I spent 15+ years using exercise as a tool to punish myself for eating poorly. Moving my body was never viewed as a means to living a healthier life, but rather a means of having a smaller pant size. That was years of tears, angry, hate, shame, and misery.
What changed? How I viewed my health and body. I reframed exercise as a tool to help me stay sane, strong, and healthy. A means to making sure my heart beat strong and my cardio was up for the day a bear decided to chase me (hey, you never know). I became thankful that I was even able to move my body as opposed to bitter that I “had” to move my body.
So how do you begin reframing your view on exercise? Let' s use yesterdays workout as an example. The picture is of 5 different weighted kettlebells. I could easily say, I “had” to do 120 squats, but the reality is, I didn’t have to do anything if I didn’t want to. I chose to! I reframed my workout as a means of having stronger legs, a stronger heart, and a way to keep me from losing my marbles. With every squat, I was in the here-and-now. I thanked my legs for holding me up for 33 years. I thanked my heart for beating, and my lungs for helping me breathe. That day I powered through my workout for the people who physically can’t.
If you find yourself using exercise as punishment, I challenge you to reframe your outlook. Don’t exercise because you ate a slice of pizza or drank a glass of wine. Don’t spend hours doing cardio to try to live up to society's unrealistic expectations for pant sizes. Don’t lace of your trainers because you have to, but rather because you want to. Exercise because you can!