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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