Exercise is important. Obviously. But making time for it is a different story. So no, this isn’t going to be one of those blog posts about “10 ways to find time to work out.” Because sometimes you just don’t have the time. And sometimes you just don’t want to.
I’m seriously impressed by people who wake up at 5am to work out, meal prep, work full time, take care of their kids, etc. But that’s just not me. I’m swamped. With life. Maybe I just need to get my shit together better, but this is real life. I work full time, teach yoga, clean my apartment, cook dinner, watch netflix with hubby. etc. I’m not complaining; I love my life, my jobs, and my family. I’m happy with the balance I’ve created in life, but quite frankly, I don’t feel like shifting it around just so I can find a few more hours a week to run or go to the gym. It’s just not me. And I’m okay with that…or at least I’m working on being okay with it.
I think the pressure to look a certain way gives exercise negative connotations for a lot of us, especially those of us who are incredibly hard on ourselves. We’re exercising to change ourselves, to be a certain way that we’re not. It’s sad, really, because exercise shouldn’t be something we need to schedule just to feel accepted. It’s not mindful anymore.
I felt pressured to run faster, even though I’m just not a runner, to deepen my yoga practice when my neighbor could hold a handstand longer than I could, to fit in ab workouts so I would have a flat stomach. Even exercises I loved stopped being fun.
So I stopped exercising because I felt guilt if I didn’t, and just started moving more throughout the day to be kind to my body. And it felt much more natural. I enjoy being outside and going for walks, but I don’t pressure myself to run anymore. I just let my body move and take in the natural surrounding when I’m on the trails. I enjoy yoga, and I get to class when I can, but I don’t care to focus on my neighbor’s practice anymore. When I’m home or at work, I make a conscious effort not to stay seated, because it’s good for your body and helps it function properly. I found more time to exercise when I stopped feeling like I had to “make time to exercise.”
So here’s a theory, just start thinking about ways to can be healthier and kinder to yourself. Eat healthier, sleep more, drink more water, and, if you can find two minutes, try moving a little bit. If you sit at work, get up and walk. Try different things to keep it interesting, bring a friend, or stick to what makes your body smile. See where that takes you.
And stop beating yourself up if you don’t get to the gym. Start recognizing when you do move, and what feels good…and then maybe try to do a little more of it. But let it come from a place of self love, not self judgement.