P: In this post, I talk about the psychological weight of emotions and how it takes a toll on our minds. And how you can set yourself a more practical approach to fitness.
EMOTIONAL DECISION MAKING
Earlier when I used to think about exercising, it was like opening a pandora’s box of emotions. Out flew the guilt, shame, self-hatred, self-pity, a self-defeatist mindset and self-loathing, which all punched me in the face.
Over the years I have realised having a toxic mindset affected both my mental & physical health. When I put myself down mentally, I noticed my exercising suffered as well. I would feel dizzy occasionally getting black flashes. Thereafter I would binge eat cause my body craved energy. But I wasn’t eating to fuel my recovery but to feed that toxic mindset of mine.
Inevitably I set myself up for failure. I set unrealistic standards which I couldn’t possibly achieve ( ie aesthetic goals). Once I didn’t achieve those “standards” I would tell myself, “look I knew I couldn’t do it”. Unknowingly I was feeding into my own self-fulfilling prophecy. (ie a belief or expectation that an individual holds about a future event that manifests because the individual holds it). But there’s hope and here’s what I did next.
HOW I CHANGED
I found this quote reading a book, titled ‘Insight’ by Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times best-selling author. This line effectively sums up my fitness journey so far.
At the start of the pandemic, I was stuck in a job I disliked. I was homesick, ridden with anxiety and had recurring panic attacks. Once I reached home. I knew things had to change. So I took responsibility for my actions and said “if I need to feel better exercising was the way through it.”
Not to forget when I found my current online personal trainer Sydney Cummings on youtube, life was all the way better. She’s an ex Division 1 athlete. She says the best things that motivate you are to not only push yourself on the mat but in life as well. This is just one of the million things that stuck with me.
“When you are adding fitness to your life, you mustn’t forget you are doing this for ourselves, not because we hate ourselves. It comes from a place of love. Some people take bubble baths and paint their nails, others sweat it out like beasts. Whatever is your form, remember you're doing it for good things. It adds to your life like more energy, confidence, you’re happier, you get better sleep, you are calmer, you start to prioritize yourself. This is the bare minimum I want for you.” *slight tear*.
This leads us to how I approached fitness with a more rational approach.
RATIONAL DECISION MAKING
Here are 2 things that helped me create and sustain an amazing fitness journey.
Know your WHY!
Having a clearly defined ‘Why’ took off the extra mental load of “forcing myself to show up”. My WHY was “to combat my anxiety and to live life to the fullest potential.” Along this journey, I have learnt to redefine my ‘WHY’ which we most often forget.
Having Sydney talk me through workouts, I knew I was onto something. I could feel the difference she was making not only on my body but on my mind. This quote sums up how I feel working out with Sydney.
“WHEN YOU COUNSEL SOMEONE, YOU SHOULD APPEAR TO BE REMINDING HIM OF SOMETHING HE HAD FORGOTTEN, NOT OF THE LIGHT HE WAS UNABLE TO SEE.”
Sydney reminded me of my inner and hidden strength, I just needed to take steps to reach it.
In our earlier post, we started talking about the importance of unlearning by practising self-compassion. This not only makes the journey more enjoyable along the way but it helps you think to get crystal clear on what is important to you or not.
- Recognize :
When we listen to the voices in our head it could go somewhat like this, “Who do I listen to? What workout should follow? Should I follow my friend’s workout because my friend has lost weight doing the program? Why am I not seeing results?”
Questions like these will haunt you, distract you from making real progress. Find something that works for you, which leads us to the second point.
In the first six months, I tried six different YouTubers, till I found Sydney. Not everyone’s workout style will match yours. Nor would you know what will match yours if you never tried different stuff. We’ll get into detail on this in our later posts.
Till then try out some yoga, pilates, kickboxing, strength training anything, get your body moving. As James Clear says, “if you stick with it long enough, you start to enjoy it.”