Hey Friends! How’s it goin?
Happy Monday! Well, it isn’t exactly a happy day outside but I can pretend since I seem to be in an astonishingly good mood for a cold day like today. Anyway, today I want to talk about body image and working out.
When I was in high school, I worked out because I didn’t like the way I looked, not necessarily because of the health benefits of being active and fit. This isn’t an overly terrible reason to go to the gym because honestly, once you’re working out you’re reaping the benefits. But, over the last couple of years I’ve learned that working out is much more enjoyable if you love your body instead of hate it.
5 Reasons to Love your Body
1. Hating your body can be destructive
When I worked out because I hated my body, I didn’t respect it as much as I do now. I would train hard but sloppily so I was almost always injured. I would skimp on calories after workouts in an attempt to lose weight and end up doing way more harm than good. Now I’m careful to train hard but smart and listen to my body’s cues and I’ve got a lot less pain from injuries these days.
2. You’ll appreciate your accomplishments more
Back in high school, I was never actually satisfied with the way I looked no matter how many goals I accomplished. If I set out to tone up my arms, once I achieved that, I found extra weight in my gut or my thighs or wherever and it was never ending. What I learned from that experience is that if you don’t love your body before you start working out, you’re not going to miraculously get a positive self image and nothing you do will ever be enough. But if you love your body, every goal you meet will be a reason to celebrate, and not a subpar stopgap to something unattainable.
3. You’ll enjoy workouts more
Once I started spending less time hating every little thing about my body, I started breathing easier. I wasn’t as bogged down by all the negativity. I didn’t view every gym session as a chore that would magically end with my dream bod. Working out became more about keeping my body running right than looking right. It was freeing and I loved it (still do!).
4. You’ll notice what your body can DO
Like I mentioned above, working out used to be all about making my body look a certain way. But once I came to terms with loving my body the way it is, I started noticing the awesome things I can do. I could run without stopping every 5 seconds, I could press 2 plates on the leg press, I could do pushups, pullups, squats. So many things that used to be impossible for me to do, I now did without a second thought. And that is amazing.
5. You’ll enjoy LIFE more
This one isn’t specific to working out, but I couldn’t NOT mention it. I used to make these ridiculous promises to myself: like I wouldn’t do ‘x’ until I had visible abs, or I wouldn’t wear shorts until all my cellulite was gone. By the end of it all, the only things I could do was stay inside and be miserable. Aesthetic goals like that were unrealistic at the time and I was making them for all the wrong reasons. Ditching those expectations gave me back the freedom to just live my life and enjoy it. And I don’t regret it at all.
If you’re looking for tips on how to start loving your body – even if you’re not its biggest fan right now – check out this post by my girl Ashleigh >> ‘Do you love your body?‘.
What about you?
What motivates you to workout? Why do you love your body?
Share in the comments below!
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Ashleigh @ Passion for Life, Love, and Health says
AH! I’m totally planning on writing about this for this Wednesday. It’s going to be a follow up to my “Fat People Deserve…” post from last week. I hope you don’t mind if I link to this post! You basically prove my point perfectly 😀
Oh! Also thanks for linking up with our Motivate Me Monday link-up! I think this post is a great contribution to the link-up 🙂
Ashleigh @ Passion for Life, Love, and Health recently posted…Motivate Me Monday – Issue 1
Hey Ashleigh! Great minds thing alike eh?? I would love to see your perspective on body image especially since your ‘Fat People Deserve…’ post was so insightful! And ofc I don’t mind if you link to the post 🙂
Also, I should be thanking YOU for hosting the link up – it’s been a while since I wrote a fitspiration/motivation post so it would be great to get back into the habit so I have current posts for your link up 😀
Ashleigh @ Passion for Life, Love, and Health says
Gah! Somehow I never saw this comment! (Maybe it was before you set up the reply notifications?) Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the link-up, and YES I’d love to see you put out more motivation posts!
Ashleigh @ Passion for Life, Love, and Health recently posted…Do You Love Your Body?
Susie @ SuzLyfe says
Fabulous, and so well said. I work out because I love it, but I started working out in order to make my body more healthy so that I could love my life even more. Great post!
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Jen @ Pretty Little Grub says
Awesome post! It was a long hard road for me to love my body but now that I have accepted it and love it, I can 100% say I’m happier.
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Good post! I find the older I get, the more I appreciate my health and what my body can do for me, rather than hating it and wishing I had stick-thin thighs! Strong is the new sexy for sure.
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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says
I think it is so important to focus on what your body CAN do, not what you wish it could do. I used to take this for granted, but now that I have been dealing with chronic pain I wish that I would have been happier in the past with the activities and exercises I was able to perform. Sometimes we take those things for granted!
Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…When Clean Eating Becomes Unhealthy
Great post! I agree with all your points! :] I started working out because I wanted to be healthier/stronger. It was shortly after my year of organic chemistry hell where I sustained myself on granola bars and green tea. Twas a dark and miserable time of my life, haha.) It’s definitely gotten me to have a much greater appreciation for life in general (+ my accomplishments)! :]
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Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
You are so right girl! Working out MAKES me feel good and I do it because it gives me joy and love for the amazing things by body can achieve!
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Erica @ erica finds says
Great post, Giselle and an important topic. I may write on this one, too! I promise to link to you and tell everyone that you were my muse 🙂
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Great post! I need to remember these things when I’m working out. Its always a comforting feeling knowing your not the only one going through something.
