One of my favorite quotes: Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. How beautiful is that?! I mean, we have enough negativity to deal with on a daily basis, why add to it? So I struggled with talking about this because in order to promote what I love I have to address what I hate. Not bash it, but address it. So here goes.
Pinterest is great for a lot of things. Decorating ideas, party ideas, recipe ideas, fitness inspiration and motivation, I mean clearly the list goes on, since I spend far longer than I care to admit on the site. But right around this time of year, when spring is around the corner, I start seeing lots of fitness motivation floating around, and at first glance, I'm pumped. I'm not as active in the winter as I am in the warmer months, and could use a little inspiration to get back into it. But then I started reading, and what I saw was really disappointing.
A few of the quotes:
Do it for the skin tight dresses. (I mean, really?!)
No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch. (Who cares? What do the people on the couch have anything to do with me? Also, I happen to enjoy hanging out on the couch, so....)
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. (Clearly whoever wrote this never had chocolate. Also, on a more serious note - in 2001, after a major family tragedy, I developed terrible anxiety that lead to extreme weight loss. Everyone's definition of skinny is different, but for what it's worth, the skinny that I experienced? It was awful. I felt light headed, dizzy, and weak.)
I certainly do not have everything (anything?!) figured out but here's what I do know - working out for the skin tight dresses, doing it to be better than other people, and restricting food intake to feel skinny is not the way to go, at least for me. How do I know that?
I lived that way for a really long time (late teens and early twenties, I'm lookin' at you!) and it just didn't work. Comparing myself to others, basing my self-worth on how I looked, it was like being a hamster on one of those wheels going, going, going and getting no where. I didn't feel good about myself that way.
The motivation that works best for me? Approaching the step back into the gym (or on the yoga mat, or wherever) with a sense of compassion. Being gentle with myself. Listening to my body (ie- not pushing through the pain, I learned the hard way that causes injuries. Instead, finding my edge and work within that area). Considering the possibility that we are more than what our bodies look like, supporting one another instead of competing with one another, supporting oneself instead of competing with oneself, trying my best in all that I do - that's what works for me. These kind of thoughts kindle a quiet, gentle determination that silences negative thoughts and paves the way for change.
I'll leave you with a quote my husband loves, which I find works well for for gym motivation, or, you know, life motivation. :)
PS- I'd love to know what motivates you in life and in the gym.
PPS- More confessions.