You workout to give yourself love.
You workout to have some alone time.
You workout to practice loving your Beautiful Body.
You workout to sculpt, tighten and tone...To build muscle and see results.
But what happens when your workout schedule changes and your exercise flow is disrupted? When your routine begins to change, does your energy shift?... When you miss your favorite class, not once, but twice, and then three times... do you feel your bod' begin to change? Does how you see yourself begin to shift? Can you keep instilling loving thoughts to your Beautiful Body, or do you start on the negatory, feeling like everything you've worked for is literally going downhill?
This is a crucial crossroads we may find ourselves at one time or another in life, and along the path of attaining a regular workout schedule. Where there was self-praise, growing confidence and a growing ember of self love, can come self-criticism and perhaps, a shift back into bad habits and self loathing.
Because your workout routine may have slipped for a week or two, or three, or even four!!!... You may have decided to loosen up your diet too. Where you had crafted the skill to say NO to certain foods, and only have them as rewards or on special occasions, you are now indulging regularly and feeling the change this causes in your physical, mental and emotional bodies too.
Stop the Hate
Recently my workout schedule completely changed. If it wasn't one thing, it was another. First I got a cold- not a heavy duty flu or anything, just the sniffles and that crappy feeling that drained my energy completely for a whole week. Just as I was feeling better and ready to embark on getting back to my workout routine, my period came. Now, I can't stop teaching Body Sculpt Classes just because I get the sniffles or have my monthly visitor, so I was at least doing my classes a couple times a week. And just because I get my period doesn't generally mean I stop working out altogether- though I will allow myself a couple down days to relax and eat whatever I desire! All of this said; once in a blue 'moon' I will get atrocious cramps and super low energy during my cycle. This round was exactly that. So I sucked it up and just rolled with it- feeling bloated, emotional and grumpy. Ughhh- Week two of no working out.
As my period ended, I began to see the light, becoming excited once again to get back into my routine- feeling my body begin to loose it's tightness, I couldn't wait to get back into my Callanetics, and 'after class extra workout regimen' at the gym. As I was getting prepared to get back into my flow, my lower back went out. Arghhhh!!! I was so upset! "Okay Universe, what are you trying to tell me?" I became so annoyed with my body. "Why is this happening to me?" I screamed. Walking to work I had to hold my posture just so, to take the pressure off my lower back. My face contorted with grief as other areas of my body compensated for the pain I felt. I had to wear a heat patch while instructing and couldn't wait to get home and cry.
I got home with my aching back and took a shower. Making my way to bed I glanced at my body in the mirror. Three weeks of not working out has surely taken its toll, I thought to myself. I had got back into the habit of bombarding my mind and body with negative thinking and got into a lazy habit of talking down to myself. With all of this down talk, I was sure what to expect looking back at me in the mirror- a haggard, bloated lady. As I looked in the mirror I saw cellulite and all the usual suspects I expect to see- looking back at me. (Isn't it true, we automatically see the parts of ourselves we have learned to hate or think are not perfect- instead of praising ourselves for learning to love ourselves more, and for all the work we have poured into maintaining a routine.) Yep, my negative self talk is confirmed.. I thought to myself. I scowled at my reflection and only saw the 'ugly' parts of myself. Missing out on my workouts has left my body gross and dare I say it... 'fat'. I thought to myself.
But just then something happened. I could not surrender to entertaining so much self hate, after all of the hard work I have done to get healthy, happy and love my body just the way it is. After all- this IS what I preach and teach. So now I get to walk the talk. I turned back to the mirror and like a fog that slowly faded, I saw through layers of self loathing... Yes my body felt and appeared 'softer', but no I had not 'lost' all the hard work I had clocked up over the past couple years, at all. I allowed my eyes to gaze over a wider expanse of my body- beyond the usual suspects of cellulite and loose skin around my chunky juicy inner thighs. While I used to be obsessed with weighing myself, I do my best not to get caught in that trap. That said, I hit the scales and saw I had gained five pounds- gasp! That said- I noticed my butt did not sink back to my ankles and the general tone of my muscles was still present through my skin. Sure, my tummy had softened a bit- but for all of my negative thinking and feeling, I was still in good shape. I let myself off the hook, crawled into bed and lay my hands upon my lower back to help its healing process.
Switch Your Thinking
One final week of not working out, and I'm feeling even worse about my body. But it's another trap! I realized how much I identify with my body... and not always in the healthiest ways. I am not my body!!! We, all of us are sooo much more than just a physical form! 'Knowing' this on a spiritual level I still find myself feeling like; "If it (my body) looks and feels tight, I am happy", "If it looks and feels soft, I am sad." Whoa- what an amazing realization to make. How can I be so identified with this one dimension of myself? I prayed "Let me remember that I am more than my body and be grateful for its perfect health.." (even though I was healing my back, had gone through a cold and a 'crampy' period- I opted for the light!). I had to turn my thinking around and focus on the positive instead of the negative. The body hears everything you think and say about it, and responds accordingly. Tell yourself you are ugly and sick, and your cels will begin to believe it- and make that the reality. Tell yourself you are healthy and beautiful, and your cels will begin to respond in amazing ways. I had to go back in time and erase an almost months worth of debilitating statements I had recited over and over unto myself and replace them with love <3
Love is the Answer
It's so easy to be hard on ourselves, when what we need is more love, more patience and allowance to go through whatever the body/mind/emotions> 'LIFE' needs to traverse. As I have come out the other end, and am getting back into my workout routine, I now see many aspects of my life were changing over that month of 'set backs'. (1) I am leaving a job I have had for nearly ten years, (2) I have been letting go of many limiting beliefs in other areas of my life, and (3) I am talking wedding dates with my fiance... Woop!
We forget that as we shift our thinking, jobs, and relationships, our internal landscape shifts too. My body was reflecting all of the changes I was setting up in my life. As yours most likely would too. It is okay to allow time and space, patience and grace with your body and life. I love my life and I love my Beautiful Body. Remember when you are going through major transitions and your workout routine changes- be patient with yourself and keep choosing love over negative self talk. Love is like a muscle, we get to exercise it just as much as we do our crunches and squats! Now that I am getting back on a roll, I see the time I had to reflect and be still is serving a much larger pattern in my life. I had to slow down on many levels so that things could speed up and take off in wonderful ways!
Choose Love, Choose Love, Choose Love, even if you forget and slip back into old patterns, you can always come back to Choosing Love.