The Journey to Finding Out What MOVES You: Part I
In the realm of fitness it is so easy to get caught up in self-sabotage. We let our ego take over and stop listening to our body. We over-train, we over eat, we self deprecate and we don’t allow ourselves to feel contentment, satisfaction, and love for our body.
Too many people I know workout so that they can feel better in their own skin. Which is a great start! But what about the people who can never find that comfortable place? When you look in the mirror and say, “Yep I did it, I’m sexy and I know it!” Maybe you’ve lost 30 pounds, or fit into old jeans, or hit a personal record! Then what? Do you stop working out? Do you go off the diet? Do you go through the motions and let yourself go again? Or does it put you in a better place to love your body and yourself again so that the process of maintaining it is rewarding and easy?
Yes, there are going to be ups and downs. Which is why self-love is so important. Maybe you looked great in high school or before you were married, or before you had two kids. I say, SO WHAT! Unless that empowers you towards your future goals, it’s in that past! It shouldn’t be something holding you back. If you let the memory of your “fit-self” seem unattainable or the best you could ever do, you will constantly self-sabotage yourself. Instead, think of how you felt when you were fit. Were you happy? Were you motivated? Were you confident? Or were you still self-sabotaging and wanting more?
From clients to fitness professionals, I am constantly surrounded by people who are uncomfortable in their own skin. I just want to shake them and say, “YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT EXACTLY HOW YOU ARE, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” My ego says, “I would die for those arms, I would give anything to be able to lift that kind of weight, I wish I could run a six minute mile, how can you not be content?” (I know some of my friends reading this have wanted to shake me a few times too!) And it all comes down to two words: self-love. Now don’t get me wrong, I too can feel bloated or fluffy, pack on a few pounds and lack the desire to workout or eat right. However, and maybe I’m alone when saying this, but working out to me has never been driven by body image.
I have always been a girl with monstrous quads…literally from conception. And while part of my life I have gotten compliments, I have also gotten “Ew, will my legs get that big if I workout?” and at the end of the day what matters most is how I feel inside. I cannot tell you how much I was made fun of from other teams on the volleyball court because my legs were so big and my butt was so flat that my spandex was always up my crotch! They would literally hike their shorts up and laugh at me from across the net. No matter how many times I pulled them down, back up they went. Yet those same legs were what gave me my 29-inch vertical and enabled me to shove that ball back in their face! What started out as a genetic curse became something I worked hard to keep.
Now that sports have passed, I still crave the endorphins at the end of a hard workout or a long run. I love the way my mind feels clear and energized. I feel strong and capable and confident. I want to push myself a little harder than the day before and if I succeed, there is no greater feeling. Even at my fluffiest and weakest or at my strongest and leanest I am always driven back to working out for the same reason, that mental rush. It is through that rush that I gain the confidence to switch my order of cheese enchiladas to salads and skip going out at night so I can wake up early and feel fresh on my run. I could care less what anyone else thinks of me. It is the most amazing feeling ever when your body is functioning on all cylinders. You look great, you feel great and you take that energy with you to spread greatness! It may not be something you want initially, but you start to crave it. You start to fall in love with yourself and it brings in so much happiness and positive energy into your life.
So let’s get to the point. Go ahead and ask yourself this question: Do you workout to love your body or are you constantly beating it up?
Yes, I enjoy the outward benefit from working out: the six-pack, fitting into smaller clothes, being able to wear lululemon without sucking in all day, “living the code” of a trainer. But there is always going to be critique, especially when you start to put yourself out there. From the viewpoints of others (including my closest friends and family), I either workout too much or not enough, I’m too strong and bulky or too weak, I don’t eat healthy enough or I eat too healthy. The harder I train and the healthier I eat, the more my body changes. So cue the critiques. What I think is beautiful may not be what you think is beautiful, but I love finding out what my body is capable of. It’s not driven by ego, it’s driven by self-love.
Whether it’s MOVE or a great accountability partner, find people that love themselves and who love you. We all start in different places in our journey, but if we can be positive and start loving ourselves, we will not only achieve our goals, but we will bring in more joy to our lives than ever thought possible.