Exercise, working out, moving, sweating, gymming – whatever you call it, fitness is different for everyone.
Quite simply, moving more makes you feel good. Moving will do a different thing for every single person – it can ease joint pain, aid digestion, increase your heart strength, make you more lean and alleviate symptoms of depression. You will feel more confident and have better self-esteem if you move your body. I preach dat er’ry damn day.
But, what if you currently don’t do much moving? It’s all well and good being told it’s a lifestyle, but pretty hard to start, and even harder to carry on after a blip. Often the thought of how hard moving is, is the very thing that puts you off moving! I didn’t always used to be the twat in the gym at 7am. I used to talk myself out of it, daily. And nowadays, you’ll rarely find me in the gym before 9am because, well.. sleep.
Anyway, I used to view any form of exercise as a chore. I approached gym time as I would a forced P.E. lesson – a punishment to be outsmarted and if all else failed, to be endured. Exercise was a thing that only people who are already fit, did. I honestly couldn’t be bothered to start, because, well… sleep. And also cake.
I’ve totally been there.
But when I had a bit of a mindset shift four years ago and started moving with no intention other than to escape out of my current life, I started to work hard to clear all of the crap out of my head. Crap like the word “should”. “I should work out… I should eat more healthily… I should, I should, I should.”
You know what makes moving your body feel like a monotonous, rubbish thing to do? The word “should”. It makes you feel guilty for not. It makes you feel lazy and like a failure before you’ve even started.
I eradicated the word should. I just did.
Gals, do NOT start moving because you “should”. You will resent it – and you will fail at keeping it up. You’re approaching it all wrong if the word “should” is the one that gets you off the sofa (it is a lazy word and will only get you off the sofa for a few weeks before it crushes your spirit and you defy it with emotional-pizza).
Another thing that’ll sure as hell make moving your body feel like monotonous bore? Having one, single, steadfast idea of what “fit” looks like in your head. Sure, being fit means Women’s Health cover model for some. But not for all. Certainly not for me, and I live, eat and breath fitness!
Fit for some is lifting heavily. For some it’s running far, or fast. For others, it’s bouncing up and down on a trampoline. And for others still, it’s walking to work three times a week.
Fit is for you to define – and if you want to succeed at regularly moving your body in a way that feels joyful instead of like a chore, it’s your mission to work out what fit is for YOU AND YOU ONLY.
Experiment. Be brave. Don’t go into a gym with an idea of what fit looks like, at least not to begin with anyway.
Be open to finding out what fit feels like to you. Because when you find out what fit is to you (whether that’s lifting moderately, running slowly or flexing at a bikini muscle show…) it will become something you are compelled to carry on doing because it feels SO DAMN GOOD.
So promise me this: if you’re starting out and you want to legit make fitness a part of your life instead of some horrible chore you dread, you must remain curiously wide-eyed while moving your body, with the goal of learning your own rhythms, your own thresholds, and your own endorphin triggers.
Promise me this, too: You will not, I repeat NOT fill your head with the desire to become what “fit” looks like to your partner, or your sister, or your favourite celebrity.
Your relationship with your body is intensely personal, and you owe it to your lovely bod to work really hard at nurturing that relationship. It’s not for anyone else to dictate. Quite simply – your fitness is your business. Get up, get out, move, learn, and enjoy the sweaty, joyful journey!