for self preservation or some other psychological babble – I can only live a daily routine based on negative thoughts for so long before I’m unconsciously procrastinating activities based on those negative thoughts and favoring anything with positive associations.

So it’s Monday and I’m trying to change how I think about this beginning.

In the past I’ve thought about how I weigh too much – I need to eat less. I am too big – I need to work out. I can’t do things I want to – I need to eat less and work out.

Today I’m remembering that working out comes with an endorphin rush, the positive effects of which cascade through everything I do.  I’m thinking about how much I value taking time for myself and working on myself in a tangible, physical way. I’m thinking about what my stronger, fitter body will be able to do and not just how it will look.

I have a fitness instagram account and that’s where I’ve discovered a community that has shown me the love that fitness can come from and inspire. Feel free to follow for more routine updates there – @fitish.kitten

Comment with your thoughts  =)

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