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Ana Valentin says
I really love this post. Last semester at school I struggled with a lot of food anxieties and it just caused so much stress and detriment to myself. Your body is unique and special and having a “perfect” one isn’t necessary to be loved or to love yourself. I eat well, I exercise, I drink plenty of water, what more can be done? Just have to live life and be grateful for all you can do right> Great post once again and much love your way.
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I used to think that if I said all the things I hated about my body that it’d motivate me to exercise. It took me a long time to realize it doesn’t work that way. It helps in the beginning but I always seem to loose the motivation and I think this post is a great example of why it never works. Great post. I am definitely pinning it. 🙂
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Kati Rose says
All the body love! This is such a good mindset to have and I hope more people can gain it in 2015!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious says
Great post girl! All of these are amazing tips. I workout because it makes me feel strong and powerful and capable of doing anything in this world.
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Brooke @ Silver Lining says
Very well-said! I especially love the idea of focusing on what your body can DO, not it’s little limitations or imperfections. My body made a human being recently! I need to focus more on that than the little stretch marks that won’t go away on my now-empty belly.
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Diatta @ Femme Fitale Fit Club says
I love everything about my body. I was raised with self esteem and believing my body is POWERFUL! I get stronger daily and it is awesome when I see how much my body can actually do.
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Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
Beautiful post, Giselle. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Exercise used to feel like torture to me when I was doing it because I hated my body and wanted to turn it into something else. I remember feeling exhausted, resentful, depressed, and flat out miserable,… and it wasn’t until I reached rock bottom with my health that I finally learned to appreciate my body for all the things it could do. Now, I enjoy working out a lot more because my mentality is completely different. It no longer feels like a chore, but like something that makes me feel energized and healthy. Thanks for the wonderful reminder 🙂
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Amanda @ Queenofthelandoftwigsnberries says
I can’t remember if I already asked you, but would you mind if I link to this in one of my blog posts for my “Workouts for Busy Moms” series? You have such an important message that I want to share with my readers. You can find my work at http://www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com
Amanda @ Queenofthelandoftwigsnberries recently posted…New Series: Workouts for Busy Moms
Giselle Rochford says
Hi Amanda, of course you can link the post. Love that you want to pass on the message 🙂 Def gonna check out your series soon!
thank you for this! I struggle with this, for sure, but I am making progress and things like this always help me along so thanks 🙂
http://StorybookApothecary.com ♥ Stop by for a chat!
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Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says
Great message– why is it so hard for us women to love our bodies that do so much for us? I’ve always struggled with it, no matter how far I’ve come.
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Geek Fitness Beej says
For me, it’s a combination. I train and exercise because I’m scared of becoming the slothful, lazy, unhealthy person I used to be again. But that’s not the main reason. The main reason is because I honestly love the way it makes me feel. I like the feelings of accomplishment that I get after a run. I like being able to do stuff I used to not be able to do or that others may not be able to. For me, the positivity of the fitness community keeps me moving, even when I don’t feel like I can.
Love the blog–glad I found it through Jill Conyers. 🙂
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Giselle Rochford says
I definitely understand training to avoid regressing into your formerly inactive self. That’s pretty much the story of my life. But I think having other reasons than just that for working out can really help you enjoy it more and stick with it for the long haul!
What a great post! So important to love and appreciate ourselves. I know I love my workouts because I see my body as a beautiful machine that allows me to do the things I love like racing half ironman.
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Giselle Rochford says
Thanks Amber 🙂 Racing a half ironman is an insane accomplishment! Those types of success really drive home the importance of what our bodies can DO and nor just how they look.
jill conyers says
Wonderful post. No good can come from hating your body so why do it. Try a little love and appreciation.
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Giselle Rochford says
So much truth right there Jill! Love & appreciation for our bodies is where it’s at 🙂
Very inspiring post! Regular exercise becomes habit forming – at least it has for me !
Giselle Rochford says
So good to hear Anne. Sometimes it’s hard to get started, but once it becomes a habit you really start to see the benefits 🙂
Keisha | The Girl Next Door is Black says
Yes to all of this. We have only one body, hopefully for quite some time, I want to do right by it. I try not to take it for granted.
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What a great source of motivation! I love the optimism in working out because Iove my body not because I hate. That helps people change the mindset that eventually exercise will not be needed when in reality exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle! Great read!
I don’t know if anyone will ever read my comment, but your article was just what I needed to read right now. I’ve been obese for many years and have lost and regained the same 50 pounds countless times.
I was in a bad car accident last year, and a couple months ago I started working out with a personal trainer who is also a physical therapist. I love getting my functionality back, and I love the energy boost I get from exercising. But holy crap, working out has made me hate my body in a way I never did before. That feeling doesn’t make me want to exercise less (or more), but it has taken me by surprise.
I’m going to work hard to appreciate my accomplishments, respect my body, and not punish myself by pushing too hard. I definitely don’t want to re-injure myself!
Judit @raisefrequency says
I love the quote “Workout because you love your body…” Loving our bodies is an essential and integral part of holistic self-love. When we love our bodies we are healthier, it is easier to lose weight or keep our healthy weight. Our bodies are a wonder of nature. Our bodies love movement: Thank you for inspiring us to workout.
Judit @raisefrequency recently posted…12 Law of Attraction weight loss secrets: #1 Align LOA with motivations to lose weight
Louis wilson says
Hi Giselle, I already applied these things and they were very useful to me. Me and my wife both workout daily at home in the morning. Iit gives me energy and also clears out my head.
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