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You’ll never win if you’re using exercise as punishment

February 4th, 2016

By Guest Blogger & Upcoming Workshop Host: Samantha Skelly

Let me tell you a story.

A story that lasted, well – let’s say about 10 years. (don’t worry, I’ll paraphrase, I know we’ve all got things to do..)

From the outside I was labeled as ‘dedicated, commitment and a real athlete’ People admired my dedication to my health. What they weren’t seeing was my obsession that was anything but healthy. Exercise was my self-inficted punishment – it was the safe place I fixated on when I couldn’t resist the second serving of dessert at last night’s dinner.

‘It’s fine, I’ll just eat it – I’ll work it off tomorrow’

Exercising became punishment for overindulging in what I labeled as ‘bad food’ and because I was a constant dieter, whenever I wasn’t handcuffed to my diet I’d overeat on the foods I felt deprived from. Then, the guilt would set in and I’d spend hours and hours in the gym making sure I made up for the calories I consumed.

Or better yet, I’d go into ‘exercise debt’ (who thinks of this stuff? Yup, I did)

Let me explain to you the craziness of ‘exercise debt’ (which at the time, I thought was just bloody genius!) If I knew I was going to a party or it was Friday night, I’d run in the gym and ‘pre-burn’ the calories I knew I was going to consume later that night. I was exercising because I was TERRIFIED of getting fat – not because I wanted to truly nourish my body from a place of love.

This is all about being emotionally attached to exercise.

How do you think about exercise? So the thing is, there really is no ‘right’ way to exercise, but there definitely is a right way to THINK about exercise. If you’re beating yourself up for missing a workout or yoga class, chances are you’re probably emotionally attached to it, and it’s not a healthy attachment. Is your motivation from a place of fear (I’m terrified of getting fat) or from a place of love (I want to feel my best)

Fundamental difference. It’s essential that we ‘work in, before we work out’ Uncover the reason why you’re working out. If body image is your biggest concern, you’re rooted in fear. Fear of getting fat, because getting fat would mean you’re not loved. So, essentially, you’re not really loving yourself. Fascinating, isn’t it?

True transformation comes from a place of love, not fear. When we operate from fear we are putting bandaids on bullet wounds and aren’t addressing the true emotional root to why we are searching for love. Start with love and you’ll always end up right where you need to be.

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