Let's kick to the curb any notion of punishing or restricting or squeezing our bodies into a space as the goal of exercise.
It's time to move away from rhetoric around losing weight and getting in shape and making it about things that you did wrong. Have you ever caught yourself thinking:
I’m good if I go to the gym and bad if I don’t.
I’m good if I make it the spin class and I'm bad if I skip it.
So many of us have this in our programming. We look around and see articles about getting ready for the beach or ready for the wedding. But so many of them focus on punishing our bodies until it looks the way it "should"... and then hoping that we don’t mess it up.
Sure. That’s one way to have a body and go through life - but it’s not the most fun. And as someone who wants to infuse pleasure into as many places of my life (and yours!) as possible, I want to encourage you to let that extend to how you move your body as well.
The more you enjoy the way you’re moving your body, the more exercise flows from a place of caring for your body rather than punishing it.
This is something I've learned from both experience and my mentors (especially one of my greatest teachers, Sarah Jenks!).
If you come from a place of wanting to feel:
graceful... strong... bright...
it changes everything. Find the movement that feels good. Maybe it's a long beautiful walk every evening. And you might find that life is feeling so good and you are feeling so connected to your body that you are reaching less and less for food that makes you feel lethargic. You’re stressed out a lot less. And the weight you’re trying to lose by punishing yourself melts away a little bit.
It's all about framing it in a new way that puts pleasure forward and thinks about how movement can feel good.
What kind of movement feels good to you?
There's a way to tap into our core energy of light and love that can be really playful, really fun, and really divinely in touch with feeling good.
During my coaching training - in the middle of being trained on trauma healing and goal setting and healing from heartbreak and tapping into divine essence - we learned to belly dance.
At first, I thought: well this is a fun break. We all need breaks to chit chat or grab a coffee, right?
But no - this wasn't one of those moments.
Belly dancing - a very joyful and fun way to move - was actually all about tapping into our energy and moving in a sexual way. Feeling alive and connecting to our sexuality, energy, playfulness, and pleasure. And, it happened to be a workout.
And isn’t that what this is all about? Feeling alive?
It's permission to move your body in a way that really feels really good to you, to shift away from a punishing and bad way of thinking about exercise. It's an embracing invitation to think about pleasure, that also happens to be a way to move your body in the way it wants to be moved.
Maybe that’s going to a dance class, walking instead of driving to work, going on a long walk with someone you really love or a friend you want to catch up with in the evenings, taking your coffee and doing that in the mornings, doing yoga up on a rooftop, maybe signing up for a new class and just seeing what you like. Maybe you like soul cycle with candles burning or an intensive and strengthening pilates class, maybe getting out your aggression with boxing or even weight lifting.
But doing the above in an intentional way where you’re tapping into your essence - but with all of it, having it come from a place where the priority is pleasure.
It’s not pleasurable to be in a body that feels sluggish or meh.
So what does pleasurable movement mean for you? Is it being:
Strong. Graceful. Healthy. Bright. Glowing.
Taking care of your body means you’ll live a long time and be here to play with your kids and their kids and even their kids' kids.
Taking care of your body means feeling at home with yourself.
Taking care of your body means reigniting some passion in your love life, with more energy and a better connection to who you are.
All of this is a much more useful motivator than: I need to lose 10 pounds. Or: this isn’t fitting and I need to squeeze into it.
It’s ok to let yourself buy a bigger pair of pants and let your exercise be a lot of dancing and walking. Maybe the pants will fit again later and maybe they won’t.
But this way your pleasure is at the foreground and so you’ll feel good either way.