Q&A Tuesday: I need to exercise, but UCK!
I know I need to exercise, but uck, I look horrible in yoga pants and you should see my schedule--it's crazy! I need some serious inspiration to get me out of my office chair. What do you have for me?"
Your question made me think of a scene from one of my favorite movies of the last few years, The Kids are Alright. In the scene, Jules (Julianne Moore) and Paul (Mark Ruffalo) have just gotten it on, when Jules starts making negative comments about her own body. Paul says to her, “Don’t go negative on your a$$.” Almost every woman I know who has an extra 10 or 15 pounds also has a distorted body image. You need to listen to Paul! And me, of course, because I believe your body speaks of your AMAZINGNESS. Those extra 15 pounds? Those are 15 pounds of "I’m resourceful and productive all day and devoted to raising two of the most amazing kids ever.“
Okay, that said: if you still feel like you need to drop those extra pounds (and get your head in a better place while you’re at it), I hear you. I know how much my own body and mind are healed when I’m exercising regularly.
But being fit when you work at desk all day requires a powerful energy source, one that starts with unconditional love and acceptance. And guess what: You dim this energy source every time you go negative on your a$$.
So the best way to get jump started is by loving yourself, or, as I call it, “wooing yourself.“ Wooing yourself is an activity that will save your life.
It may seem radical, but just for a week, forget exercise—and, while you’re at it, drop the need to beat yourself up about it. What I want you do to is get your head right by writing down five ways you’re amazing and one way you’re lame each and every day. This will improve your love relationship with yourself no matter what size you are.
That’s because self acceptance is the key. If you’re stressed out believing you’ve got to exercise, you’re simply adding another stressor—and a lot of shame—to a “problem” that is already a direct function of stressors and shame. How can a problem that is a consequence of too many stressors and shame be cured by adding stressors and shame?
And here’s where it gets really interesting.
Examine your list for the ways you were lame. If any these were tasks that landed outside your sphere of influence or are things that can be outsourced, do it. And like magic, you’ve just opened up your exercise time for the day.
Which gives me one more opportunity to soap box. What the heck are you doing going to yoga if you’re self conscious about how you look in your Lululemon pants? If your workout of choice is a stressor, it’s not going to become a habit.
So if you’re feeling like the exercise you’ve chosen is an obligation, then choose something else. And remember: It’s okay to mess up and not look cute as long as you’re having a good time laughing at your mistakes.
I know it sounds paradoxical, but it’s true: Making time for getting and staying fit starts in your heart. It starts when you love yourself like you love everyone else.
A word of caution: Be careful with the Wooing Yourself plan if you have not budgeted for new clothes!
Be peace, be love,