Still got that love/hate relationship with exercise? Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer and founder of Alternatively Healthy, Becki Rabin, shares her 12 steps to mastering your relationship with exercise!
I want you to unlearn everything they think about exercising. We talk so much about our relationship with diet culture and food, yet not as much about our relationship with exercise, or as I like to call it – movement. We have all been stuck in the exercise rut. Moving from a place of pressure, guilt and feeling like we have to – what I call a place of hate. Our minds are more disconnected from our bodies than ever. Many of this generation of women have little or no love for their bodies and are thus working out with the completely wrong mindset. But what would happen if you moved from a place of love? Moved because you wanted to because you loved your body enough to move it in ways that made it feel good rather than worrying about purely looking good.
How many of you walk into the gym with a mindset of irritation and anger? How many of you have the sole goal and purpose to ‘get it done’ with ‘no excuses’? When was the last time you walked into the gym with the sole purpose to feel good?
ASK YOURSELF ‘WHY?’
Ask yourself now, why do you work out? What is the real reason you show up day in, day out? Is it because you enjoy it? Is it because your body feels good when you do? Or is it because you feel pressure to and guilty when you don’t? Is it because others make you feel you should or you want to look like others? The first step to mastering your mindset with exercise is acknowledging the mindset you are in right at this very moment.
NOT HOW OFTEN, BUT HOW IT FEELS
We have become obsessed with how much we work out rather than how it feels to workout. If you aren’t training for a sport – why do you need to train every day at high intensity. 3/4 times a week of intense working out will do the trick if you feel good. Spend more time thinking about how good it makes you feel- and if it isn’t, then maybe you are doing too much.
MOVE FROM A PLACE OF LOVE NOT HATE
I spent years moving my body because I hated it, fitting in workouts wherever I could, however I could. The first thing I did in the morning was to look at my body and see imperfections. All I wanted was to look different. I worked out sometimes 3 times a day and I thought by doing this, I would love my body. I thought it was a way of loving my body. It wasn’t – it didn’t. It was coming from a place of hate. When you move from a place of love, you see everything changes. Move because you love your body enough to move it.
FEEL GOOD NOT LOOK GOOD
As long as you are chasing happiness from your appearance, you will remain unhappy. For years, my body was me – it was all I strove for. I thought that by looking good, I would feel good and be happy, but constantly striving for just that alone, made me feel bad. When you strive to only look good, you seem to always feel unfulfilled because you are craving so much more than looking good. Shift your mindset so that movement makes you feel good. The aesthetics will soon c come to reflect that.
REMEMBER TO ENJOY IT
Yes! Enjoy it. Did you forget that movement is there to be enjoyed, release endorphins and make you feel good, not bad? You shouldn’t hate going to the gym or working out, and if you do, find something you love so that when you move you enjoy it. We have got caught up in moving in ways we think we must because we are chasing aesthetics. Yet if you move to feel good and choose something you enjoy, you will be far happier and your results will show.
INTUITION IS KEY
We have become so obsessed with what we think we know, we have completely forgotten to listen to our bodies. If you are getting injured all the time, then it is likely you are overtraining or something isn’t right. If you are tired and don’t feel up to going to the gym then don’t – your body will thank you for it and when you do go, it will love you for it and it will feel better. Remember to listen to your body – it is an incredible thing and will tell you exactly what is up.
NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL
We are all looking for the right answer, weight training, yoga, pilates, HIIT. But the secret is there is no one size fits all. We are all different shapes, sizes, ages. Our genetics are made up differently, our chemicals, proteins and atoms merge differently, our energy flows in its own way. We are unique, so we should all strive to find a solution that works for all of us individually. How can one person believe their health regime is suitable for everyone when we are ALL so different, or worse – how can one person think their health regime should imitate that of others when we are all so different. In reality, what feels good for me, may feel awful for you. Find what feels good for you, what works for you and most importantly, do it for you.
DROP THE PRESSURE – RELEASE THE GUILT
The only person putting pressure on you to work out is, you. The only person who can make you feel guilty about skipping a workout is, you guessed it, YOU. When you take the pressure off, you become more inclined to move more. The pressure is often exactly what causes you to feel bad when you don’t workout and thus, it comes from a place of hate, not love. Putting pressure on yourself isn’t a form of loving yourself. Telling yourself that you should go to the gym, is you telling YOU this.
APPEARANCE DOES NOT = HAPPINESS
If you are exercising because you think that being in shape will make you happy, it won’t. Only YOU can make yourself happy. Exercise can help you feel better, being in shape can make you feel a bit better about yourself, yes, but it does not = happiness.
ACKNOWLEDGE SMALL WINS
We are often so busy being hard on ourselves that we forget to appreciate the small wins. Every time you reach a new personal best, perform an exercise you didn’t think you could, praise yourself – congratulate yourself. It is only then that you realise how far you come instead of constantly striving for more. When you acknowledge the little things, you fall in love with yourself and your relationship with exercise more than you could imagine. It shifts your mindset from lack to love.
IT’S OK TO GO SLOW
Your body will love you for the slow pace once in a while. For most of us, our lives are fast-paced, on the go and busier than ever before. Sometimes that high-intensity workout is the last thing your body needs. Know that sometimes the slowest workouts are the most intense and have the biggest results.
LEARN FROM CREDIBLE SOURCES
This is key. Just because someone has 500k followers on Instagram and a great body, does not mean that they know what they are talking about. Sometimes even as qualified personal trainers, they may have novice knowledge. Don’t be fooled by glamorisation of social media and always ensure you are getting your wellness content from credible sources.
words by Becki Rabin, founder of Alternatively Healthy