When I was younger, I didn’t have a very good relationship with exercise. I viewed it as a way to “burn calories” so I could be “slim.” If I felt like I ate too much, I pumped up the exercise. I didn’t appreciate it for all it could do for me—make me feel good, give me energy, boost my mood, strengthen my heart and lungs, give me strength, etc.
I especially hated running—it always felt torturous. I approached exercise, especially running, as just something I “had” to do. Burn calories, feel the burn, beat yourself to get the “body you want.” Does that sound familiar?
I gave up trying to “control” my weight. I realized my body will help me stay in a stable range it wants to be in when I honor it, when I tune in and listen to it, when I nourish it with food that it needs, when I move to feel good and not to torture myself, when I give it the rest that it needs.
Our bodies naturally want to regulate our weight, just as it regulates our body temperature and fluid status. When you get too hot, your body produces sweat to cool you off. When you don’t drink enough, your body increases your thirst sensation. When you diet and deprive your body of what it needs, it slows down your metabolism and increases your hunger hormones to drive you to eat. (Do you notice how you feel “crazy” around food when you diet? It’s natural.)
Because I gave up the reins of trying to “control” my weight, and I choose to honor my body and listen to it instead, movement has become more joyful. I move because I want to, not because I have to. If I’m super exhausted, I don’t “make” myself exercise because my body wants rest. I still enjoy pushing myself, not so I can “burn” more calories, but because I enjoy a challenge. I enjoy feeling strong and fit.
There are days I find myself wanting to do something that really challenges me, like running. Today was one of those days. I enjoy being outside, giving my pups some exercise too, and enjoying time with my man. It feels good to expend energy. Other days, I just want to stretch and/or do yoga because my body may be tired. Either way, my body lets me knows what it needs and I want to honor it.
Exercise for torture is no fun at all. Moving to feel good is glorious my friends.
Follow me on social media: