Exercise Not Because You Have To

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When I had 100 lbs to lose all I thought was I had to exercise if I wanted to lose the weight even if I hated it. Just the thought of having to exercise to lose weight had me dreading doing it. I remember hearing myself saying, “I hate exercising” or “I’ll exercise now but once I get this weight off I can stop”.

I would go for a walk or get on the treadmill only because I thought I should do it, had to do it. I had myself convinced I didn’t enjoy doing it and really disliked it but had to do it anyways. 

This is what most of us chronic dieters do, is think of exercise in a punishing way and only a means to an end. What truly is needed is changing your thoughts and feelings around exercising to it being a tool. Viewing it from the place of being used to get faster weight loss result but as a tool. Using the tool to connect ourselves with our body.

If you exercising based on what it will give to your body, this is about“taking” from exercise.  When your focus is on taking then you set yourself up to not enjoy it, because it is something you have to do. What if you exercised as a way of giving to yourself?  Exercise without expecting anything. Exercising to give to your body. The gift of health and strength as that is what is ultimately the most important thing you need to be focusing on. Remember that exercise is only 10% of losing weight so why not exercise because it is good for you.

Yes, the results will come as a result of exercising. Those results are not the reason you start exercising in the first place. It should be about you exercising to add to your life not about it being a burden to you.

When you exercise regularly you are telling yourself that you care about yourself. That it is not about what you get out of it for weight loss or to look good. Despite all the excuses that come up you exercise no matter what. This is what showing up for yourself looks like.

If you come from a place of giving then when you have been working out and haven’t lost a pound, you won’t quit. To focus on giving to your body no matter what especially when you went off track in what you ate. The relationship you develop with your body when you give it the love and care it needs will keep you on track to losing weight. But most importantly keeping it off.

So forget about exercising to lose weight. If this is your only reason you will be disappointed. Instead, go for adding exercise in to improve your life.

Know that adding exercise in, especially if you haven’t done it in a while will feel uncomfortable at first. This is no reason to stop. If it feels hard or tiring for you that is because your body is not used to it and that is ok. Acknowledge the thoughts and feelings that come up and listen to them. Let them be there but don’t let them stop you from committing to exercising.

Remember that exercise, is all about the gift you give your body. That gift will be long-term health, your life expectancy increases and you have a stronger body. All these reasons will help keep you doing the things you want to be doing as you get older.

How many of us have felt like exercising? No many when you are first staring on losing weight. So many times I had the “I don’t want to do it” or “I don’t feel like doing it” but I had to tell myself “I will do it”. So in the beginning felling yourself, that it is ok if you dont want to do it. Knowing that it wont be easy and that is ok but to tell yourself that you have to let go of the hate, should thoughts that feel horrible. Those thoughts only create so much negativing which only makes it harder for us.

Just imagine if you could look at it not as an option. Would you give your child an option to not get their homework done. What if they said to you that they don’t want to do it, don’t feel like doing it, that they cant see the value in doing it but they know that not doing it they wont get good grades and that is ok with them. Would you say sure, no problem, don’t bothering doing it? I don’t think you would.


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