After my mom passed away last year, a friend of mine sent me a card that said, “You’re stronger than you think you are.” It resonated with me that we are all stronger than we first believe. Somewhere along the way this past year I have gained not only mental strength, but also physical strength. This change has made a huge difference with my self-confidence and motivation to live a happy, healthy life.
Over the past eight months, I’ve committed to consistent exercising. I used to find any excuse to not work out, whether I was tired, it was too late, too early, or I wasn’t feeling good. More days than not now, I can’t wait to hop out of bed, throw on my shoes, and head out the door for a run.
So what changed?
I’ve been asking myself this a lot lately. When and why did I fully commit to exercising consistently?
When: My husband and I joined a gym last January, like we typically do. January always seems like a good time to “get back to it” and start exercising again. This year was different though. Instead of going to the gym for a couple weeks and then not going at all, I continued to attend classes at my gym. Spring rolled around and I was ready to start running again. (Read about my running & IBS story here.) I’ve learned how much incorporating different kinds of exercise influences one another. My desire to run and stay injury free has lead me to commit to weekly group core and group centergy (yoga+pilates) classes.
Why: Bobbi asked this question a while ago on her blog and it got me thinking. Why do I exercise? What do I gain from it?
- I have felt those endorphins pumping through my veins (i.e., runners high). Knowing that I created that feeling all on my own is amazing.
- I have increased alertness and energy throughout my day. It was a common occurrence before I regularly exercised to fall asleep at 8:30. I was exhausted all the time.
- I have committed (i.e., paid the $) to races and feel that I need and want to do my due diligence by properly training for them.
- I’ve also noticed that for me, exercising and eating healthy go hand in hand. If I’m not exercising I’ll think to myself “What does eating _____ it matter? I’m not “healthy” right now anyways.” Since I have been regularly exercising, I want and need to eat healthy foods for sustained energy throughout my workouts.
- I plan my runs/work outs ahead of time that way it’s just a part of my scheduled day. I’m not too much of a morning person, so I usually fit in a run/work out right after work.
- I truly enjoy the classes and group/solo runs. I’ve met some great people (and hopefully will meet more!) at the gym and at training runs that adds to my desire to keep going. It makes a huge difference when those around you have the same passion and goals.
This time it’s different. I just know now that I’m not going to “fall off the wagon” and stop exercising. I no longer berate myself if I miss a day here and there, as I know how important it is to have rest days.
I want to be strong, both mentally and physically. I know in order to do that, I need to eat nourishing foods, get regular exercise, and have the confidence in myself to keep going.
If you find yourself in a point in your life where you’ve “fallen off the wagon,” you get right back up. Commit. Commit to a healthy life. Commit to having confidence in yourself. You too, are stronger than you think you are.
What’s your motivation to exercise? Have you ever “fallen off the wagon”? How and why did you get back to exercising?