I remember one of the first moments that I realized I had the power to change who I was. That I could physically pick and choose things that would mold me into something different. I didn’t necessarily NOT like who I was – I just liked idea that I had some influence on who I could become.
And so, I entered the ever-changing world of fitness…
But quick question…. Are you one of those women who’s tried every single workout program and nutrition fad in the book? Only to fail miserably and promise to commit to the next?
Well, then you are in the right place, my friend!
This one’s for all my girls who’ve dabbled in 12-week hiit workouts, weight lifting splits, running endless miles, spin classes, hot yoga,
…and any other workout program full of empty promises guaranteeing to finally get you to that dream bod!
So, I’ve got to be real….
When it comes to health and fitness – I have tried IT ALL.
You name it, I’ve probably tried it:
Certain macros at certain times, calorie tracking, meal logging, overexercising, hiit, lifting, workout splits, cardio junkie, 6 week programs, 8 week programs, 12 week programs.
Sure, I’ve stuck with few, buttttt I’ve failed miserably at most.
Program after program, I would see these fit girls on Instagram pages with jaw-dropping “before and after” pictures, and I was sold!
“That’s so gonna be me”. I’d whip out that credit card so fast and anxiously await my over-priced PDF to arrive in my inbox because THIS is gonna be the one to finally work.
And so after a few weeks of gung-ho commitment, I’d once again miss the train that promised me a one-way ticket to hot-bod land. So, I’d blame it on not being disciplined enough, not sticking to the right style diet (vegan bandwagon, anyone?), or simply having bad “genetics” (sorry mom).
I’m just gonna take a wild guess and say that you’ve probably been here once or twice too…. Am I right?
Or even if you have found something you love, you might still feel like a slave to this one way of doing something. Feeling like if you ever stray from this path that brought you success then you’ll blow up like a puffer fish and lose all sense of self control?
BUT. Have you ever really stopped to even ask yourself WHY you’re putting yourself through this torture? WHY a “perfect body” is your goal? Or really, even what a “perfect body” is?
Even if I have ever seen “success” – it’s always left me empty, stressed, and down right miserable. Weeks or months of stressing over every meal and forced workout all in hopes of achieving a specific look that would finally make me happy with myself.
Y’all, when did health become so complicated?
I’ll admit, I was such a sucker for those transformation photos on IG… I used to have myself so convinced that if I could work my butt off (literally), snap a photo, and get featured on IG, I too could be the envy of all women everywhere.
Was that my motivation?
To compete with other women so that I could maybeee finally feel good about myself?
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying trying a new fitness program or having goals are bad… AT ALL!
In fact, I’m a goal-setting junkie.
But what I am saying is that we need to check our WHY behind our workouts
It’s fine to want to see definition in your arms or feel confident in your little black holiday dress, but that shouldn’t be the only reason WHY you want to workout and eat healthy.
It simply won’t work. Your motivation and dedication will become a thing of the past.
Let’s try shifting our focus when it comes to how we exercise & what we eat:
Health & fitness aren’t just tools to help us aim for perfection but they’re assets to be used to help bring the best YOU to the table & let you live your best life.
It’s just like peanut butter and honey- PB is already BAE – but a drizzle of some honey just puts it riiiight over the edge.
In the same way, exercise and healthy eating should just help you recognize & enhance who you are – To show you how strong and capable you already are mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I mean, seriously… Is fitness not more than #abgoals? And nutrition not more than glowing skin?
Do you want to change your “why” but just don’t know how?
Give these tips a try if you’re confused about how to have a “WHY” that goes deeper than an after picture.
1. Let your main WHY always be: To be the “best you” (friend, employee, wife) so that you can live out God’s BEST for your life.
See where you are in in THIS season of life & make it your goal to be healthier & have more freedom to perform your best for where you are RIGHT NOW.
Do you want to have better concentration at school or work? Have more energy more hiking? To feel confident presenting in front of a crowd?
