There’s a move in the workout I did this morning where we have one hand holding down our imaginary opponent while the other hand pounds up and down, punching this invisible enemy. And the motivating question from the red haired trainer is this…
“What are you fighting for?
And I stand there in my punching stance and think. What is it ? Who or what is my enemy today? What deserves my “wrath” to fall upon it right now? Is it a situation in my life I wish was different? (I am rather mad that my newish expensive dishwasher is making angry noises for the second time in it’s short life!!! GRRR!!) Is it a person I’m super mad at? (Nah, that’s not it. Hard to make me that mad!) Is it the stinky stanky devil getting all up in my business? (That could be! I DO like to punch his imaginary snaky face!) Is it simply an attitude about anything that could stand to improve?
Can we settle THERE for a while? As hard as it is to face our own poor attitudes, don’t we need to? A bad attitude hurts nobody but ourselves. A crummy mindset holds us back from the greater amazing things we truly want. Sometimes we forget that “greater good” thing when our minds are bogged down with the negative. So basically, who has time to mess with a giant chip on the shoulder?? NOBODY,I SAY!! NOBODY!!
So let’s look at ways we can improve here. Things we can punch away at and throw back down into the pit it belongs in!! These are things I’ve lived and mostly conquered. That’s the extent of my expertise here!
1.STOP SHAMING YOURSELF
“I just can’t stay out of the cookies (or the potato chips). I am just gonna be fat forever!”
“I try to make the right food choices, but it’s useless. I’m not worth the effort”
“I’m just too lazy and too weak. Not sure why I even try to work out”
Add your own shaming comment. I’m sure you have one. We’re all guilty of feeling less than from time to time. Shame is an award winning self stopper. But that script can be flipped. If you’re just not sure what to do to change those shameful actions and words, find help. You don’t have to do any of this “getting yourself to a healthy place” stuff by yourself. And there’s no shame in saying you need help. That “easy” place may be continuing to wallow in the shame you’re used to. The STRONG AMAZING thing to do is admit you need some help. So many weight loss groups are available whether virtually or the old fashioned way…live and in person! WW is my fave for weight loss but the choices are endless. Do your research and find a group that will be a good fit for you and offer you tons of encouragement. If you need help with making exercise a part of your life, search out walking groups in your community. Join a gym. Find a great at home workout plan that comes with a “coach” who will support you and encourage you online. We are people who need people. Cue the classic Barbra Streisand song here! According to the song, if you’re a person who needs people, you’re pretty darn lucky. So cast away the pride that might be causing you to hold on to your shame and just ask for help!
2. STOP WITH THE EXCUSES!!
Some excuses I’ve used….
I don’t have time to workout. My hip hurts. My toe hurts. My back hurts. I don’t like to sweat. I just put on my makeup. I don’t have the right clothes. I just need to rest more. I don’t have the right deodorant. I need leg warmers. Exercise is boring. Exercise it too hard. I’m too old. I’m too out of shape. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have any equipment. I can’t afford a gym. I don’t have a a workout buddy.
My list of excuses could cover pages and pages and we just don’t have time for all that. But you get it. I’ve used an excuse or two to get out of exercise. Maybe you have too??
Instead of living in the excuses, try making adjustments .
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Those folks who manage to do all the things and still get a workout in? 24 hours just like you and me. So what can you adjust to make time? Maybe you can get up 30 minutes earlier and workout before the day starts Maybe you can find some free time where you’d normally sit and read or binge watch a show. Exercise instead. My favorite streaming at home workouts have programs that are as short as 20 minutes a day. Come on! We can all find 20 minutes in a day to workout instead of just sit!!
