The power of positive thought doesn't just lie in feeling enthusiastic and adopting a can-do attitude, although of course that helps; for positivity to be really effective it has to run far deeper and not just be a face-value sentiment that pays lip service to the idea of feeling motivated about exercise. Some women who want to get fit are spurred on by negative feelings, such as not being happy about their weight or their fitness levels. While a realization that you are not in shape can kickstart you into working out, you also need to love yourself to change your body!
We all know that it is often not how you actually look but how you feel that makes all the difference, although your physical fitness does feed into these thoughts. If you are not fit then you will inevitably feel more sluggish, more lacking in energy and possibly less motivated to work out or establish an exercise plan. It figures then that if you change your activity levels you can activate a different mindset too. After all, our mind and our bodies are linked.
Loving yourself does not mean ignoring warning signs that you need to change your life. Many women who have had years away from fitness and have put on weight may use clothes to camouflage their bodies. Loving yourself is really about allowing yourself to accept that you do need to make lifestyle changes. It is not about acceptance that masks real and pressing health concerns. Facing up to what you look like and how fit you are as a woman, is not about avoiding the issues but loving yourself enough to deal with them.
Loving yourself means believing you are worth it and that you value yourself highly enough to create positive changes in your diet, lifestyle and activities. Women can sometimes feel pigeonholed by their status, age or some other categorization and in turn this can hold you back. Older women who are overweight may feel that although they want to lose weight, nobody expects them to have a youthful body and be a sensual woman concerned about looking great. A hurdle to loving yourself enough to change your body is breaking down barriers and stereotypes about what a woman is expected to be.
Loving yourself means focusing on yourself and creating an exercise plan, as well as finding the time and putting in the effort to carry out your endeavors. Many women are pulled in so many different directions and approach life in a loving and giving way. The result is that the caring extends out to their families and the wider community but often leaves a gap in the attention that they give to themselves. If this resonates with you, then is it time to refocus your energies and look at what you need to lead a healthier life and get in the best shape of your life? In reality, if you are fit and active then you are going to be able to function better as you get older. Surely this is of great benefit to those loved ones around you?
Loving yourself means acceptance of where you are at right now, so that you can move forward in a positive way. How can you see where you are going if you are too busy burying your head in the sand? Often women look at how they used to be fit and how they used to work out. However, what is necessary is to embrace is who you are as a woman right now. You might have been an all star sportswoman at college but where are you at now? A fitness assessment could be a good way to get down on paper and in hard facts where you are at. You may not be so far away from changing your fitness levels and your body as you think you are. Equally, you may need a reality check to propel you into action.
Next month we look at how to deflect negativity in pursuit of your fitness goals!