My journey with exercise has been a long and winding road. I remember growing up and always comparing myself to others thinking that I was different. I always remember being bigger and not feeling pretty enough. Even though I was bigger, as a child I was always very active. My parents enrolled me in lots of sports such as dance, baseball and karate. I hit puberty really early so I started to develop a lot earlier than everybody else. The older I got the more I started to see the difference and the more it started to bother me.
For a long time I felt I needed to make myself exercise and eat less so I could be skinnier. In my mind, if I was skinny I’d be liked and loved. I thought being skinny would solve all my problems and make life easier. After graduating high school there was a time I truly convinced myself that I was a lazy, ugly, out of shape sad excuse of a human. I told myself if I didn’t get my shit together and lose weight, I’d never find someone to love me. I remember telling myself “this is your own fault” and “you have to do the work to fix yourself if you want happiness”. The most heartbreaking part is when I look back on pictures of that time, my body wasn’t anything to be ashamed of. It’s amazing what you start to believe is real when you constantly subject yourself to a certain way of thinking.
“There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.”
One year I started to take my fitness and eating really seriously. I was eating super clean and exercising six times a week and looked better than I ever had before (in my opinion) but I really wasn’t any happier. In reality, I was depriving myself of things I loved and I was missing out on a lot. The August of that year, I took a vacation and when I was away I fell of the wagon. When I got home, I never really got back on. After still getting my heart broken a few times even when I was “fit” and “lean” made me realise that just because you’re skinny doesn’t make you immune to hurt and pain. I was taking exercise and clean eating seriously for all the wrong reasons. My motivation was so that guys would like me and I could feel more accepted.
Changing yourself for other people is never the answer.
A couple years went by where I still exercised, but it wasn’t to the extent that I had been when my body was at its “best”. During that time I met my fiancé and finally realized that it definitely wasn’t all about my body. Who knew that somebody COULD actually love me the way that I am. The following year my mindset was in a totally different place. For the first time, I was starting to love myself for who I was and no longer felt succumbed to the pressures of society.
I got to a point where I almost went to the extreme in the opposite direction. In my mind I was kind of trying to boycott exercise. Finally, I was happy with who I was and I hated that there were days I felt like I had to go to the gym and exercise because that’s what everyone around me was doing. I was trying to prove a point, to who I’m not really sure, but I wanted to prove that I didn’t have to exercise and be skinny to love myself and be happy. Even the days when I was happy and satisfied with who I was, I felt like going to the gym was something I just had to do. It was in this time that I probably got to the heaviest that I ever was. What’s amazing is I didn’t feel the heaviest I ever was. I had done so much work on my mindset which made me realize that who I was on the inside wasn’t a reflection of the outside.
Suddenly, my weight didn’t bother me as much.
Somewhere along the way I started exercising again. I soon started to realize that my reason for exercising had nothing to do with how my body looks. I exercise for my mind now – the body stuff is just an extra bonus. As an Entrepreneur you are always working, always connecting, always doing things to grow your business. This can be extremely exhausting, and it’s easy to lead to burnout. I started using exercise as a way for me to release stress and to take a break from my busy days. The more I was exercising the sharper my mind became. The more focused I became, the more I was able to accomplish. I was way more efficient when it came to making my dreams come true.
Growing my business is my priority now. What people often forget that is in order to grow your own business YOU must always continue to grow too. My looks and what people think of me doesn’t matter anymore. Now I look forward to exercising, and it’s not because I’m going to get abs or lose 20 pounds.
I exercise because I know that it will clear my mind and I’ll be able to build my empire bigger and better every day.
You need to find a reason for exercise that has nothing to do with your physical appearance. Imagine a world where we judge people on who they are as a person, not how pretty they are based on society’s standards. What would you look like? Would you be happy with the person you are? Do you spend the same amount of time on your insides as you do putting makeup on your face in the morning or styling your hair?
If you have trouble to get motivated to exercise try thinking about it for benefits other than a good body. This way, when you put on your workout clothes and you don’t feel good about yourself or when you get to the gym when you look around and everyone has muscles it won’t de-motivate you anymore. Do it for your mind and for your LIFE – not your body. Don’t exercise because you feel you have to, and don’t not exercise to prove a point. Find your happy middle ground. Your mind, body and soul will soon thank you for it.