I hate fitness. Yep you read that right. Your Pilates instructor, a qualified fitness professional hates fitness. But you know what I hate more...how my body feels without it.
If you have been around any length of time you'll know that I was diagnosed with a whole load of horrible ailments as a teenager..fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Raynauds...lucky me. Basically I felt like CRAP and to top it all I was told I had arthritis too, surely only people my nan's age get that?! Apparently not.
As you can imagine dealing with all of that I wasn't keen on PE at school. Exercise caused pain and nobody wants pain so I would avoid it as much as possible.
Long story short after a few years I found Pilates and my feelings about exercise slowly started to change. Don't get me wrong, I still don't love exercise and you will never see me out jogging but I found a form of exercise that made me feel good. My body gradually grew stronger, my fatigue started to ease.
Pilates wasn't the magic potion that instantly cured me but it played a pretty big part.
Anyway, after that little life story let me get to the point.
Fitness doesn't have to be a hobby
I heard this on a podcast recently and it really stood out to me. "Fitness doesn't haven't to be a hobby". It feels like every time I open social media there are 100 pictures of food and people in their fancy workout gear taking nicely posed selfies. I have nothing against that, it's great that people are so into their health journey. But that doesn't have to be you.
Don't beat yourself up, this just means that health/fitness isn't your hobby. The good news... it doesn't have to be.
Just because you don't LOVE exercise doesn't meant there isn't something out there that is tolerable and maybe even slightly enjoyable after a while. For me it's Pilates. You get a lot of benefit with not a huge amount of movement, you don't get sweaty and you can do it in jeans, what more could you want? It doesn't have to be Pilates, but I'm willing to bet that if you come at it with an open mind you will eventually find an exercise that you don't hate.
If you've been nodding along as you've read this it's time to stop and get your brain ticking....
What's the real reason you don't like exercise? Once you get to the bottom of this everything else comes easy.
Does it hurt? Is your fitness level low? Do you hate your workout clothes? Is it just another drain on your time in an already hectic day?
Once you have your answer it's time to get brain storming solutions.
Do you need new trainers? Can you find a short at home workout? Do you need to see a therapist about your pain? Make a list of actions you can take and then actually do some of them!
Now ask yourself what exercise could you tolerate?
You don't have to love it but I do think there's something tolerable out there for all of us whether it's Pilates, swimming, Zumba, walking or HIITs. You won't know if you don't try.
Put your brain in its place.
Affirmations are cheesy. I don't like to use that word as I know people can just totally shut off with a big eye roll. But research proves that we literally have power to change the way our brains work. Goggle "neuroplasticity" for more info( I will write a good old nerdy blog about it soon!) We are who we believe that we are. The thoughts that we keep feeding our brains become our reality.
What that means is if you keep saying to yourself "oh I'm not an exercise person, oh that's not for me" then that becomes your reality.
But on the positive side if we change the way we think and talk then everything changes. I'm not saying fake it til you make it. No amount of "I love exercise" is going to get me out for a run.
But like I said earlier, health, fitness, wellbeing, they don't have to be your hobby. Nobody is asking you to love them. Instead try and thinking of the real benefits of living well to you. Not the generic answers. Your truth.
For me doing Pilates and limiting my sugar intake helps to control the pain I would get from my conditions. It lets me live a full, happy life. When I'm moaning about getting my mat out or don't want to say no to the second piece of cake (I'm still working on this one!) I try to remember how these choices are going to help me live the life that I want to live.
So I challenge you..before you go on with your day ask yourself this question:
How does living a healthier lifestyle get you closer to living the life want to live and feeling like the best version of yourself?
Once you know the answer write it down, repeat it in your mind and try and remind yourself of your positive reasons for making healthy choices whenever
you feel like you lose your motivation.