The Phrase That Completely Transformed How I Think About Exercise

For most of my life, I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with exercise.

This was mostly due to the fact that I felt like it was a requirement and I was never any “good” at it. I loathed team sports as a kid, and I’d put more energy into pretending I was sick so I could sit on the bench rather than participating with my peers. I had very little stamina and terrible coordination. Not to mention the fact that I felt like my abilities were being measured against my classmates’.

Those feelings followed me into adulthood. I found myself avoiding the gym or fitness classes because I didn’t want people to see how “bad” I was at working out. And, like many people, I also inherently looked at exercise as a way to counter the food I consumed during the day or what I saw in the mirror.

It took me a very long time to change my outlook on working out ― to not see it as disciplinary or a way to embarrass myself but as something that makes me feel good. I read about a concept a few years ago that helped me get there: Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do.

Stop and read that again.

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