In your past what would the reason be for moving your body, for exercising? I think for most of us our motivation when we are young is for appearance and wanting to fit in and be popular. At least when I was a teenager, being able to wear the same fashion as everyone else and having people like me, was enough of a motivator to try and exercise. I just wanted to be slim so I would be like everyone else. It didn’t usually work for the long haul as I wasn’t really an athletic person. I didn’t enjoy exercising and it was hard to watch what I ate while living at home and having my meals all prepared for me.
Looking back now I realize that my why for exercising was what held me back from success. Wanting to be slim, to be popular and have people like me is the wrong motivator. Moving your body shouldn’t be done to please other people. Movement should be done for yourself. Activity improves your mental, emotional and physical well-being. It can improve your mood, make you more productive and help you cope with life’s hiccups a little more effectively. You’ll be happier and have more energy to do other things that you enjoy.
The key to movement is finding something you like to do, that doesn’t feel like something you have to do, another chore. I enjoy yoga, even if it’s only a short 20 minute practice. I enjoy seated cardio classes. I’ve been participating in a series of zoom classes put on by the MS Society and Toronto Rehab designed for people with MS or mobility issues. My daughter has been joining me so it’s been a fun activity for us to share. I enjoy going for short walks around our block with my dog and anyone else who wants to join me. In the hot weather I enjoy riding my electric tricycle (yes it has three wheels as I have no balance, lol) and swimming. I do these things because they have been fun, I feel good when I’ve done them and in this pandemic, it gives me something to use up the time during long days in lockdown.
My reason for moving my body has changed and thus my feelings toward exercise have changed also. I don’t move my body to lose weight, to look better, to fit in or so people will like me better. I am doing it for myself and improving how I feel on the inside. If I’m a happier person, then people will automatically be drawn to my sunny disposition. As for my shape and size, take me or leave me. If you don’t accept me as I am then I don’t need or want you in my life anyway. It’s no longer about appearance, it’s about feelings.
So If working out has been something you’re avoiding because it takes too much effort or you don’t think it’s doing what you want it to, maybe you need to examine your reasons why. Are you exercising because you think you should so you’ll be more acceptable to the outside world? Or do you want to move because it’s fun and helps you feel better on the inside? Change your why and I bet movement won’t be such a chore any more. Start slow. Don’t push yourself too hard and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a planned activity or don’t feel up to doing anything. Do what you can, when you can and enjoy the process. No pressure, just fun.
Be Pretty, Plus and Proud of every time you stand up and move. Don’t be afraid to try something new or retry something old. Find a friend to make movement a social outlet or a family member looking to improve their relationship with movement. You are capable and you got this!
*Always consult your doctor before starting any new activity!*