“I was looking at my face the other day and I thought man, it is getting a little round!”
“I have been so busy with my new job and going back to school that I am not finding anytime to work out.”
“My jeans are feeling a bit tighter lately, I have got to get back to the gym.”
I don’t know if my ears are just uber sensitive to hear these types of statements, or what, but I promise you these conversations follow me around. I was sitting at a birthday party the other day listening to a group of women beat themselves up for a good thirty minutes about their weight and working out habits. The burden these women carry around on their shoulders was so large that you could almost see it physically weighing them down. Their whole lives being affected by this one…burden…to be…in…better…shape.
It plagues all of us doesn’t? There is not a woman in America who cannot relate to their statements. All of us can conjure up the feelings that come with either A.) Feeling great because we are working out a ton or B.) Feeling guilty and fat because we let it get away from us. But Life is too important to let our joy ebb and flow with the size of our waistline.
I cannot express to you the peace I felt after listening to that conversation. I know you might not believe me, but I promise to tell you only the honest to goodness truth. I walked away from hearing those words with an immense feeling of thankfulness that I am no longer in that place. Once upon a time I would have heard those words from other women and it would have sent me packing guilt fully back to the gym for a membership I would hardly use. Not anymore.
I tell you this not for you to think that I have it all together. But for you to know that it IS POSSIBLE to stop worrying. Stop obsessing. Stop being consumed with guilt over eating habits and gym attendance.
So here they are, my top 5 ways to motivate yourself to workout! (probably not the type of tips you would expect, but tips nonetheless).
- Nudge working out down on your priority list. Strengthening our bodies is a gift, one we should be thankful for and not burdened by. I challenge you to sit down and write, in order, what is most important to you in your life. Then, be intentional with your choices.
- Do not, under any circumstances, listen to what other women are doing. They are not you. You are not them. Despite our greatest efforts to justify our choices verbally to other people, the effort always comes up void. Your choices are between you, your God, and your family. They will never compare to, or impress, anyone else. And neither should you feel less or more in light of the choices of others.
- Quit doing what you hate. But Sally McSized -4 down the road lost 20 pounds doing the blabbity blah blah blah workout! If you are working out solely to lose weight, your road is going to be a long, guilt filled, bumpy one. Instead, find the things the make you smile. Find the activities that make you feel alive, strong, and at peace.
- Stop keeping score. I know the life…at the end of every day while laying in bed you either give yourself a passing or failing grade. The “passing” days feel great. The “failing” days make you want to stay in bed forever. God doesn’t keep score, and He is the only one who actually can. If God doesn’t, than neither should we.
- Please, for goodness sakes, give yourself some grace. Life happens, it gets messy, ugly, and busy! There is enough in this life that we cannot control. Hard things that sometimes take the wind out of us. Stop punching yourself in the gut for all the things you do, or don’t do. There is peace in forgiveness.