Personally, I choose to take care of myself so I can feel better about myself in order to love Trent better, have mental clarity at my job, still be able to load all of my grocery bags on one arm when I’m 90, anddd be able to run after the ice cream truck. (jk, kinda).
Now, let’s talk about your next workout…
2. Next time you’re in the gym: Go in there with the mindset of gratitude and being thankful for the body that you have and the purpose God has planned for YOU.
Try to not let looks be your main motivation behind a workout – choose to do what you truly enjoy & what will make you feel happiest and most fulfilled leaving the gym, and then feel the most excited to do the next time you go.
I’ve always been a high-intensity kinda gal. I love burpees, pull ups, pistol squats, you name it. That’s been my style of workout for years now.
But, I had this moment where I realized the only reason I liked that style of exercise was because I thought it was the best way to get me to my “goal bod” the quickest.
And man, I started to DREAD my workouts. I’d still do them, but they sucked & I was miserable.
Lately, I’ve taken a much different approach to fitness – and I’ve lifted all of the pressure of consistently doing the same thing – and instead, just listen to myself and honor what my body feels like doing that day.
This might sound crazy coming from a half-marathon, Spartan Race, burpee addict, but my workout of choice lately is an evening walk.
And honestly, I am definitely the most at peace with my body, my body image and fitness in general, now more than ever.
But, let’s get to the fun part: FOOD.
I am such a believer that the best and quickest way to feel confident in your skin is by being selective about the things you choose to put in your body.
It’s not always easy, but it is SO worth it.
3. Before your next meal: Ask yourself: What kind of food will make me feel good, energized, full, and able to physically keep up with life’s demands RIGHT NOW? Not feel weighed down and lethargic, affecting my mood & making me feel like a sack of potatoes (been there many a times).
The rule of thumb I stick to is:
Eat real whole food – enough for my hunger level at the time- and anytime I want anything processed or unhealthy, allow myself to have it, but just in a small enough amounts to enjoy the flavor but not make me feel sick or regretful.
Y’all, this has given me so much freedom & fun with my meals! (A post on this is coming!)
You can’t give from a cup that’s empty. If you’re not filling yourself first – with prayer, exercise, eating well, taking care of your mental health- you’ll never have the energy or desire to fill others.
So, ladies, instead of continuing to run this rat race of trying to look better than the other girls in the room, why don’t we choose to love ourselves enough to stop the comparison game and realize it’s never gotten us anywhere.
I mean, you can find countless stories online of bodybuilders and bikini competitors that reached their “goal bodies” by sacrificing their sleep, social life, but most importantly: their peace and their joy. Most of them have admitted that it’s honestly just not worth it. (One of my FAVORITE examples is Michelle Bishop – @mshelllll)
Whenever my “why” gets foggy, I circle back to what’s constant, true, and unwavering. To put my “WHY” into something so much bigger than myself.
John 3:30 – He Must become Greater; I must become less
As believers, we’re called to make more of HIM and less of ME. So when we use good things (like healthy food and exercise) to only look better for ourselves, then we are literally running in the opposite direction of God’s will for us and instead, we’re willingly resting in a place of continual self defeat.
So: Take a load off, stop striving, and give your efforts to God.
Ask yourself: Am I excited & have a peace when it comes to my nutrition & fitness? Do I feel closer to God through this, are my relationships and life in general improving, or is all of my effort only to have perfect abs and to be better than the other girls in the room?
Your answer will lie in how you feel when you think about health & fitness.
Anxiety & having the looming feeling of “I’ll never get to where I want to be” (aka that one-way ticket to “hot bod express”) can show you that your WHY is off.
When you re-align your “why” to be: living your best life & bringing the best you to the table – you’ll have a settled feeling because you’ll know that you’ve already arrived at destination “you”.
Peace is being offered to you as long as you’re willing to take it.
Comment below how what your “why” is when it comes to reaching goals & living a healthy lifestyle.
ps- if you liked this post, I know you’d enjoy: Feeling Like a Failure After A Cheat Meal? Get back on Track [5 Easy Steps] or even 5 tips for when you’re struggling w/ body image