Health has always been important to me. Growing up, I was always moving. I was part of the soccer team, danced in my free time and went on regular bike rides. However, once I started back at university, and working part time, being active was last on my list of priorities.
I did not exercise the entirety of this pandemic. However, in January, I decided to ease back in and give it another try. This decision was inspired by a desire to feel healthy again, take care of myself, and encouragement from a friend who had undergone a health scare. This same friend told me about a YouTube channel called Body Project. Body Project mostly consists of low-impact workouts, while still maintaining high intensity. All their videos are focused on encouraging you to try your best, and reminding you to listen to you body all while having fun.
The other day while working out, I was inspired by something the fitness instructor said, "[o]ne of the things I've learned over the years with Body Project is that getting it right with exercise is important, but it's never as important as the relationship you have with movement and loving your body" (Body Project, 00:27:21 - 00:27:37). Something about this really stuck with me. At the end of the day, it's not about perfection, it's about showing up and doing your best. After taking the time to process what the instructor had said, I was motivated to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Easing Back In
This time around, easing back into working out felt attainable because I went into it with a different mindset. I took the time to listen to my body. I took breaks when I needed them. I celebrated every step forward.
Working out after taking a prolonged break isn't easy. That's why it's important to slowly ease in while simultaneously listening to your body.
Before I started working out again, it felt impossible. It felt as though I would never get in shape again or reach any of my goals. These are normal feeling because your body isn't used to moving and being active. Once I started, every day I worked out felt a easier than the last.
Setting Realistic Expectations
It's easy to get into a mindset where you set unrealistic expectations for yourself. These unrealistic expectations are usually fueled by a desire to see results and to see them fast. However, there needs to a be a healthy balance between setting healthy goals/expectations and challenging/pushing yourself.
When I started working out again, I quickly realized that three days a week was realistic for my lifestyle. I am currently in university, I work part time and enjoy a variety of other hobbies in my free time. Between everything I do, I wanted to set realistic standards that made sense with my lifestyle. These standards will vary from person to person.
In addition to three days of physical activity paired with a healthy, moderate diet, I also enjoy taking leisure walks with my husband and friends. At the end of the day, it's all about balance. Make sure to take the time to explore what works for you.
Loving My Body Presently
Loving ourselves propels us forward. In order for me to move forward in health, it was important that I learned to love my current state. No, I am not where I want to be health-wise. However, that does not prevent me from loving and celebrating my body now. Our bodies are incredible. They do so much for us. They deserve to be celebrated regardless of their current state. Going through a mindset shift regarding movement and being active is what helped me establish a newfound love for my body and all that it does for me. In a matter of days I found myself motivated by my changed mindset and the growing love and gratitude I had for my body.
An Ongoing Journey
At the end of the day, you are the only one who can make changes and who can love your body back to health. This journey that I am on is all about listening to my body and nourishing it back to health through movement, and love. It's a journey that is ongoing. I want to invite you to start. It's never too late to start celebrating and loving the body you're in.
Staying connected with others is one the best sources of encouragement when pursuing a healthy liftstyle. Make sure to explore SeeWhatSheCanDo for more stories like this and for the chance to get connected with other women. SeeWhatSheCanDo has a variety of useful resources available including: real and relatable stories, a community hub and their very own podcast.
carolinewiley over 2 years
Thanks for sharing your story @ginacb . I love the notion of changing one’s mindset about health to one that involves love and gratitude. Definitely makes sense to me. c.