Hey there, friend! I'm so glad you stopped by today because we're going to talk about something that's near and dear to my heart: healing your relationship with exercise. You see, I'm a personal trainer with years of experience, and I specialize in promoting body positivity. But here's the thing: it's not just about the physical movements we make in a workout. It's about our thoughts and feelings surrounding exercise. I've seen too many folks fall victim to diet culture and end up with a strained relationship with physical activity. But fear not! Today, I'm going to share some micro changes you can make to your thought process to help you break up with diet culture and heal your relationship with exercise again.
First and foremost, let's get one thing straight: exercise is not punishment for what you ate. It's not a chore, a burden, or something you have to suffer through. What if, instead, you thought of exercise as an act of self-love? Treat it like you would treat a bubble bath or a glass of wine at the end of a long day - something you do for yourself because it makes you feel good. Shift your mindset from "I have to work out" to "I get to work out." Believe me, it makes a world of difference.
Next up, let's talk about setting goals. But not the traditional, "I want to lose 10 pounds" kind of goals. Let's set goals based on how you want to feel. Do you want to feel strong? Energized? Relaxed? Happy? Whatever it is, focus on that feeling and let it motivate you. For example, if you want to feel energized, maybe your goal is to take a brisk walk around the block every morning before work. Setting goals based on feelings helps you stay connected to the positive effects of exercise and not just the number on the scale.
Another micro change you can make is to shift your focus from "burning calories" to "building strength." Instead of obsessing over how many calories you burned during your workout, focus on how strong you're getting. Can you lift more weight than last week? Can you hold a plank for longer? Celebrate those wins, no matter how small they may seem. And speaking of celebrating, remember to congratulate yourself for showing up and giving it your all. Showing up is half the battle, so give yourself a pat on the back for making the effort.
Finally, one of the best things you can do for yourself to heal your relationship with exercise is to find movement that you truly enjoy. It doesn't have to be traditional gym workouts. Maybe you love dancing, hiking, kayaking, or gardening. Whatever it is, do more of it! When you find joy in movement, you're more likely to stick with it and reap the physical and mental benefits.
So there you have it, friend! These micro changes may seem small, but they can have a big impact on your relationship with exercise. Remember, it's not about punishing yourself for what you ate or trying to mold your body into a certain shape. It's about treating yourself with love and respect, focusing on how you want to feel, and finding movement that brings you joy. You deserve to have a positive relationship with exercise, and with these small shifts in mindset, you can get there.