Friending Fitness

Do you love or loathe exercise?  It really depends on your beliefs around it. 

For years, I exercised for all the wrong reasons like when I felt guilty for overeating.

Insecurities and comparison drove me to exercise as did the lingering belief of always feeling “not enough.”  

Fitness wasn’t fun but I wanted to feel good about myself and believed that could only happen by changing my outer appearance.

I bought into the lie that if I looked a certain way, I’d automatically feel a certain way.   

Use this face cream, eat this but avoid that, wear this, own that then life will be perfect, you’ll be enough, be happy, accepted, valued, appreciated and loved. 

Not true.

Lasting transformation is an inside job and the quickest way to lose motivation is doing something for all the wrong reasons. 

Working out because you believe you have to or should, out of guilt or insecurities will make fitness miserable. 

Exercise is much more fun when you do it for the right reasons.

Fitness isn’t punishment or a reminder of every flaw you think you have.  But if that’s where you are, it’s okay. I’ve been there and I get it. 

Now, at 54 after finally realizing my outer world is simply a reflection of my inner world, I began to working on shifting my beliefs around fitness and now I’m in better health with more energy than ever.

Here’s exactly how to do this. 

  1. Get honest about your beliefs around exercise. 

Your beliefs will either support or steal your health. For ever negative thought around fitness, replace it with a positive one. Instead of I hate to work out, I tell myself that working out not only strengthens and energizes me but it also is a celebration of all my body can do and become.

2. Expand your inner circle. Include women in your circle of influence who enjoy fitness as they will inspire you tremendously to up your game! Their enthusiasm around fitness is contagious.

3. Make Fitness Fun.  Do what you enjoy not what you hate. 

Lunges are great for your upper legs but I loathe them so I rushed through them and tore my knee due to bad form. Lesson learned.  

Now if I don’t enjoy an exercise I don’t do it. I really like squats and do a variety of them. My legs are becoming stronger and sculpted and I’m having fun.

4. Keep Your Fitness Short and Simple.

I don’t have hours to spend working out. Do you? 

At my gym, often the equipment I’d need for an exercise was taken, like a machine or dumbbells so I’d just skip that exercise altogether rather than wait.  

Solution?  Create a twenty minute workout that required only one piece of gym equipment instead of several.   Nothing complicated just effective.

So three times a week with a weight plate, a mat and classic rock playing in my ear my workouts are short, simple and sufficient. 

You don’t have to a have a gym membership, fancy equipment or tremendous amounts of time. Just a commitment to yourself and a workout that’s effective and enjoyable. 

5. Talk Yourself Into It

Your brain will give you a million excuses not to exercise, walk or run, go to your Pilates class or skip the gym, etc.  

You can listen to those excuses or respond with all the benefits fitness offers like energy, focus, sculpted muscles and overall excellent well being.

Fitness can be a fun or punishing experience, based on your beliefs around it.

So what are your thoughts when it comes to exercising? Energizing or draining?  If you aren’t sure or maybe you know but you don’t know how to shift those beliefs, let’s communicate.  

A few, simple but powerful questions will reveal those beliefs to you and from there you can begin reframing fitness so it benefits you physically, mentally and yes even spiritually.   

Sandra Hubbard 

Join the Discussion