Do you often force yourself to exercise, telling yourself or others that you “have to” and that you just need to suck it up and do it? Don’t be so hard on yourself.
This not a fun nor sustainable way of viewing exercise. You feel like it’s forced and are thinking of it as something that just needs to be done, and in this way you probably aren’t enjoying it as much. Simply changing your wording to “I get to exercise” makes a huge difference in the enjoyment factor. Instead of thinking that you have to do it, think about how lucky you are that you get to do it.
Not everyone has that chance. I’ve worked for years in hospitals and have seen many people who really cannot exercise, and I think how difficult that can be. If you physically can, then appreciating your body and what it is capable of doing can help motivate you to keep exercising, time and time again. I often think about this when the going gets tough – about 3 miles into my runs when I want to stop. I’m telling you – the way we word our thoughts in our own head seriously influences what we’re able to do.
Of course, you also need to engage in exercise that you truly enjoy. Forcing yourself to run when you absolutely hate it is not going to be sustainable. Find that exercise that lights you up (yes everyone has that, even if you think your body is not capable of producing endorphins!), the kind that makes you feel happy and like a different person afterwards. A little trial and error can help with figuring that out.
When you find the exercise that makes you feel like a different person after, that’s the one you want to do more. The kind that you may go into feeling really crappy, but after feel like a million bucks and you think to yourself “I can’t believe I don’t do this every day.” It still may not be easy, but if you enjoy it and come at it with the right attitude, you will be more likely to keep doing it.
So today, try switching your mindset to “I get to exercise, I get to take care of my body, etc.” Whatever it is, appreciate and love your body and what it is able to do. It is capable of so much more than you know, if you allow it to do its job without standing in its way.
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