The Importance of Loving Yourself Through Your Fitness Journey
Your body is the only one you get. The journey through fitness will certainly have its ups and downs, successes and frustrations, but it’s important to have body appreciation through it all. Diet and exercise are important, but so is some body-positive talk. Here’s how to be better at it.
How to Be Better at Appreciating Your Body
Setbacks Will Happen
You might run into a plateau, gain weight, skip the gym too much, or begin doubting your body and your abilities. Don’t let those setbacks get you down. It’s important to love yourself through this journey and forgive yourself for those setbacks. Use them to push forward, try something new, or start a new plan. Find what isn’t working and change some things.
Setbacks are part of any journey and it’s important to allow yourself to experience them. Paying attention to your body’s strengths and limitations will help you find workouts that are great for you. Keep in mind that body-positive talk you always give your friends and give it to yourself!
Focus on the Positive Changes
For some people, the journey to a healthy body is emotional. When body image and weight are such sensitive subjects, it can be hard to love yourself and find body appreciation through the fitness journey. However, focusing on the positives is imperative to keep motivated. It’s key to remember that your journey is about treating your body well, not about changing who you are or what you’re about.
If you begin to feel negative about yourself, think about the changes you’ve made, no matter how small. Drinking more water, cooking at home more often, and going on more walks are all great positive changes on the way to being healthier. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity five times per week. Even if you aren’t there yet, working your way there is a positive change!
Positivity and mindfulness are helpful aspects of fitness. Yoga, for instance, combines these things in a way that helps both the body and mind. Instead of focusing on what you’ve had troubles with or what your body can’t do, focus on what it can do. Negative thoughts about you and your body can be detrimental to your success.
By incorporating positive self-talk and celebrating successes, you can focus on your goal without feeling defeated by the setbacks.
Everyone’s Body Is Different
A healthy body looks different for everyone, so it’s important not to make comparisons. Body appreciation needs to occur despite having a different weight, shape, or height than society’s ideal. Some people will never be able to lift a super heavyweight, no matter how much they train. Some others will never be able to reach a certain weight, get a six-pack, or run a marathon.
It’s unrealistic to expect your body to do something it’s not genetically designed to do.
That doesn’t mean you can’t focus on a goal weight or a fitness competition, but it does mean that you need to accept your body’s limitations. Body appreciation for being a curvy person or a tall and slim one matters for your mental health and perceived success. You’ll feel more successful if you set reasonable goals that match your body—and perhaps look to your family to see what’s possible!
Obesity is a major problem, and the causes of obesity tend to be an over-consumption of calorie-rich food and not enough exercise to burn it off. However, there are also other factors that can cause obesity. Hormones, hereditary markers, and some diseases can also contribute to a high BMI. Be sure to stay appreciative for what you’re able to do and the changes you’re willing to make for your health.
Your body is different, and it’s the only one you get, so it’s important to love it while keeping it healthy on your fitness journey.