Whipped into shape. Ripped. Cut. Chisled. Sculpted. Smashed.
Think about all those words for a second and imagine that this was really happening to your body.
Horrible thought. Let’s get rid of it immediately.
So why is this kind of terminology, this vernacular so rife in the health & fitness industry?
I, for one am sick of it!
Exercise is NOT punishment for eating “bad” food. It is not the antidote to laziness. You do not need to be whipped into shape.
Intense exercise is fine. Feeling a litle tired or a bit sore after a workout is fine.
Using vicious language to motivate yourself or others to exercise is not fine.
“What? No way! If I do that I’d never go to the gym and then I’d be fat and lazy”.
Yep, I’ve heard that voice too and guess what? That voice is a liar and I’ll tell you why.
When you use fear and anger to motivate yourself, after a while one of two things happen:
i.You become demoralised and stop trying anyway. Hello self-fulfilling prophecy.
ii.You rebel and quit. Dammit, you’ve become a prophet again.
Fear and anger take away your power. And the second you’ve lost your power is the second the countdown begins to resentment or apathy.
Both are absolute joy-suckers and neither sustain motivation.
So how do you do the 180 on motivation for workouts so you can feel good, face them with joy, and keep at them forever?
1. Get clear about your purpose for exercise. Ensure that it is for your highest good and nothing else. So ask yourself, how do you want to feel because of exercise?
The conversation might go a little something like this…
Q. Why are you doing this workout?
A. To lose weight.
Q. Why do you want to lose weight?
A. So I can fit into that skirt I like
Q. Why do you want to fit into that skirt you like?
A. Because it’s a relief to wear something that fits.
BINGO! You want to feel relief. This workout will bring you relief.
Q. Why are you doing this workout?
A. To tone my abs
Q. Why do you want to tone your abs?
A. So I look hot in a bikini
Q. Why do you want to look hot in a bikini?
A. So feel at ease when I’m lounging by the pool.
HUZZAH! You want to feel ease. This workout will bring you ease.
2. Make that mood your mantra.
“I workout to feel at ease” “I workout to feel at ease” “I workout to feel at ease”
3. Use kindness, delight & gratitude.
Drop the horrible language. Now. Find a word that is completely opposite to your favourite workout word. For example, if you want to “look cut”, flip it to “looking defined”.
Just before your workout, think of a place that brings you utter delight. That beach from your honeymoon. That cosy chair by a roaring fire on a chilly winter’s night. That amazing holiday. Breathe into that memory and embody that delight.
During your workout, use gratitude. Rather than look at your legs with disgust while you try to chisel them into perfection, be thankful that your legs are able to carry you with strength and dignity wherever you go.
After your workout, thank yourself for taking time to bring fresh oxygen to your brain, lungs and muscles. Thank your 50 trillion cells for working together for your highest good – to keep you alive and kicking.
These 3 steps have helped me immensely to transform my workouts into a pleasurable time for me to nurture my body and move with joy. I hope these steps have helped you too.
Let me know, is “whipping yourself into shape” something you’ve struggled with? Do you have any other tips to share about making workouts enjoyable? How funny is that photo?!