Have you ever discovered an exercise that completely changed the way you looked at and performed every other exercise? I have. And it completely changed the way I view my body and the strength within it.
First off, I am a fan of many different exercises. In general, I just like to move around. Sitting still and vegging out is awesome, but after awhile, I just need to get up and move. I know it can be hard – trust me, I posted about it on Facebook just the other day – but once I get going, I absolutely love it. Whether it’s running, walking, hiking, riding my bike, yoga, Pilates, Barre, or a hard core interval class, I just love to move. But one of these exercises is my go to, my love, and changed my body shape completely.
Some of you might not know this, but as a kiddo, I was not so coordinated or thin.
My nickname was “Grace” because I was bound to trip, fall, or just not quite have any body awareness. Sports where not (any still really aren’t) my thing, running was a catastrophe, and I would fall off my bike quite a bit. i was always built pretty solid, and never lanky or thin. But somewhere along the lines, I learned to appreciate my body and the strength I had. I think it started with a trip to the gym, a few weight machines, or maybe just a good core workout. But somewhere along the line, I caught the exercise bug and haven’t looked back.
As an adult, I gain weight easily, but all in all I eat healthy, exercise regularly and stay thin without much trouble. This year, though, as I was pulling out my summer shorts and dresses I realized something. They didn’t fit. The dresses hugged in all the wrong places and my short wouldn’t slide up over my bum.
When your pants don’t fit, it can make you cringe. My mind immediately went negative.
“I must be gaining weight”
“I must be getting fat”
“I am eating too much or too little”
I stepped on the scale and, whoa, the numbers were high. And then I realized something.
Scales don’t matter. That number tells your nothing.
My pants and dresses might not fit because my body shape has changed. In fact, nothing fit because I was more fit. I had gained muscle. I was stronger. I had an ass. I had curves, sculpted shoulders, and strong abs – even if they were hidden under a soft layer or two. My core was larger because my back, chest, and abdominals were in fact thicker.
I was stronger and that wasn’t something to hide or feel bad about. It was something to wear with pride.
And it was because of one workout – Energy Flow/Barre. I had been teaching and taking more barre classes, and incorporating more barre moves into my routine. For most people, this slims them down, but for me, it lifted and toned by bottom, sculpted strong and sturdy thighs, and enhanced my back muscles. It helped me balance more, engage deeper, and reconnect in my yoga practice. And it gave me awareness to support myself better while running, and while toning in Pilates. It brought me in tune with my body and increased my body awareness. Now, I’m not saying you have to follow my exercise choices to do this (although it is really fun!). In fact, it might not work for your body at all. But no worries, next week I’ll teach you how to find the right exercise for you.
For now, I just want you to realize that what your body really craves is balance. Finding the natural state where you feel great but aren’t always fighting to maintain an unrealistic number on a silly scale.
Sometimes, being back in balance means not being at the tiniest dress size, the smallest number on the scale, or in the dress you wore before you had your babies. It means allowing your body to find it’s most balanced and natural state at that moment in time.
And when you do this, you can start to change your negative monkey-mind to a positively proud-mind. A simple shift from negative to positive can completely change your life and it doesn’t take any time.
You stop hiding and start to flaunt what you’ve got.
You rock it because you earned it.
You feel strong, not fat.
You recognize what your body can do, rather than what it can’t.
And you start to treat it with love and respect, which makes it balance and flourish so much more.
And you find your own balanced state of freedom. bliss, and awesomeness.
You can do it. You can love your body, appreciate what it does, and find freedom in your balanced state.
Are you ready?
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Have you ever struggled with finding your balanced state or are you struggling now? Leave a comment below and with your action plan. What is one exercise that feels absolutely fantastic when you do it and how can you find more time to bring balance into your life?