I am reading a book on exercise and how it impacts our mental health. As I turn the page from one scientifically proven point to another, there is an inner voice saying…yaddy yaddy yah. It is almost taunting the well documented information and filing it under ‘tell me something I don’t already know’.
Is this reaction really coming from someone that calls themselves a holistic health blogger? Darn tootin, while I jump on my runners and hurl insults at my yoga pants.
So what is this reaction really about? I haven’t exercised for a week, and it has been sporadic for almost two months. Oh, the shame and guilt.
The truth is I enjoy exercise. I love how it clears my mind, makes me feel strong and dilutes stress. I love exercise, but I haven’t made it a priority, and it has gotten lost amongst a long list of other responsibilities.
What my ‘inside’ voice is really saying
My inside voice is not reacting to exercise or what the author is saying about exercise. My inside voice is reacting to the guilt that results when I should on myself (My play on words amuses even me, as I read this line out loud for the eight time).
Inertia is one thing to overcome, but if you are also contending with shame or guilt, it is like trying to start a bike ride on an incline.
Ditch the guilt and lighten the load.
If I don’t feel guilty, I am free to get back to exercise because I miss it, not because I am trying to prove that I am healthy or that I am a good little girl.
Guilt = Resistance
How do you do this? By reframing.
Exchange what you are saying to yourself, which is causing the guilt, for something that will encourage you to take action.
Instead of: “I am so lazy. Why can’t I just get my butt into gear and go for a run?”
Try: “I feel better when I exercise. When is the next time I can fit twenty minutes in?”
Also, try an ounce of compassion, maybe even two. Learning to incorporate a new habit takes time, even years. Being patient with yourself, actually speeds up the process
Ahhhhhh. That’s better.
I think I will go for a run now.