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I’m going to be blunt and say if you really don’t enjoy working out, if you dread it, you try to avoid it, and because of that you’re skipping a lot of workouts and your body is kinda falling apart… well the next 20 minutes are going to change everything you.
Just last week, I got a question from someone in my Jumpstart 30 program that, unbeknownst to her, unleashed a pandora’s box in my brain and made me really question why some of us enjoy working out and some of us really hate it.
Her question was this, and it might sound like it’s not related at all to enjoy exercising but stick with me: “I'm working two jobs and sometimes come home around 9.30pm at night. I've already skipped 2 sessions this week because I've been completely exhausted. How do I find the time to squeeze a workout in?”
How do I find the time to squeeze a workout in?
Now, I’ve already done episodes on How to Find the Time and Energy to Workout when you literally have no time and energy, so I’ll have that linked in the show notes.
But this is different. This might be deeper than that for you.
If you’re multitasking right now, come back to me for a minute, because I want to ask you a personal question:
Think about - be honest, and don’t say something you think I would want to hear.
I posed this question to my audience over on Instagram and the responses were a little mixed… some people said “strong” or “strength” or “self care”.
But the majority said phrases like “tired, sweat, ugh, again?, breathing hard, early, time, dread”.
The word “workout” triggered mainly negative emotions. And I think this is par for the course.
So, going back to the question I brought up at the beginning of this episode… “How do I find the time to squeeze a workout in?”… Your perception and belief about what a workout is, what you even call it, and the emotions you have attached to it, make it infinitely harder or infinitely easier to make it happen.
And if we can crack this open for you, this is the key to all of it… the key to consistency, and the key to getting the results for your body you really want.
Every so often I have the opportunity to go to fitness conferences.
A few weeks ago, I went to Nashville to record videos for our YouTube channel. It took a long time to get the set all put together, have the lighting just right, get the camera equipment dialed in. For me, that’s not my expertise so there was a lot of waiting around until “action”. So what did I do? I was moving, stretching, doing yoga flows, squatting, playing around with handstands, just fidgeting.
Once again, why?
Because for me, it feels good. I just do it because it feels good.
If you can shift your mindset and rewire your brain to believe that exercise “feels good”, that it’s not painful, dreadful, just sweaty, or miserable, then making it happen as often as you can becomes the easiest thing ever. Squeezing in a workout is not an issue. You want to do it.
Like I said, Lisa, the one that had asked me that question, was in my Jumpstart 30 program. She had a preconceived notion about what a workout was going to be. In her experience,
It’s no wonder she feels this way, because this is the traditional expectation of a “good” workout. It’s like an Orange Theory class, or Crossfit, or cardio, or an intense weight lifting workout or bootcamp class.
Our culture has taught us that the purpose of working out is to create change in your body, regardless of how it feels to you in the moment. And if change is the purpose, then the workouts that create the MOST change are the best ones. The ones that burn the most calories, boost your metabolism the most, build the most muscle, burn the most fat. Do those ones.
But I want to push back against that. Yes, change is good, especially if you’re not fit and your body is not functioning very healthy. But change is not the only purpose of exercise. What about…
And these are all the secrets that fitness junkies have tapped into.
Sitting at a fitness conference, if you were to ask everyone crawling around on floor why they’re doing that, they wouldn’t say, “because it’s going to change me”. They would say, “cause it just feels good. I like to feel my body move. If I don’t do it, I feel stiff, achy, old.”
But unfortunately, most of these same fitness professional are handing out workouts that do NOT feel that way to their clients! These workouts feel anything but good, and they have NO CLUE as to the difference in mindset between where they’re at, and where their client is at.
So I said to Lisa, “Instead of calling the Jumpstart 30 routines a workout, I want you to start referring to it as your ‘feel-good-movements’, because that’s exactly what they are. They don’t make you sweat yet, they’re only 10 minutes, and the movements actually feel really good.”
And that’s the truth - one day we do a couple strengthening exercise that help you feel put together coupled with some awesome stretches, and then the next day we just stretch, and then the next day, we just go for a walk, and then you have a full day off. And all of it feels good, it builds your confidence, and it shows you how enjoyable movements actually feel for your body.
But if you’re anticipating a workout, the kind that you’re thinking about, you’ll keep putting it off for as long as possible.
The cool thing, is that after I offered that advice, Lisa came back to me and said, “You’re right. I was building up these routines in my head in a way that wasn’t at all what they’re like. It does feel good, and once I noticed that, I found myself wanting to do it.”
And that, my friend, is prime ground to build upon. That attitude will get you far.
You only get one body in this life. You know you need to be doing something for it - you need to be active and physically fit, especially if you want to be functioning well 10, 20, 30 years from now. What you do today matters.
But that mental barrier for you might always seem way heavier than its worth.
So the first step to busting through that mental barrier is to change the vocabulary that you use in your mind. Right now, you have a very negative association with it, so don’t call it working out, or exercising anymore. Just call it “feel good movements” or your “strong movements” or even “your tension release movements” or call it your “daily vitamins” or whatever feels right for you.
And then make sure that the routine your choosing actually does feel good and fit you right where you’re at right now. Don’t just brainwash yourself to love it, if you’re still going to that Orange Theory class that you hate. Do something that actually feels good for you.
If you need a good place to start, I’m always leading a new cohort through my Jumpstart 30 course every Monday. You can join me today, and we’ll get started together on Monday.
And in a month from now, when I ask you what word pops into your head when I say “workout”, you’ll say something like “feels good”. I can’t wait for that!
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