In my years of an on again off again relationship with working out, I’ve learned a thing or two. Firstly, if I ever want to become a true runner, it’s going to take lots of work. I love the idea of running and the mental release. My shins, however, don’t seem to be on board. Secondly, I’ve learned that there are lots of reason I can want to work out but very few of them will consistent get me to the gym. For me, putting the focus on my mental health has been the game changer that’s kept me consistent and made me a happier person.
I remember reading Khloe Kardashian’s book however many years ago. She talked about building her relationship with working out and it becoming an outlet. There was a part of me that understood what she was saying. But until I needed that same space and time for my mental health, it didn’t really click. So today I want to share the ways working out has changed my mental health for the better. And hopefully something in my story will resonate with you like Khloe’s did for me.
My best friends will tell you, I’m in a season of change. The dominos are coming down one by one and things are happening in a good way. But to get that domino effect, the first one has to go down. Working out was one of the first ones to topple in my life.
I’ve tried a lot of workouts over the years. From yoga to cardio bunny, I’ve bounced around a bit. But when I finally settled on weight lifting, the mental shift began. Getting physically stronger has helped me to become mentally stronger. When I can push myself to do another rep in the gym or to go heavier on my weights, I take that same determination into my day. And what used to be more of a passive attitude towards achieving my goals has become more proactive. The feelings I take out of the gym into my day have creeped into all the areas of my life.
If you’ve been around the blog for a bit, you’ll know I have a thing for making sure you fill up your own cup so you can pour into others. Going to the gym is a way I fill up my cup. Working out has changed my mental health by making me happier. Every morning that I show up and do something that’s just for me, I feel better.
Could I workout because I want to wear a certain size pair of pants or maybe because I want a flatter stomach? Sure. But when those were my goals, they were never really about me. They were about how I wanted others to see me or how I felt like I need to be in order to be accepted and loved. These days I choose to show up and do something that brings me joy. Do I share it on instagram? You bet! I want to inspire others to right for themselves. However, at the end of the day, I’m working out to be a happier, healthier me no matter what the number on the scale or my jeans says.
I’M MORE FOCUSED
I think part of this comes from having a game plan for the gym each day. However, working out has changed my mental health by helping me focus. I’m a girl who loves a check list but I also really love to see progress. Waking up each morning, putting in the work and knowing I’m fighting for myself & my goals helps me everywhere else.
When you start showing up for yourself with your workouts and working towards one goal, your ability to focus in multiplies elsewhere. Now there are definitely days when I’m super mentally all over the place in the gym. With a bit of trial and error, I’ve learned how to prevent this from happening as often. I go in with a plan. I’m currently working through Linn Lowe’s Strong & Lean. I also have a strong workout playlist (blog post coming soon) and I keep my phone on do not disturb. Working as a caretaker and living in a post hurricane Michael land means that things can get a bit hectic. However, I’ve learned that by showing up with intention and focus in the gym, I reap the benefits throughout my day and my week.
I LOVE MYSELF MORE
I spoke about this in an instagram caption recently but the journey to loving myself hasn’t exactly been a straight path. In reality, I think it looks more like climbing a windy mountain with some down hill bits and lots of turns. Fortunately, working out has changed my mental health by helping me along the way. I’m not a particularly patient person. This season of my life my mantra has become trust the process. But working out has helped me learn to love and appreciate my body in a new way.
Have I hit all my goals and can lift tanks now? Not yet, and maybe someday. Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel transformation is a regular source of inspiration in my life. But every time I do something I never thought I’d be able to do or realize I’m getting stronger I feel proud. I’m proud of myself for showing up and putting in the work. I’m proud that I’m fighting for myself. And those small steps have helped me to love myself in the process even when things aren’t changing as quickly as I’d like.
I TRULY LOVE IT
When friends or random strangers hear that most days I’m up at 5am to go to the gym, I get a lot of that’s crazy comments. Clearly I don’t think so otherwise I’d still be sleeping. But it’s truly something I love to do and working out has changed my mental health by giving me that love. In a perfect world, I make it to the gym daily and get to completely focus on my session. I walk out feeling better for working on me and go into my day focused.
However, even on the days when I only get in half my workout or have to do a mini version at home, I still find joy. Working out has become a place a sanctuary for me because it’s a thing I do for me. I get to know I’m pushing myself. I get to see that the working I’m putting in has a positive impact. And I feel inspired by seeing how far I’ve come in such a short time. Working out has changed my mental health by teaching me to love something in a way I never thought I could. And I’m so grateful for all of the positive ways it’s changed my life.
So what about you? How has working out changed your mental health? Do you have a routine you love or are you working on creating on that brings you joy? I’d love to hear from you! Be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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