Motivation is a word that gets thrown around all day long in the fitness industry. Whether you are after weight loss or muscle building it’s time to stop and consider the larger why. When you get the answer, ask again. Then again. It takes some digging to figure out what all this is for. And by this I mean fitness in general.
The first answer may come off a bit vain. “I want to be skinny.” “I want to have six pack abs.” Why? “So I can feel more confident in a bathing suit.” “So I can attract a partner.” Why? “So I can feel like I am as good as everyone else on the beach.” “So I will have someone to share my days with.” Why? “So I feel like I am good enough.” “So I feel like I belong.” Bingo.
My challenge for you is this. Start by immediately addressing the deepest why you can find and create a fitness routine around that. What if instead of chasing some unnatural ideal that the media brainwashes us with or society puts upon us we became stronger, moved with greater ease, and increased our energy, all for the sake of leading fuller lives? Isn’t that what we really want anyway? Why not start there?
Think of your body as the vehicle that your soul travels around in. Wouldn’t you want to treat that vehicle with the utmost care? The following are some ideas to get you on your way:
-Ask yourself how you want to feel: It sounds simple but so often we move through our days on autopilot, never asking this all important question. Losing sight of this can precede the onset of bad habits. Let’s use “I want to be skinny” as an example. Without considering the feeling aspect you might choose whatever exercise your fitness tracker says burns the most calories, even if you hate it. You might choose to skip a meal or two, even though you are hungry. Fast forward a few days into this and if your body doesn’t rebel your soul will. This is no way to live. It is possible to find a happy medium. With a little introspection you can maintain a healthy weight, move in a way that feels good, and eat what you love.
-Take care of your body like it’s a puppy: Or a kitten for you
crazy cat people out there. Give it enough exercise, rest, and playtime. Get plenty of fresh air, good food, and water. Be gentle and patient.
-Expect to get off track: But when you do, get back on as soon as you can. Let’s face it, societal pressure is no joke. From the time we are children are told how to look and what is expected of us. It’s easy to fall back into old patterns of guilt and shame around our bodies but the more we focus on taking good care the easier it is to bounce back. If nothing else, humans are resilient. This is where meditation can be especially helpful to rewire thinking patterns and create a more helpful mindset when it comes to fitness.
As our bodies change over the course of a lifetime, so should our fitness routine. Keep asking yourself why to move in a way that truly serves you.
Want to read more about deeper motivations for moving that bod?