If you have been keeping up on social, this week has been all about gratitude. This so-called "theme" for the last few days was totally unplanned (one of these days I'll make my official content calendar!), but each day seemingly built off the next. It made the most sense to make today's blog post about letting go of limiting beliefs and having gratitude, specifically gratitude for you and your body when it comes to movement and exercise.
I believe we are the hardest on ourselves when it comes to progress (or sometimes lack thereof) with our health and fitness journeys. We want to be stronger, skinnier, healthier, faster, etc. AND we want all of those things today. We are in constant search of the quick fix. The thing is though, is that all of those things we desire take time. And, even more than time, they take hard work, effort, dedication and above all, a willing and positive attitude.
Have a Little Grace
So, this is where I want you to change your thought patterns and have some grace and gratitude for yourself. Be proud of what you accomplish each day of your life. For some, maybe it's completing a workout in your couch to 5k program or crossing the finish line of your first half-marathon even if it took you longer than you had hoped. Maybe it's trying a new workout class or finally being able to pick up a heavier set of dumbbells. Or, perhaps, it's as simple as cleaning the house or just getting out of bed.
Whatever the case may be, honor yourself. Be grateful of the body you've been given and celebrate it. My friend Lindsay, owner/creator of The Hidden Gym, called exercise a 'celebration of movement' and I freaking love that!! So whether you are walking the dog, running a race, taking up a new sport, busting out 50 burpees or dancing in your living room, celebrate that. You have a body that allows you the ability to move in whatever way suits you and that is amazing!
Naturally, there will be times that movement and exercise isn't possible. If you are battling sickness or you're in a particular season of life that has put limitations on your ability to move, absolutely rest, but don't give up. We're constantly weathering different storms. Trust there is light on the other side. It may take a little extra patience and a bit more grace but you will get there. When you feel ready, you can then make micro-movements that will continue to propel you forward.
Let go of limiting beliefs...
So what if it's hard or you can't keep up. Remember, the only real competition you have is yourself. Don't worry what everyone else is doing. We are all on our own independent journeys. Remove the limiting beliefs that you've put on yourself. You are the only person putting on these limits or restrictions. Stop saying you can't do it. All that I ask is that you show up and try.
Also, don't be mistaken that just because I'm writing this today that I think I'm an expert in this space. Each of the statements above are just as much for me, friends, as they are for you. I've got my own limiting beliefs that I am constantly working to flip my script to be more positive.
For example, I'm not a fast runner. I work out regularly and do tons of lower body strength yet never seem to make much improvements when it comes to speed. It's easy for me to say "I'll never be fast" or "I am not good at running". I have said those things, but as I've grown I'm trying to recognize those thoughts and shine a little bit of gratitude into my soul. While its true that I'm not the fastest runner, I've still completed five half marathons and several smaller races. My legs are strong. I keep showing up because I enjoy running and the challenge that comes with it. I'm okay with not being fast because by running I get to celebrate the fact that I'm doing something I enjoy.
Another example is my continued struggle to lose unwanted fat around my midsection. Again, I work out regulary and eat a fairly healthy diet, yet I have this extra flab around my belly that doesn't seem to budge. I'm am often to think "Why isn't the hard work I'm putting in paying off?" or "Ugh, I feel fat" but instead I choose to be grateful. While I may have a little added cushion throughout my middle, I also have given birth to two amazing boys. My kiddos no doubt changed my body but they also my life and I wouldn't trade that for the world (even if means a little extra cush around my tummy). The hard work I put in at the gym DOES pay off because I know in many ways I am stronger and more capable then ever. I continue to put in the work because I love my time in the gym not because I am crossing my fingers that all the exercise is going to make my abs suddenly appear.
Can you flip the script?!
What are some of your limiting beliefs when it comes to your body and exercise? Can you flip the script? I encourage you to write down three limiting beliefs that you are currently facing then counter them with gratitude. My hope is you find the exercise powerful and liberating as you move forward in your own health and fitness journey.
Be Grateful for You
In closing, be grateful. I'm grateful for you and you should be grateful for yourself as well!! Be grateful for the hard work you put in every damn day. Be grateful for the body you've been given. Be grateful for the ability to move (and do so regularly!).
Simply put, be grateful for you.