Fitness motivation in 2021: New year, a new mindset
Updated: Jan 22
One day, I was with my mom, watching a morning talk show. They had a guest segment where a woman came on and spoke about her weight loss journey. The hosts praised her, calling it spectacular. That is great, but it made me think. Why is only weight loss congratulated? It is rare to see people who overcame an eating disorder or were underweight their entire lives celebrated when they gain weight. However, in both situations, a person is becoming healthy. It was an observation that made me wonder if the media sees fitness achievements as taking steps to become healthy or actually about size.
Last year, I wrote a blog post called fitness motivation and essential. After experiencing 2020 and reflecting on the media, I re-evaluated the blog post and decided to do an updated version, focusing on mindset. Mindset is one of the first things we need to change before heading after our fitness goals. There is a stigma that skinny is equivalent to healthy when that should not be a factor.
Six reasons Fitness should be about health
1.Having temporary motives will prevent you from making it a habit
When you center your goal around temporary reasons, it will make it so much harder to maintain the goal. This includes making the goal to look good for a person you are crushing on, an event, or anyone else that's not you. Creating a goal to fit a standard will be unfilling and once the event has passed or your feelings about another person change, making fitness a habit will be more challenging. The ideal body will change, your emotions for other people will change, and the only thing that actually matters is your comfort in it. It matters if you feel happy when you look at yourself and if you feel confident in your own skin. Unless the person is your doctor or you, what they say about your lifestyle is irrelevant (that goes triple for internet trolls who don't know you in real life).
2.Health is determined by habits, not a size
Along with a balanced diet ( meaning to eat things that are nutritious but not to restrict yourself because it will only make you miserable), Fitness is a habit that can provide many benefits other than weight loss. You cannot look at a person and say they are. People can be skinny, eat mainly fast food or junk food, and not work out while still maintaining that figure because they have a naturally fast metabolism. There can be a person who eats healthy and exercise but still weighs more because of something like medication.
3. It can improve your mental health and mood
In psychology, we learned that when you exercise there are chemicals in your brain that releases called dopamine and endorphins that make you happy. At the same time, the chemicals that make you stressed and anxious are disappearing. This why many people use exercise as a stress reliever.
4. It can strengthen bones and muscles
This is an obvious one since when you plan a workout day you are usually doing a specific workout to target an area.
5. It can improve your quality of sleep
According to research, "Early morning and afternoon exercise may also help reset the sleep-wake cycle by raising body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later. It can be especially helpful if you are able to exercise outdoors and let your body absorb natural sunlight during the daytime hours" (National sleep foundation)
6. It can improve the health of your skin
When you work out, you increase blood circulation increases and it delivers oxygen and nutrients to your skin.
Changing your mindset is necessary
Good health is something that is just universally important. In my own life, I struggled with body image to the point I was starving myself. One reason I started that is I had the biggest crush on someone in middle school and they said they would never date me because “I was ugly, he was hot, I was black, he was white, I was fat and he was skinny”. To this day, I still remember how much that stung hearing at the time and I just remember how much that stung at the time. I remember thinking there’s nothing I can do about the color of my skin but just maybe if I was skinnier someone will find me pretty. It took a while for me to move past that. Once I overcame it and started to eat again (I was still not eating enough to have energy and occasionally skipping meals), I mainly ate things that were said to help me achieve the body I wanted. In the end, I started to dislike those foods for a while and relapsed to eating mainly take out. One positive thing that happened out of 2020 was the shift of self-image. Maybe it’s mostly being away from other people and their judgment but I am really proud that I am eating again, I am proud of myself for mainly having home-cooked meals and I am looking forward to taking steps to be healthier but this time just for myself without pushing myself to the point that I would be miserable. We are still in a pandemic so there’s no need to be harsh with yourself, just make balanced choices and do what is right for you.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share. Remember to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and follow my Instagram and Twitter to connect and stay up to date. I am excited about next week's blog post so make sure you come back next Saturday. Until then, there’s a lot more content on my youtube channel. I hope you have a good day, evening or night.
Until next time,
xoxo Lay 💋