If you struggle to stick to your exercise goals, you are not alone. For years, I tried to be that "fitness person". You know who I am talking about. The one that gets up at 5:00 am to exercise every morning, the one that runs 20 miles a week, or the one makes fitness looks oh-so-easy and sexy. But I could never do it. After two minutes on a treadmill, I want to bash my head against the wall, I am so bored. Maybe you should run outside, you say? Tried that. Over and over again, I tried that. Running is still boring to me. In fact, gyms are completely boring to me. My gym workout eventually consisted of reading a book while peddling a stationary bike for 30 minutes waiting for the sauna to heat up. But that was before I discovered the key to a successful fitness routine.
We need to look at exercise in a radically different light. For most of us, exercise is about looks. Trimming our waist to feel less awkward in our bathing suit. Tightening our buns to look good in yoga pants. And slimming our thighs to get into those skinny jeans.
Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting these things. It is why we want them that is the problem. We yearn for and fantasize about these things because we feel like we are not enough as we are. Not good enough. Not thin enough. Not beautiful enough. Not toned enough.
When shame motivates us, we set ourselves up for emotional failure. Because when shame drives, our self-worth is on the line. This either causes us to opt out of trying to exercise entirely or we never feel good about ourselves no matter how much we exercise.
We have to do two things here.
First, ditch the word exercise. That word comes preloaded with all that shame. So let's call it movement instead.
Second, align our movement goals with our values. Ask yourself, why do I want to move my body? What does movement do for me? What do I get out of it? What do I value about movement.
For me, it is all about health, which really shouldn't surprise anyone. Here is how this looks different. Instead of practicing yoga for toned arms and awesome yoga buns, I practice yoga to reduce stress, to feel grounded, to feel all my anxiety slip away, and to just enjoy being in my body.
Feels completely different right? Make no mistake. The yoga will still tone my arms and shape my buns. But with this small mental shift, I feel good about myself no matter what. And because I feel good about myself, it is easy to keep at it week after week.
The paradigm shift isn't over. If you need some more inspiration to figure out a movement routine that works for you, I invite you to watch my 30-minute presentation. It's free. All you need to do is enter your email to get access.
I'm Dr. Carly and my mission is to create a health revolution. I believe that another prescription is not the answer. I believe in using natural therapies that go beyond the symptoms. And I believe that doctors should spend way more than 7 minutes with a patient.