It’s too often that we use exercise as a form of punishment. After eating too much or over-indulging on a few too many cocktails, we become desperate to undo the “damage”. First of all we should not be feeling guilty for enjoying food, because life is way too short not to eat cake, and let’s face it who doesn’t love a cheeky cocktail? It’s all about moderation. Secondly, we need to start focusing on how great exercise is for our bodies both mentally and physically. It should NOT feel like a form of torture- although sets of burpees do come close. It SHOULD make you feel happy and strong, and maybe even a little bit (or in my case a lot) sweaty. I mean after completing all of those burpees can you blame me? But, despite all the sweating I do feel like the next Beyoncé, and that’s a feeling nobody should be missing out on!
It’s time to start promoting exercise as something fun, beneficial and a huge celebrations of what our bodies can do. Every time I survive a workout whether it is a quick 10 minute HIIT session or 1 hour shaking Zumba fest, I feel so proud. I feel happy. Rather than concentrating on how many calories I’m burning, or how much weight I’m losing, or how much closer I am to my “bikini body” I’m now focusing on improving my strength and stamina, pushing myself and thriving from the physical and mental challenge and I’m doing it all with a smile on my face. If fitness isn’t making you happy, if it isn’t making you feel GOOD, why are you doing it? Ask yourself this: if exercise had zero impact on your weight or appearance, would you still workout?
Exercise shouldn’t just be about how much impact it has on your physical appearance. You are not unsuccessful if you do not lose weight. Obviously, weight loss can be a factor to consider when exercising BUT it is not the only, or the most important one. You can feel good in your body without losing weight. You can ENJOY exercise without weight loss being the only marker of success. You can be fit, strong and sexy without being size zero. Exercise is so focused on what we look like that we forget to think about how it makes us FEEL. Fitness should be about feeling not about aspiring to be a certain body type, because YOU are already awesome. I know in the past I have definitely been guilty of punishing my body. With all the comparing that comes with social media it’s hard not to, after all I’m only human. Then I think that as much as I would love to have Kendall Jenner’s body, my body allows me to teach all these classes, to dance and bounce around like Tigger and I am so incredibly grateful for that. It allows me to do what I love and because of that I need to love it more. Putting things into perspective sometimes helps me. I know I am lucky. I know there are so many people who are unable or incapable of doing exercise and therefore, punishing my body for what I ate is only taking it for granted. The human body (and mind) is capable of so many incredible things- let’s celebrate that. Let’s celebrate our bodies, and what they can achieve. Let’s exercise because we can, not because we have to. Let’s eat the cake without feeling guilty, because it taste good and let’s channel our inner Beyoncé because everyone deserves to feel a little bit more like Beyoncé.