A question I get frequently from newer clients and on social media especially, is HOW I manage to workout 6 days a week and lead a healthy lifestyle. Because it's the never-ending chase for most people, right? How to manage chasing a healthy lifestyle and a consistent exercise regime-- after all, my profession wouldn't exist without that chase.
But what most people forget to think about is that the HOW actually lives in the WHY.
It's a question that we don't ask ourselves nearly enough.
Why? Why do you want to work out consistently? Why do you want to lead a healthy lifestyle?
The answers will obviously vary for you all and everyone else. Owning your reality and aligning your behaviors with your true and realistic goals is key to actually achieving them.
So for today's Wellness Wednesday, I wanted to share with you my current reasons "why" I workout and keep fitness as such a priority in my life.
My answers certainly have evolved over the years, through various stages of how healthy I was at the time, but you guys know I'm now all about embracing your now. So my reasons listed are most definitely not what I would have predicted them to be several years ago, yet I believe I am now inspired more healthily and genuinely than ever before.
1. It is my outlet, my release.
Life has been very challenging these past few months and in more recent weeks.
While I have mentioned that it's a difficult time, I am not ready to divulge fully what has been going on quite yet. By the way, all the supportive messages of love and support I have received from you guys are SO beyond appreciated, so thank you!
So while working out has always been my release and reprieve from stressful situations in life, it has taken on a whole new meaning lately. If you are like me and have some trouble setting your boundaries for yourself, you can find yourself constantly giving your time and effort to everyone... except yourself.
Working out and physical movement is my time to get everything out and just be with myself, my thoughts, my emotions. Whether it's running outside with music blasting in my ears, lifting some heavy-a** weight, expressing through dance class, or calming yoga, it is my ultimate ME time.
I choose to view it as a self-indulgence and self-care that I get to thoroughly enjoy; NOT as an obligation or chore.
2. To be able to do awesome things.
Yes, I do attribute this partly to having been an elite athlete, but we all can relate to what a thrill it was as a kid to master a new skill or learn how to do something cool and new.
Physical fitness is a lot like being a kid. You learn what awesome things your body is capable of. How cool to discover that after months of effort, you can finally do a pull-up and you never thought you could. How fun it is to spontaneously play a game of soccer with friends and realize how those squats made your kicking stronger. How awesome to realize that you can now run 3 miles with ease, compared to the one mile run that used to nauseate you.
We have this one life to live. We should all experience being able to do awesome physical feats.
3. To feel good in my body- especially with my health issues
To feel strong, to feel energized, to feel connected with my body, to feel at my most focused, to sleep better, to feel strong and fast enough to protect myself if needed, and to have more self-awareness. Don't get me wrong, it ain't easy; it was a looong road to get here.
I have autoimmune issues that are STILL getting figured out, even two years after first being diagnosed. As much as they've made me feel like ripping my hair out on some days, they've taught me so much about priorities.
When you have these hormonal regulation issues like me, there are days where I have zero energy and willpower. In a, "Wow, I'm lying on the floor and am so uncomfortable, but I can't even muster the energy required to stand up and get some water," kind of way. When you have days like that where you feel like even gravity is your enemy, it makes you that much more appreciative and cognizant of the act of respecting your body and taking care of it.
I've learned through a painstaking trial and error process of what foods and activities tend to work best for my body. I stick to anti-inflammatory food (lots of good fats in my diet, stabilizing blood sugar by steering clear of high-glycemic/high-sugary carb foods, sans gluten), and I've learned that my old ways of full-body 5x/week hour-long intense workouts simply don't work for me anymore, as it takes me much longer to recover properly. I now keep my workouts to 45 minutes or less of highly focused, higher intensity training sessions varying through heavy lifting, kettlebells, but also incorporate more movement-based activity like animal flow and yoga that are lower-impact.
"But...that's so complicated!"
Well, yes, sometimes. But simple truth?
You get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
But I'm not perfect. Just like everyone else, I go through phases where I'm more lax about my food and not as disciplined with my exercise, but then it just makes me feel worse and I know that I need to get back to treating my body with respect that it deserves. It's like being in any type of fulfilling relationship- it can take a lot of hard work, but it's worth it. You get out of it, what you choose to put in.
There's a great saying- "Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love."
It can be taken in two different ways. Firstly, treat your body like it belongs to your mother, your wife, your boyfriend, your sister, your grandpa, whoever. If you were in charge of their health, wouldn't you want the best for them? Secondly, treat your body well because it DOES belong to someone you love- YOU. Loving oneself isn't always easy, but as with any relationship you have, respect and care are vital.