My life is so full right now. I’m working on a blogging course and a business course, and my work schedule has been back-to-back, which is awesome. My kids were with my parents for a few days, so I got in a yoga class, went out for dinner with my husband, and enjoyed a movie date with my favourite man another night (although, truly, I did not enjoy Insurgent, which is what we saw. It was that or Furious 7, which I’m sure would have been worse).
I don’t think I’ve watched T.V. for about 5 days, which is pretty awesome, and I haven’t spent more than 15 minutes a day on Facebook. This has definitely helped me make room in my life for the stuff that I’ve been doing, which has been infinitely more energizing than whatever it is that I could have found to watch on Netflix.
What I have neglected – and it’s a pattern for me – is exercise. I absolutely know I feel better when I’m moving my body, and I absolutely had time to engage in fitness activities, but I chose instead to work through my courses.
The question I have to ask myself is why have I avoided exercise? What thoughts are coming up when I consider going for a walk or practicing some yoga? What feelings have I been experiencing when I think about fitting in some fitness?
When I examined my thoughts, I realized that I think that developing my mind is more important than working out and working on my body, that worrying about how fit I am or how my body looks is frivolous. Plus, I’ve had so much trouble maintaining a healthy weight in the past, I’ve had the thought that by avoiding exercise by increasing my knowledge, I can justify being heavier and not being successful in losing weight because learning is always worthwhile. I fear that I will put effort into working out and will not lose weight yet again, and this will support the idea that I’m a failure, which creates a feeling of shame. I also have the thought that working out won’t be worth as much to me as learning something new, because fitness doesn’t really pay off from a financial perspective. (Except it can if it affects my health and ability to work.)
This is interesting, because I realize that my identity is wrapped up in the idea that I’m smart and know a lot. I have underlying insecurity related to my intelligence, even though by pretty much any measure, I am a full-on smarty pants. I feel like I have to be smart to be worthy and to get approval – from my parents (yes, I am approaching 40 and still care about approval from my parents). Huh, who knew those thoughts were all in there?
As I let these thoughts roll around in my mind, I’m considering what thoughts I’d prefer to think when it comes to working out and being fit.
- Fitness is important to me (this is true)
- I make time for those things that are important to me (this is true)
- I want to make fitness a bigger part of my life (also true)
- Fitness increases my health and sense of well-being (yes)
- Choosing to exercise instead of developing my mind will benefit me in the long run because I will live longer, be healthier, and have a better quality of life, which will allow me to have better mental functioning (makes sense)
- I can choose to develop my mind when I’m exercising – thought I don’t have to – by listening to educational podcasts (absolutely)
- It is okay to put my physical fitness ahead of my knowledge and education, because my health and fitness are currently a greater priority than how much I know, and because the time I require to work out still allows me the time to pursue my intellectual interests (you bet)
- I can care about how my body feels and looks without it being shallow or vain (truth)
I’m going to let these thoughts – all of them – percolate for awhile and I’ll be curious about what other anti-exercise thoughts I might have tucked away in my mighty mind.
Do you struggle to fit in fitness? What thoughts are holding you back? Or, conversely, what thoughts make it easy for you to make fitness a priority? Please let me know in the comments section below. I really want to hear your exercise-related stories.