My friend Meg shared this article on her Facebook wall the other day. I really recommend you have a read of it yourself, because if you’re anything like me, it will speak to you.
It speaks about our motivation for exercise. Are you fueled to care for your body out of self-love or self-loathing? If I’m completely honest with you, for the past 12 odd years of my life, exercise has been based upon the latter for me. Punishing myself in the gym so I could one day be satisfied, one day be happy, one day enjoy myself…maybe.
Again, being completely honest, the only times I actually saw real results were when I separated the goal of training from an aesthetic ideal. For example, I started to get excited about getting stronger and seeing my body’s performance improve rather than chasing some arbitrary number on the scale. And guess what happened then? My body started to change.
Then I found hoop dance. Going to the gym stopped being so important to me because I’d actually found something I enjoyed doing. Something that actually made my heart happy, despite how I felt about my body. In a happy coincidence, I was also getting a pretty amazing workout.
I’m always mildly frustrated when people who have never experienced hoop dance before, approach me and say things like “wow that must be great for your abs!” or “is it good for weight loss?”. Don’t get me wrong, it is all of those things, and I love that about hoop dance and love to share it with people BUT I want to encourage people to experience movement with joy as a primary motivator, not the other way around.
When you are fueled by joy and self-love in your approach to your body, all the good things in turn come too.
I wish for everyone to experience their own joyful play in movement or dance, be it through hula hooping, running, football or whatever your happy place is. If you haven’t figured yours out yet, give hooping a try. I highly recommend it.
Do you experience similar thought patterns around movement and exercise? Have you had your own breakthrough in finding something you LOVE to do that is great for you? Share your thoughts and comments below. I’d love to hear from you.