Exercise,  Healthy Lifestyle,  Uncategorized

The BEST Reason To Exercise (Hint: It’s Not To Look Good)

Photo by Keenan Constance on Unsplash

I want to master the art of the handstand.

There’s something about seeing other people handstand and trying to learn it myself that just gets me excited and motivated.

This is just ONE of my reasons for exercising.  There are many more, but this one is my favorite: I exercise because I love seeing how strong my body can get and what it can do.

The Problem With Exercise For Looks Alone

I see too many women (and men, for the record) get caught up in working out so they can change their appearance.

To clarify, I don’t really see anything wrong with this if you do it as a hobby and you’re not obsessed to the point where you feel like you’re living in perfectionism.

What I’m talking about is the constant mud we drag ourselves through by looking in the mirror, not being happy with what we see, comparing it to the latest fitness model, and deciding that we’re not good enough.

This is fear and shame-based and it’s never a good place to start when you’re embarking on a journey.

Plus, it doesn’t last.  It’s too easy to rationalize away.  (One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, demonstrates this perfectly in one of his bits. Sorry about the crappy YouTube video but it was all I could find and it is hilarious anyway.)

Now, don’t use this as just another reason to beat yourself up (“See?  I can’t even do weight loss the right way!  I don’t have the right motivation so I guess that’s one more reason that I’m fundamentally flawed.”)

Nope.

That’s not the purpose of this post.

The purpose of this post is to get outside the box in your own head when you look at your health goals.

Where To Get Your Motivation Instead

Rather than asking yourself, “How can I get my body to look like this picture of a fit girl that I pinned on Pinterest?”, ask yourself:

“What amazing things do I want to be able to do with my beautiful, epic, amazing body?  And what behaviors do I need to incorporate in order to do those things?”

When you attack your goals from that point of view–one where you already see yourself as amazing and strong and you just think it would be fun and awesome to see what else your body can do–I promise, you will be so much better off and more likely to stay motivated to hit your goals.

I love the feeling of getting strong, and the idea of training to be able to do pull-ups and push ups and handstands.  It keeps me going when things get hard.  You’d better believe that I’m working every day to get closer to these goals, because they’re fun and motivating to me.

But it doesn’t even have to be those things.  Maybe you just want to be able to run and play with your kids.  Maybe you want to be in good shape to pick your favorite sport back up or learn a new one.  Maybe you want to travel to a remote country to help dig wells or build schools for the people there.

The reality is, we are so much more than just bodies to show off and look aesthetically pleasing.  Our bodies are amazing tools that can take us to places we never thought we’d be able to reach.  You are so much more than just what you look like.

So what about you?  What amazing things do YOU want to do with your body?

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