We talk a lot about finding your motivation and your “why” here at IdealFit. What we haven’t talked much about is how that motivation will hopefully change and evolve as your fitness journey progresses, and for the better too.
We’ve all got our different reasons for working out, but chances are that somewhere in the beginning (or maybe even right now), your motivation might have included some or all of the following reasons:
- because you want to lose weight
- to get “toned”
- you want your clothes to fit better
- to be “healthier”
- to look better
- to keep up with your kids
- to look good in that swimsuit on vacation
and of course…
- to get freaking sexy as heck
Let’s get this out of the way. If you’ve used any of these reasons as motivation to get up off the couch and get moving, I’ve got no issue with that.
It’s human nature to want to look good and to feel attractive!
What I do take issue with are the messages that exist out there telling women that the only way they can find value in themselves is based on whether they look a certain way, whether they’re thin enough, or fit enough, or strong enough and using that as motivation instead.
Fitness is about being your best. It’s not necessarily about the way you look, although that definitely might be an added perk. I’m talking about primary benefits versus secondary.
Your primary motivation should be improving your fitness level and health, your secondary motivation might be to build up those buns of steel.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
You take a few classes and feel like a weak, uncoordinated giraffe when your quads shake with exhaustion and you have to take several breaks during the workout just to get through.
The burning…OH THE BURNING!
But you keep going and you get better, stronger! The breaks get fewer and farther between. Before you know it you’ve become a card-carrying regular, working out front and center instead of hanging out low profile in the back.
You got this.
You fall in love with Barre because your balance improves. Your quads still shake and burn of course, but you’ve come to recognize that burning and shaking as a good sign and not a reason for you to want to quit. You can hold a plank for THREE minutes without breaking, you’ve got shoulder muscles for pity’s sake!
You feel strong, flexible and confident, even the way you walk and sit has improved. Your posture and presence has entirely changed for the better. You didn’t suddenly become Misty Copeland, but that doesn’t seem so important anymore.
Your jeans fit better and your booty is poppin’ like the 4th of July. These things are both real bonuses we can all admit, but you keep coming back because deep down you want to see if you can hold that plank for 4 minutes eventually, and because inside and out, BARRE MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD!
“Sure, at times strong can be sexy — but isn’t that the byproduct of strength? The confidence? The empowerment? The pride? For me, strong is enough. Strong just is.”
As women, we don’t have to necessarily idealize one body type over another or use some version of an unattainable or unrealistic standard as our main motivation to work out.
This article by Jen Sinkler really nails it on the head: “To me, it’s about getting rid of the aesthetic completely. Empowerment, to me, is about unleashing beasts, removing barriers and allowing people to maximize their potential as they see fit. Not telling them how to be, how to look or how to act….The empowering success each woman builds inside the gym should instead be used to focus on what that strength can do for yourself and others.”
Fitness enthusiasts often mention this feeling that they get inside when they’re in the middle of a workout. They talk about hitting new PR’s and gaining confidence and strength in their skills and abilities.
This is what pushes them to keep going, to show up every single day. It’s why they’re willing to put in the time and the reps, because their bodies CAN DO it and that’s a high worth chasing!
Strong. Is. Strong.
Look, you only get one body. It’s up to you to take care of it.
Nobody else gets to tell you what looks good, what feels good, and what makes YOU feel happy. It’s just you and your body, in it together for the long haul. Treat her right and she’ll return the favor.
Take pride in your strength, take pride in what your body is capable of! Next time you’re at the gym look around you and I bet you’ll find plenty examples of women who don’t necessarily fit into any sort of mold and are still there working up a sweat anyway.
No two bodies are built the same and not everyone has the same goals or enjoys the same type of workouts or results. The faster we can embrace our own personal goals and throw the comparisons and the pressure to look and feel a certain way out the window, the better off we’ll all be.
You hear me, ladies??
STRONG IS STRONG
There is no standard for beauty or fitness, there’s only you and your personal goals. Do what makes you happy and helps you to feel confident and strong on your own terms.
Everything else is just noise.
There’s no time like the present to take steps toward a stronger life.
If you are looking for something to help you feel good on the inside as well, try our IdealLean Nighttime Probiotic. It aids in digestion, nutrient absorption, gut health, prevents infections, fights off pathogens, and weight loss.
Then maximize your hard work by incorporating IdealLean Protein into your daily regimen. Adding IdealLean Protein will help you to build a lean, strong physique!