Exercise – we all need it in some form or another. For some, it comes naturally & is full of positive associations. For others, like myself, it’s more of a struggle, with many negative feelings attached to it.
I’ve found throughout my own journey that much of my resistance toward exercise was due to the feelings of shame I had built up over years of internalized abuse & negative self-talk. It can be difficult to care for and love your body if you’re ashamed of it. I didn’t believe that my body was worthy of giving it what it needed. So instead, I made excuses to justify my avoidance of these issues. I covered up my lack of confidence & avoided my deep-rooted emotions by over-eating and drinking too much. I resented people that enjoyed exercise because it was a reminder that I wasn’t allowing myself or my body that same freedom and reward and, most harshly, it was a reminder that *gut check* I didn’t love myself that much.
I avoided gyms. I avoided exercising outside. I avoided working out in front of friends and my partner. And eventually I avoided exercising at all. I didn’t want to bring any attention to my body. And on a more subconscious level I believe I wanted to punish it.
Insert: home workout programs. Not JUST home workout programs. But home workout programs paired with online communities that motivated me & held me accountable to actually doing them. This was the game changer for me. I didn’t have to let anyone else see me working out, I could do so quickly & comfortably from home thus making for significantly less excuses, but I also had other people facing the same struggles who genuinely cared for me and wanted to help. The love and support I received from others made me WANT to love & support MYSELF in the same way. So I dove into personal development & started reading things that filled my mind with positive affirmations & encouragement each morning. And the rest is history.
I’m not saying that gyms are bad or that home workouts are best for everybody. But coupled with a great community of uplifting women to cheer you on & hold you accountable, I believe they can get anyone out of a rut or into a healthy habit and routine. I believe they are a place to start and perhaps a place to stay for people dealing with depression, anxiety, body image issues, insecurity, self-shame, etc.