Have you despised exercise forever? Are words like exercise, gym, running, push-ups, etc., etc., emotional triggers? Let’s explore why and hopefully fix it.
We are great at remembering hurtful things
Strong experiences make strong memories. Why? Because exciting or terrible times make us feel a lot more than usual. Feel is short for feelings you know, which are intense. Feelings call the shots, which is just how life goes; even 100% logical types are driven by their repressed emotions. Booze, drugs, sex, slot machines, and checking out via electronic “screen time” are ways to hide and escape our emotions (and emotional memories) for a minute.
Personally, I think memories are stored feelings, emotional snapshots of an event (or person) compressed and saved on our mental hard drives or pressed like flowers between the pages of an old book. A musty old book that could use some sunlight and attention.
As a kid did you like playing? What about recess? Running around doing random fun crap was the best. Then something changed, right?
Of all the people I’ve met who are anti-exercise, most have traumatic memories involving “heath.” A PE teacher who hated you because you hated volleyball, or a sports coach who lost her shit when your team lost a game. What about a controlling parent who used love as an excuse to body shame you? The common thread here is childhood feelings of inadequacy dumped on us by persons we either loved and trusted, or who were trusted to see after our best interests.
So a few years pass. That freshmen 15 gets shrugged off as a normal part of adulating. Hangovers suddenly suck as much as ever but people tell you that’s part of aging. Health conditions related to your diet and inactivity begin creeping up, but who cares? The Good Doctor has pills for that, it’s not the food you eat, it your genes (as your jeans feel ready to burst open from so much cheese). So here you sit missing the good old days when you felt good, but you lack motivation to make easy health changes because you’re complacent in knowing your health deterioration is going according to schedule thanks to so many decent people happy to smother you with toxic guidance.
Guess what beautiful? They failed, not you.
Now see here, I’m willing to bet some cash that you don’t really hate moving your body. You hate the feelings that come with shameful memories related to exercise. And probably the sense of powerlessness that comes from steadily watching your body go to hell.
Happily, it doesn’t take a push-up challenge to properly start your journey unto good health. Nope, it starts with your mind because…
We Are the Stories We Tell Ourselves
If you do not make a change today you will live as the person you were yesterday, and the day before that, all the way back to when that little prick in gym glass called you fat and Mr. Jerkoff Gym Teacher chuckled with a sinister glint in his eye. Fuck that noise, it’s time to rewire your brain.
Please quit with the disempowering statements. You can do whatever you want, just do it consistently and it is yours. No big secret here.
Heath Equals Action
I don’t care how cool somebody sounds when body-bashing himself or poking a vegetarian with a stick. See through the bullshit and realize feeling strong and healthy absolutely kills bragging about surviving off doritos or accepting constant low-back pain from choosing netflix over stretching (do both at the same time, yeah!). Because taking care of yourself is the highest form of self-respect, which is damned important.
We put tons of mental energy into health and fitness. The shoulds and should nots we do battle with in our anxious brains. We hope and hope and hope for change, take time to hate our reflection in the mirror, burn willpower on denying “bad” food, and all sorts of other ineffective stuff that makes us feel like a failure, so we quit and become unhealthier with a vengeance.
It doesn’t have to be this way Toto. Start moving, bonus points if you break a sweat. And realize eating for nutrition is important because food is fuel. Your body does so much amazing stuff, it totally deserves it.
Loving yourself begins with healthful action.