19 Jul Why do we quit on ourselves?
I think about this all the time…..as in, I lie in bed at night and think about this. Why is it that people give up on making exercise a priority? Why do some people find it harder than others to stick to a workout regime? Why are some able to make it a habit while others battle with it for years?
When you ask people, you will always get a variety of the same kind of response- “I don’t have time,” “I have kids,” “I can’t get up early,” “I can’t work out in the evenings,” “I’m too sore.” Its rare that I get people speaking the truth, but sometimes people will straight up tell me they just plain hate to exercise…..and that’s totally fine. Most people do, it is just that people who are successful at it just do it anyway.
So here is my analogy and what I often come up with in the darkness of the night when my kids are rolling on top of me and I can’t fall back to sleep after a good elbow in the head…… Under all the layers of excuses, deep down we don’t value it enough to make it a priority. Period. Boom. End of sentence….but there is a variety of reasons why that could be. Here is a couple.
1- you were raised in a house where it wasn’t a priority for your parents. You grew up knowing that it wasn’t something that they did so deep down you believe it’s not that important. Think about how many things in your day are non negotiable that were non negotiable growing up. Did everyone in your house make their bed as soon as they woke up? If so, you probably still do. Everyone in my husbands family showers as soon as they wake up. It’s just automated. I personally hate to shower and always put it off…always have. Sorry if that’s TMI. If exercise is something that you saw a lot of in your house and your parents valued it, than chances are you probably do too. I’m not saying we all believe the same things that are parents do, absolutely not, but sometimes those practices that we were raised in are easy to continue and or harder to break, whether we realize it or not.
2- you have put yourself on the backburner to look after everyone else in your life and feel selfish taking that time or spending that money, if so required, on you. This is a super common one. We feel that this stage of life is about looking after others and maybe someday we will have time to look after us again. If your in this stage, refer back to number one and see if there is any correlation? If it’s not and you dig a little deeper, check in with how you are feeling about yourself. What are the messages you tell yourself and how kind are you to your heart? This is another big one. Sometimes we literally don’t believe we are worth it and that is so heartbreaking. Imagine looking at a child and thinking they will grow up and think this way. That little child once was you and you absolutely ARE worth it. You just need to remember that.
The things about these reasons, is sometimes we don’t even really know that they exist. We just think we suck at exercise or call ourselves lazy, when really there is a much deeper layer than this. I totally still, and probably always, hear my Dads voice when I go to buy something that costs more than $10 and is not a “necessity:” “Put your money on your bills,” “You don’t need that,” “Just stay home and save money on gas.” I totally learned to ignore that voice as soon as I got my first babysitting job but it doesn’t mean it still doesn’t bother me. It’s hard to break away from the subconscious beliefs we were raised in, whatever they are, but it’s absolutely a million percent possible. It just requires a little more mental strength and mental strength, just like physical, is like a muscle you need to build. Recognizing it is huge. Then you can work on it.
I feel very grateful that I grew up watching my parents exercise and I was very often a part of it. We went on canoe rides, family bike rides, running races and to our local gym with a pool “the spa.” Because of that, it wasn’t something I had to teach myself to do as an adult, I just kept it up. Remind yourself of this next time you feel like you are taking time away from playing with your kids when you exercise – you are teaching them something huge you guys….HUGE. It’s not enough to drive them all over the place to activities…YOU have to show them that it’s a life long commitment to health by setting the example.
You can absolutely break the cycle of your past and make it automated. Seriously- you have totally got this if you want to. Just know that it takes time. Know that it doesn’t have to look or feel perfect. Know that you will hit bumps. Know that every time you do move, even when it sucks, you are making yourself better. Know that you are gifting everyone around you a better you.
You are worth it. You are strong. You are awesome.
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“Who you are is not defined by the last decision you made, but by the one you make next.” Rachel Hollis