I’ve had a bit of an up and down relationship with exercise for quite a while. Much as I would like to get fitter, I struggle to find the time to fit it in, and am very good at starting something multiple times without it seeming to stick. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to a friend ‘I’m going to start that programme I bought [2 years ago] next week!’. And with the impending advent of summer, I’m feeling the frustration with myself that another year has gone by and I haven’t yet metamorphosed into a fitter version of myself. But with every passing year I think I am also developing more self-compassion and a better grip on the ‘all-or-nothing’ mentality that is often at the root of failed cycles of self-improvement. There are a couple of things that have helped me gain a better perspective. Number one is reminding myself that exercise is there to make me feel GOOD. The main reason for me to do it is for mental health, and there’s no point in pushing myself to the point that I hate it. If I want to walk rather than run, I walk. And when I do a yoga class, it’s to relax – not to stretch extra far or hurt my abs! And the second thing to remember, that follows on, is that I don’t need to be following a program or getting up at 6am every morning for the exercise to be valuable. Every little helps and just getting some fresh air and moving around a bit can make you feel more energised and happier. So who cares if the weather’s getting warmer and I’ve not transformed myself yet – the most important thing is how I feel! And when I’m feeling unmotivated, I like to remember this quote that I was reminded of recently – I can’t remember the source, but it’s a great quote anyway:
Courage starts in your toes and rises to your head.