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Building Habits to Last Past the Resolution.

I hate working out. There. I said it.

 

I hate every mile I run and I am led to believe that the people that “enjoy running” are from another planet. All I can think about when I work out is how much food I can eat based on how many calories my Apple watch tells me I’ve burned. I don’t enjoy sweating. Or the feeling of my shirt sticking to every crevice of my body following the workout that I equally didn’t enjoy. I am a full time working mother of twins, and truly, I don’t have time to go to the gym no matter how many people tell me that I have to prioritize what matters.

My kids matter. My marriage matters. Those come first. ALWAYS.

Except my health matters. My body matters. My self esteem matters and feeling comfortable in my body……once you start to think about it, those feel just as equally as important as the other people in my life. It’s an impossible place to be in- How do I balance ALL of this?

The secret? Stop trying to do it ALL. Stop torturing yourself with gym sessions you don’t enjoy. Stop sacrificing rest that your body needs for early morning cardio sessions (unless of course you’re one of those people from another planet that enjoy running). Just simply stop.

How many times have you started….then stopped, then started again…only to stop again in a month or two. Listen friends, it’s not maintainable for the long term. At least, not if you’re in a busy season of your life. You cannot do. it. all.

And guess what? It’s okay. It’s actually better this way- trying to do it all is fruitless.

One day, while playing with my children outside I looked down at my Apple watch and noticed that my heart rate was 120 bpm. We were running around chasing each other. They were laughing hysterically as I chased them. I pushed them on the swings. We played soccer. We threw a baseball. The same heart rate that I was working so hard to achieve at the gym, I was achieving while simply playing with my kids. I was enjoying it and not stressing it. I was active without trying.

Let’s be clear. This blog post is not encouraging you to let your health go and to warm the couch with a bag of chips. (Those Cheetos in my cabinet are literally calling my name right now…) I am encouraging you to stop stressing about the gym. I’m encouraging you to be mindful about your activity levels but also spend time doing what you love. The key to creating new habits is to make them something you enjoy doing. If you hate it, you won’t do it. At least, not forever.

I’m encouraging you to PLAY. Play with your dog, play with your kids. Go play soccer, baseball, kickball, whatever! If sports aren’t your thing, go dance! Go breathe in the fresh air around you and take a walk. You don’t have to kill yourself at the gym to live an active lifestyle. In terms of activity- two 15 minute long walks still count as 30 minutes of exercise! Do two quick walks with your dog (who’s dying to go for a walk anyway) seem possible?

This week I challenge you to let go of the gym guilt. Don’t beat yourself up for not going. Instead, aim for 10,000 steps on your fit bit, apple watch or other device. I challenge you to go play a game of tag with your kids, walk your dog, and do things you LOVE because you know it’s healthy for your body and mind.

I believe in you, my friend. YOU are strong. You can, you will.

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