I used to think that working out meant that I needed to burn x-amount of calories, feel worn out, and sweat like crazy. I was basing my fitness routine off what the media was telling me. As a culture we focus so much on looking good. We try so hard to fit into the unrealistic standards of healthy living. I became obsessed with burning calories, I surrounded everything around exercise. I remember when I was in high school I was at a resort with my family, while they were in the outdoor pool I was on the elliptical…for 2.5 hours. I was focused solely on this false idea of health.
I changed my fitness perspective since high school but I ended up honing in on certain body parts. I wasn’t focuses on calories anymore, instead I was choosing to work on the booty, arms, and tummy. I spend my time during my workout aiming to obtain “perfection” in a certain area. I was becoming overwhelmed with this idealism of the bikini body and the perky butt. I was following certain online trainers that made me section off my body and had me seeing myself in only parts.
The beauty of life is that our experiences evolve our way of thinking. I recently took some time to reflect on my fitness lifestyle and I decided to redirect my focus on doing what feels good. No more calories or certain parts, I chose to move with the purpose of feeling good. I developed a new life mantra over the past months, Live with Love. After every workout I sit in lotus pose and recite to myself, “I See Love, I Speak Love, I Feel Love… I Am Love.”
Yoga has allowed me to feel a part of something greater, that sees me as who I am. I love the vulnerability and rawness of yoga, the feeling of being completely honed in on how the body is feeling. I don’t worry about calories, fat, or how I should look. Instead of draw my strength from feeling energized, confident, and happy. I admire working out because of the feeling it gives me, the sensation of connecting with my body through movement and breath.
Fitness is constantly transforming and bending back into the past while still rooted in the present. Working out isn’t a mission of perfection but rather a journey of self-discovery. The next time you step on your mat, lift a weight, or even go for a run, take time to ask yourself…why am I doing this?
I hope your answer is, because it makes happy.