Every day I have clients tell me I need to kick their butts because they ate a cupcake, a chocolate, or a french fry. They see exercise as a punishment or as a way to make up for what they perceive is “bad” behaviour. Instead, it needs to be seen as an act of self-love.
First of all, let’s get one thing straight: having a treat is NOT A PUNISHABLE OFFENCE! Having something you love is not bad, in fact, denying yourself the things you love can be extremely stressful. Like I’m sure you’ve heard before, it’s all about moderation. Instead of box of cookies, have one, they’ll last longer, and you will have a smile on your face.
So now we’ve cleared that up, there is nothing for you to be punished for, so exercise is not a punishment. There is no reason to feel guilty. There is no reason for you to do 1000 squats to make up for whatever it is you ate. If you indulge one day, make better choices the next day. I promise one day will not make or break your fitness journey.
A better way to think about exercise is to see it as an act of self-love. You show you care about yourself in other ways, you brush your teeth, you take a shower, make yourself a delicious meal etc. Those are routine things you do for yourself every day that are take care of your body and make you feel good about yourself.
Exercise should be on the same level as those things, but it’s not. It’s hard. It takes time and effort. But, it’s something you can do a few times a week that improves your strength, energy level, sleep, stress management, and confidence. Everybody wants all those effects right? I know I do.
Now if you are dreading your workouts, please please change them. You should be excited to work out. It should be fun and exciting. Find a new class, new workout buddy, hire a trainer. Do something to make sure you love your workouts.
So I challenge YOU to start changing your mindset. Don’t punish yourself for the things you love. Exercise because you love yourself.