It's easy to talk about how we should always push to reach our goals. The messaging is made to seem simple, and also to imply those that aren't currently training for a race or competition are lazy and unworthy.
Don't stop until you're proud
Be stronger than your excuse
Good vibes only
Sore today, strong tomorrow
The real workout starts when you feel like quitting
Pain is just weakness leaving the body
Work hard and make it happen
The only bad workout is the one you didn't do
Society's messaging is always pushing us to be more- at home, at work, in our relationships, our health- always asking for more of us. Until we have nothing left to give. The fitness industry is no exception.
With quotes like the above, it makes sense why people feel so much guilt for missing one workout, for becoming injured, for making a "bad" food choice.
Can we stop dressing up shame and calling it motivation?
Studies have shown that when individuals exercise as a form of punishment, they are more likely to become injured and overall their workouts aren't as effective as those who exercise intuitively- those who exercise because their body is asking for movement, and they provide their body with the movement that makes them happy.
Spouting 100% happiness is unattainable and unreal. We can't be expected to live in a world of "good vibes only", and frankly who would want to? I honor my joy because I've experienced sorrow. I appreciate my body now because I spent so many years hating it.
I also don't beat myself up for missing a workout. If my body is asking for rest, I will honor that request.
Building a relationship with our body is just like any other relationship- we may assume we understand it's communication only to discover later that was wrong. So we try again. We close our eyes, we breathe, we tune into our body's signals. And we make our next choice accordingly. The more we practice listening to our body, the stronger this relationship will become.
What type of movement is your body asking you for? If it's a run, go for it. If it's a dance class, get your groove on. If it's a nice long nap or a movie on the couch, honor and enjoy! Your body will thank you!
About Jessica Leigh Wellbeing
At Jessica Leigh Wellbeing, I support women in discovering the wisdom in their body's cravings.
I utilize a customized multi-faceted approach that addresses the psychology of eating, intuitive movement, energy healing, bodywork & more.
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