How a simple mindset change can change how you feel about exercise forever.
So let’s rewind 3-4 years. I was that “cardio bunny” grinding it out on the treadmill, elliptical or spinning class, hours on end, not satisfied until I felt physically faint or sick. I would go to the gym and not leave until:
1) I’d burned enough calories
2) I’d completed a minimum of 1.5 hours of cardio or
3) I’d sweated enough to feel too embarrassed to be seen in public
I’d get anxious if I didn’t achieve these goals, and damn near have a panic attack or feel guilty if I couldn’t go to the gym. Sound familiar?
This picture is so common, and yet so very wrong. And if this is you I urge you to just take a moment and re-evaluate your intentions for going to the gym. This scenario is a quintessential indicator of misguided intentions and an unhealthy relationship with training. And this was me.
Too often we become obsessed and laser-focused on one thing – losing weight or getting that “ideal” body. And women especially have been duped into thinking that there’s only one way to get it- by sweating it out doing hours upon hours of cardio. And so what may start as a healthy habit, quickly progresses into a destructive obsession. You may lose weight yes, but are you happy? Are you healthy? Do you enjoy going to the gym? Do you feel confident? Is it maintainable?
It’s not an easy thing to do, but changing your mindset about and your intentions for your training can be one of the most powerful tools to get you on a healthier path. Instead of equating the duration of training or number of calories burned as your gauge for success, why not try focusing on things like: Do I feel energized after my workout? Has my running/cycling/swimming time improved? Is my strength improving? Can I complete more reps? Has this been a source of quality alone time or maybe quality time with a training partner? Am I excited and motivated to train again?
By simply changing your mindset, changing your intentions, your happiness and wellbeing become your focus, your training becomes enjoyable again and thus more maintainable, and your previous goals of losing weight or improving your body become a byproduct.