To answer a few more of my own excuses, modify the exercises if you can’t do them or something hurts. Walk instead of jog. Toe raises instead of leaps in the air. Squats at whatever level of lowness you can get to. Just move. Find something you like if you think exercise is boring (see my previous post about fun and exercise). Shorts and a tee shirt are fine to work out in. Shoot, exercise in your underwear or naked if you must. Just please be at home if this is your solution to the clothes issue. Nobody needs to see your nekkid hiney at the gym or running around the track!! And oh yeah, leg warmers are no longer necessary. Goodbye 1983!
If food is involved in your excuses, know this. IT’S OK TO THROW ALL THE JUNK FOOD IN THE GARBAGE!!! What you spent on it is irrelevant compared to how much easier it will be to avoid if it’s not in your pantry! Better yet, control what you allow in your pantry. Don’t buy the ding dang junk food in the first place. There are zero people in your family who will actually benefit from it. You know I’m right!
On to the next thing…
3.STOP STRESSING OUT
If all the healthy eating and exercising is just causing you to stress and worry and fret and shame yourself, do this instead. Take a break!! Sometimes we just need to reset . Chill. Do nothing. But with this advice to take a break comes this sweet little, love filled warning. Don’t use this break to be an excuse to backslide . Don’t let the break be your new normal. It’s just a “mental health” break. Don’t let it become a “Welcome Back to the Dark Side” party! Maybe give yourself a set number of days for this little vacation away from eating right and exercising. Mark your calendar with a restart date then plan to celebrate that day!
4. STOP COMPARING YOUR REAL SELF TO SOMEONE ELSES BEST MOMENTS
Comparison is a joy killer!! It can give you a sad, unworthy attitude. You don’t need that. You don’t deserve that. You are a unique, beautiful, capable person in your own right. Every person…even the ones who seem to have it all together…have their struggles. If you’re just getting started and it all seems hard, don’t compare yourself to the friend who’s been at this for a hot minute. I guarantee when said friend was where you are, it was every bit as hard. Instead of killing your joy, fuel you spirit with compliments! Every day find something amazing to say about yourself.
“My hair look great today!” “I am a kind, compassionate, loving person!” “I’ve done great things to better myself!”
You get my drift! Be nice to yourself!! Those things you admire in someone else are within you as well. You are WILDLY CAPBABLE!!
On the tail of all these compliments, finally do this…..
5. STOP ALL THE CRITICAL SELF TALK
Why are we always our own worst critics?? WHY???? There’s a saying in the church that goes like this...”GOD DOESN’T MAKE JUNK!!!” YOU, my friend, are fearfully and wonderfully made. Just like that person in point 4 that you, for some reason, like to compare yourself to all the live long day! You are every bit as able. Every bit as worthy. Every bit as loved. Every bit deserving of being celebrated! So instead of all the negative self talk, celebrate your small wins!
The wins in your journey will be many. Hitting that “finish line” by reaching your goal weight or completing the long workout program isn’t the final victory. In fact, let me stop right here and say if you’re striving for that final achievement so you can be done and get back to life as it once was, you’re setting yourself up for a bigger failure. Your “big goal” truly needs to be a changed life. Not just a few changed moments in time where you did the right things. A LIFETIME of putting your health and fitness at the top of your priority list. A LIFETIME of fueling your body properly so it will give you a lifetime of being able to move and groove and love and serve and enjoy the beautiful life God gave you!!
So celebrate all the small victories along the way. You bypassed the dessert table….YAY!!! You walked during lunch instead of going out for fast food …SWEET!! You finally were able to lift the 8 lb weights through your whole workout…TREMENDOUS!!! You’re a pound down!….HURRAY!! You slept through the night…(alright I’m just jealous now!)…but THAT’S SO AWESOME!!
Celebrate like a 7 year old who just won a dance contest with her grandmother at a 4th grade football game!!
Y’all, we may feel like we don’t have control over enough things in our lives. But we always have control over our attitude. We have the freedom to choose how we’ll behave, react, treat ourselves. What we’re not free from is the outcome of our choices. So make sure you’re fighting for the better things. You’re worth it!
Until next time, keep joyfully clamoring!!