During the summer before my senior year of college, I was obsessed with going to a particular yoga class several times per week. This class was taught by one of my favorite instructors, and I loved the way the class made my mind and my body feel. But I became “attached to” and obsessed with this class because I used it to lose weight and dictate my self worth.
One day I was set to go to class (and very anal about leaving exactly on time, 11:20) when my mom called and asked for my help with something. She was in a bind and I begrudgingly agreed to help, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to make it to yoga. I was pissed. Later that day, I went to my bff’s birthday party and I felt so gross and uncomfortable in my clothes. I kept replaying thoughts in the back of my head that told me if I had just gone to that yoga class, I would look and feel thin and attractive. It was such an exhausting way to spend my summer, to make how I look and felt contingent upon whether I made it to my yoga class. If I made it to class, I felt confident, healthy, and thin. If I missed a day, I felt disgusting, fat, and lazy.
If your sense of well-being, self worth, and confidence is contingent upon whether you do your work out for the day/week, then I want you to know that all that kind of thinking does is make you exhausted, anxious, and less able to take care of your body long-term.
Below are my 3 tips for helping you RELAX about working out/moving your body so that your sense of self-worth, well-being and confidence stays in tact and doesn’t rest on whether you’ve worked out for the day.
- View your self-worth, well-being, and confidence as untouchable. If you view these things as contingent upon how you look or whether you worked out for the day, you will always lose. Looks change, bodies change, and schedules change. If you let these things dictate how good you feel about yourself, then you’ll drive yourself crazy. Begin to see yourself as inherently worthy and confident—regardless of how your body looks and whether you worked out today. This is the truth—you are inherently worthy no matter what.
- Do what you can, when you can. This mantra comes from my #girlboss hero Bethenny Frankel. If you couldn’t make it to your noon yoga class, then find a few mins in your day to take a walk, jump on a trampoline, do some planks during work breaks. On days when you’re a little out of your normal workout routine, make your goal to do what you can when you can. This really takes the pressure off.
- Trust that your body knows what its doing. Your body wants to move, work out, and be physical. But that can come in many different forms. If you miss a yoga class or can’t make time for your regular run, trust that your body will tell you what it needs next. Maybe your body doesn’t need an intense workout that day. Maybe your body wants to go to that night yoga class instead of your usual day class. Trust in the wisdom of your body and trust that your body will figure out what it needs and tell you.
When you use one (or all!) of these tips, you’ll begin to relax about working out, and thus able to relax and move your body in a way that only adds to your well being, self-worth, and confidence.