Being in quarantine has made me realize that I need to change the way I view and treat my body. Obviously, we have a lot of spare time on our hands right now. I’ve been trying to use some of it to work out, but I’d be lying if I said that my fridge hasn’t been tempting me in the meantime. It always knows how to get my attention.
Throughout the last few weeks, a daily pattern has started to make itself apparent. It’s been too easy to grab a bite to eat just because there’s nothing else to do, so my mind and hands wander over to the fridge. Before I know it, the snack has been gobbled down without so much as a thought. Was I actually hungry when I ate? Not particularly. I wasn’t being mindful or paying attention to what my body actually needed.
This ends up leaving me feeling rather empty, despite being physically full. Food has become just a distraction, rather than fuel for my body. For me, this is where the cycle began: get bored, have a snack, feel bad about it, workout.
My focus on food and working out definitely started to concern me. I was too worried abouut trying to balance it out. Should I have a snack while watching Netflix? I could, but then I’d have to think about doing a longer workout. In this way, working out became a result of eating, rather than using the two in combination to build my strength and health.
It’s hard to make these confessions out loud (okay, this is typed, but you get the idea), but I’m most definitely not alone in these feelings. It’s so important to explore how we are feeling, and to do it without judgement.
Yes, working out is fantastic for us, both physically and mentally. I’ve always loved exercising. It makes me feel great! The problem is that I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I have been working out to improve myself, to fix things about myself that I don’t like.
Of course, that’s why many of us do workout, to look good and feel good. Yet instead of this drive stemming from a place of self love, for me, it came from a place of self loathing. “I want to change these ugly parts of me I don’t like” instead of “I love my body and want to keep it healthy and strong.”
It sounds like a subtle switch, but it made a world of difference. That core drive of motivation to work out changed the way I did everything. I started feeling much better about myself because I was exercising out of love for my body and not out of disapproval.
The motivation for the root of our actions can change how we carry on for the rest of our day, and this applies to everything: how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, and even how we see the world. At the end of the day, remember to act out of love and not out of loathing. Love will always win.