Do you honor yourself in fitness and life or do you subscribe to suffering? Before you answer, reflect on your daily routine, self-talk, interactions with other, thoughts about food, methods of fitness, and your forms of motivation and discipline.
A good friend of mine, Mellie RoseTest, wrote a beautiful piece about this very topic in relation to fitness and fitness programs. It was about how the mainstream media and tools have been built up to promote regimented suffering and harsh discipline over our ability to honor ourselves, our minds, our emotions, and our bodies. How did we turn into a society where suffering was the normal thing to do in fitness and health?
She states and questions the following:
"Fitness programs are bunk. To assume that every day, you’re getting the same amount of sleep, eating the exact same meals, experiencing the exact same amounts of physical, emotional and mental stress? To assume that every person will respond in the same way to the same exercises? To assume that ANYTHING is one-size-fits-all, when each of us is completely, biochemically individual?
Why are we still clinging to the programs? To BeachBody, to P90X, to Insanity, to Crossfit. Why are we desperately and repeatedly buying into fads? Why are we afraid of our individuality? Of our own knowledge?
Our bodies are continually giving feedback. Cravings let us know what action to take. Aches and pains let us know where there’s stagnation and where we need to increase the flow.
The truth is, we’re not floating aimlessly offshore the island of wellness here. We don’t need external guidance to find our way to safety; we’re safe exactly where we are."
I love this. I love it with all of my being because these very questions are the reason I started Live Beyond Limit. We are NOT all the same and we all come from different backgrounds, injuries (physical or non), and daily demands. Each human being is 100% unique in who they are and their spirit - even twins! We all have different perspectives that our bodies and lives mirror. Different activities light us up. Some of us are runners, some like to dance, some enjoy the pool, some just like interacting with others - so why would we cookie cutter the programs, push ourselves to vomiting or rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle damage where the muscle is broken down and released into the blood steam) for the sake of "results". We all have different drives, so again I ask you.... Do you honor yourself or subscribe to suffering?
If you already honor yourself in fitness by enjoying the things you do without harming yourself, that is so fantastic. Now, please look at the other aspects of your life. Do you practice non-harm (in yoga we call this ahimsa) in your speech, thoughts, actions? Do you build yourself up with your interactions and actions or do you tear yourself down or box yourself up?
Regardless of the answer, here are a few things you can do to work towards honoring yourself more each day:
Listen to your body. If you're burnt out exhausted, I recommend choosing rest over pounding another workout out. We make our progress in our recovery periods. If the body doesn't have time to heal itself, you will plateau and sometimes even go backwards in progress. If you're upset, take time to process and let it flow. If you're energized, use it to complete the projects you've been sweeping to the side. Listen to, learn from, and love your body.
Sleep 6-8 hours each night. Make a routine around your sleep. It's vital for cell regeneration, fat burning, memory, cognitive functioning, and heightened energy levels.
Eat real food 3-7 times a day, depending on your schedule and physiological demands. Have snacks when you're feeling low on energy, eat more in the front half of the day than the back half, and listen to your body! Our bodies function because of the food we consume, nothing else, so give it fuel and food that is close to the earth.
Be compassionate to yourself and others. Instead of saying "Jeeze that was so stupid of me!" try something more along the lines of "Well that didn't go so great, next time I can do XY or Z instead and get a better result." When someone cuts in front of you on the road (tough one!), try pondering what their shoes look like. Are they late for work? Did they just get a call that their loved one was in need? Are they just a jerk? Bless them for whatever made them have to act so unsafely.
Have fun. Seriously, just go out there and have fun in all the aspects of your life. If it doesn't feel good or make you feel good afterwards, then do something else! You're life is valuable, beautiful, and meant to be lived and loved. If you hate 50% of it, DO something so you're enjoying 51% today, 55% tomorrow and so forth.
I dare you to Honor yourself today and to release suffering. Life is too beautiful if you allow it to be.