How many times have you been told that exercise is good for you? There are many other reasons to exercise than just losing weight or building muscle.
Do you often hear yourself say,
My thighs are too big,
I’m too fat,
I wish I was more sculpted.
Just a few of the thoughts that I hear from clients and people that I know who often say these things about themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I have been just as guilty about disliking my body but that has changed. Instead of focusing on what we don’t like about our bodies or comparing our ourselves to others, we need to shift to a mindset of what we love about ourselves inside and out. The process of changing the physical body starts internally.
We need to start embracing what we were given while we are in the process of changing how we look. However, this is easier said than done. The process doesn’t happen overnight but here are some ways that can change how you think so you can change how you look.
1.Change the way you view your body.
If you want to improve your self image, one has to change the way they think about themselves. In order to change our body, we need to perceive it in a positive way, otherwise you will never reach your goal. By making small changes to the way you think, you will be amazed at how others see you and by how your words become more positive when talking about your body. We all have flaws but that’s not how we define ourselves. Learn to embrace your flaws and be proud of who you are.
A simple exercise I use with some of my clients is mirror imaging. I have them step in front of a mirror and point out 3 things they like about their body and have them actually say it. By speaking the words out loud, it becomes more believable. I have them focus on those few things every day until they start seeing small changes take place in their body. It’s amazing how when people start to look at their body differently by not accepting their flaws but embracing all the great things they already have. Sometimes we just have to point it out to others before they can truly see it.
2. Embrace what you are given.
As human beings, we are all truly unique. There are always things that we don’t like about ourselves but there are also more things that we love about ourselves.
We often get caught up with images of people in the media (magazines, billboards, social media) that are often altered in some ways to sell products. This is NOT REAL. We can’t photoshop our bodies in real life but more importantly many of these media images are not realistic. I often talk about how being healthy is more than just being fit or having a sculpted body. It’s important to keep our weight in check, to do some type of weight bearing exercises, but this is just one aspect of health. Eating clean, learning to control our stress levels and having a positive mindset are just as important as working out.
I like to point out some of my flaws to my clients or to people I know to let them know that I’m aware of the imperfections but I don’t let it bother me. These flaws are unique to me and I’m proud of them, just as much as I’m proud of all the positive qualities about myself. Once you turn around how you think about these so called ‘imperfections’, you will see how silly it was to complain about them in the first place.
Celebrate the fact that your making your body healthy.
3. Stop comparing your body to others
Many people are working out for the wrong reasons. They exercise because they hate their body and not because they love it. I see people do 100-200 sit-ups a day to reduce belly fat when in fact doing sit-ups has nothing to do with fat reduction in this area.
I see people eat whatever they want and then spend countless hours in the gym to burn the calories only to find disappointment when they learn that calories in doesn’t equal calories out. We first need to learn the basics of physiology (why you’re doing cardiovascular activity and weight training) and then learn that our bodies are shaped the way they are due to our genetics. This doesn’t mean that we can’t lose weight, tone up, get stronger, or move faster, it simply means that you were the given the body you have and you have to learn that you can’t change everything about it.
There are many factors that go into losing weight besides working out. The food we place in our bodies greatly affects us as well as our genetics. Some people are born with larger bones, or faster metabolism’s, or have more fast or slow-twitch fibers which makes them great at a specific sport. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be a runner because you can’t run as fast as other runners, or be a yoga instructor because you don’t have same flexibility as some instructors.
We often want what we don’t have.
While one person is appreciating all their curves, someone else is wishing they had less curves. Embrace other people’s bodies but do the same for yours. You can change it to some degree but at some point you have to learn to enjoy your body for the RIGHT reasons.
It’s more important to start your day by nourishing your body not only with exercise, but positive thinking and consuming more plant-based foods that provides you energy all day long.
Your objective is to turn around your negative body image and turn it into something positive. By simply changing the word ‘hate’ into ‘love’ you are well on your way to completely changing the way you think and look. Start to embrace the beautiful body you were given.
Top 6 Reasons to Workout Other Than Losing Weight
- Better posture – One way to fix some postural problems is to exercise. By incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine, you can fix some postural issues for both sitting and standing. Proper posture also supports the spine and helps prevent conditions such as sciatica and herniated disks, which can cause back pain. Other ways exercise can help improve our posture is by strengthening our core, and by incorporating some upper and lower body exercises to balance out our body.
- Boost your confidence – Sometimes results take time but the mere effort of starting to exercise can make you feel better and in return gain confidence about yourself. When you start to take steps to improve your health, you naturally feel better about yourself which can help you feel more accomplished.
- De-stress – Studies have shown that exercise is a great way to combat stress. Everyone has stress in their lives at one time or another but getting into the groove of exercising on a regular basis can help you take your mind off of what is stressing you out.
- Sleep better – Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. If you’re not a regular exerciser and you’re looking for a way to improve your sleep, starting a routine of moderate physical activity is a great strategy. It doesn’t happen overnight but once you get into a regular workout routine, you will notice your sleep habits start to change for the better.
- You’ll have more energy – It may seem counter-intuitive but regular exercise can actually make you feel more energized throughout the day.
- Be Happier – Making regular exercise a habit can improve your life in so many ways. People’s moods are lifted when they workout so find a way to fit in a quick workout every day and you will be well on your way. Better yet, find a place outdoors in nature where you can leave all your troubles behind even if it’s for just a few minutes to let go and take care of your body.
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well
Your Compassionate Coach,