Ok— So let’s just clear the air on this whole right way/wrong way matter per my brief mention in: Living in Fear. I’m neither a nutritionist, nor a personal trainer and to top that all off I have absolutely NO authority whatsoever to tell you how to be fit. All this knowledge I’m passing onto you is based off of my own individual research over the web, through books, and through people who have the nutritionist background and who have the physical training background. I’m simply rehashing all that I’ve learned, read about, and most importantly, all based on . . . PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
When I say there is a right way to exercise, I’m not talking about form. Although, having the right form is a major ingredient to getting the most benefit out of a single exercise and with bad form increases the risk of harming yourself. However, form is merely a step further along the line, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take it down two notches.
First of all, you’ve got that drive. That motivation. That inspiration to workout. You’re freshly committed into that new lifestyle change. Your very first workout is almost always your very best workout. Again, I don’t want to talk about form right now . . . even if your form is shit, you can still feel really good when you complete your very first workout. Why? Because you’re committed. You’re motivated. You’re in the moment. You are in tune with your own body. You’re sweating like a pig, but you’re feeling good. And for that moment, you are happy. You are happy that you’re doing what you’ve always wanted to do. You’re following through with the goals you made.
After the . . . oh I don’t know . . . 5th day, second week, 1st month, I guess depends when your motivation starts to slip and that delicious looking donut catches your eye and you just want to binge watch tv and binge eat all the foods you haven’t had since you started and waking up early or finding time to workout has become such a chore. And when you do workout, you’re either on your phone, dragging your feet, or simply . . . not motivated.
Do you see a pattern? It’s the heart. The inner spirit. That motivation. The mindset. Being mindful. You’re mind is in tune with your body, with your workout. You’re not focused on anything but yourself and whatever makes you really feel good. Sure, food and no exercise can make you feel good, but is it the good kind of feeling you want in the long run? Does your body feel good after eating certain foods? Can you climb four flights of stairs without feeling winded? I don’t know about you, but I feel really good when my muscles feel sore the following days after my workout and for days that I don’t feel sore, I feel sluggish and that’s when I know I need to intensify the level I’m working on.
Everything is linked to our minds. Our attitude reflects our mood to exercise. Creating and choosing, I don’t like the word forcing, but sure forcing your motivation works wonders, as in choosing to be happily motivated to workout. Does that even make sense? Choosing or letting good thoughts and good vibrations pass through you instead of the negative ones that close your mind and hurt your spirit. Choosing to stretch and get out of bed when the first alarm chimes rather than snoozing it and feeling more groggy after the 3rd alarm. Choosing to think a certain way to create the outcome you desire.
Our minds can be our greatest weakness or our strongest baseline. Our minds are essentially our home. Feelings arise and sometimes we don’t understand why that feeling arose, and sometimes we simply need our own me days, not that we are weak, just that despite being able to uplift a negative feeling to a positive feeling, one should not completely disregard the negative feeling. With negative emotions, some often find it therapeutic to let some steam off and hit the gym. But some simply need to feel those emotions to make sense of them and grow. Every emotion we experience is not to toss aside, it’s to embrace and let ourselves really feel that emotion. It’s good for our individual paths and growths, in the end it makes us stronger and who we are today. But, when it comes to exercising a “right” way? It’s all about being mindful of the present, in tune of your body, and saying “I can do it” a million times until it becomes second nature.
Personal Experience: I noticed when I’m positively invested in my workout, when I’m proactively mindful of the moment that I am in, I end my workout with a satisfying smile. A smile that came from within my heart and surfaced to my lips. I noticed that I benefit more from this than a forced, “I don’t want to do this, but I’m doing it anyway” workout. The more in tune I am with my workout, the more in the moment I am, the better results I receive at the end of my workout. There are days when I don’t have motivation to work out. There are days when I just want to skip my workout, but then I remember my calendar and I think this is what I’ve been working towards and my goal becomes mine again. There are days when I go into a workout feeling sluggish and I do drag my feet, I don’t get that same sweaty, feeling good about myself, and happy go-lucky feeling at the end, it’s more well I did it and now I can put a smiley face for today. There are other days when I don’t feel as great and I decide to say words of affirmation to myself. I look in the mirror and as weirdly as it is smile with a twinkle in my eyes. And yes, literally, my mood and spirit is uplifted and I’m ready to take on my workout for the day.
Try it and see what happens . . . then tell me about it! I’d love to hear your stories!!
trying to live mindfully one day at a time, one step at a time,