It almost feels "natural" to look insecurely at myself and seek to increase my worth with the quality of my body. Unfortunately though, when the goal is to gain perceived value or self-worth and I fail, I feel discouraged and a little hopeless. It can become a rotten emotional cycle.
Through the years, I thankfully discovered that my body doesn’t affect the inherent value that I possess from God (as I believe) or from those that love me. That is true of every single woman. We can all take that pressure off ourselves!
There are wonderful, positive, and brave reasons to work! These reasons build my confidence and health instead of knocking them down.
There is a rush of joy when we use our bodies. Sometimes it takes a few weeks of effort to get there, but when we overcome a milestone, feel our lungs adjust, or get the moves right, it’s a personal celebration. Joy comes from different exercises for different women. I find joy in running and dancing, but it could come from gardening, swimming, yoga, or a team sport…anything that moves you.
2. To Set an Example
Our kids will definitely be watching us on this one. Consider how we want our kids (or anyone that looks up to us) to use their bodies. Take those values as motivation to demonstrate ways to consider, tend to, and enjoy using our bodies for the right reasons. Let them see us swim a few laps at the pool during adult swim. Invite friends to go on a fun stroller walk around the park or join a volleyball league. We can encourage our kids to be physical by being physical ourselves.
3. To Defeat the Bad Guys (/Be Prepared for Anything)
I want to be ready. I want to be nimble enough to catch my stroller if it starts rolling away from me. I want to be strong enough to hold on to my purse if someone tries to snatch it. I want to give myself a fighting chance and trust my body to respond to my commands. Now, of course, we all hope no one has to actually defeat any bad guys :), but exercising can provide a feeling of power to face whatever crazy circumstance manifests itself around our families.
4. For Quality and Longevity
This is about experiencing life in the best way possible. When we make an effort to be healthy, we give ourselves the best shot to be spontaneous, to overcome obstacles like steep stairs or long treks, and to participate in everything going on around us. We allow ourselves the best shot to experience the wonderful relationships, activities, and opportunities in life for as long as possible.
Next time you are staring down the elliptical, give one of these motivations a try. They’ve made a big difference for me. Please share your other brave reasons to exercise and stay healthy. I'm always looking for more!
Enjoy your brave workouts!