How much stress are YOU putting on yourself? I chose the clip of my aerial cartwheel for a very specific reason today.
This morning we had a completely free Sunday morning. No sports. No kid commitments. Nothing but time. Of course there is a to do list. But I decided to start with a “want to do” list instead. First of all, I got a great sleep. Second, the weather is like something I would have ordered up if I could. The fall sky. Mild air. Picturesque and one of my favorite things. I’ve wanted to film a track workout for everyone, so we took the kids and went to the High School track.
After, as I was talking to Dave about what I wanted to write about today, he without a doubt said I should share how to have fun again. How a morning like today would have never happened in the past. In his words, I would have been “a stick in the mud.” We ran. We burpeeed. We threw the football. We flipped. We played with the kids. We laughed. (Check out Dave’s “man down” handstand fall video!) Rewind to last year and I would have been running laps because that’s what a workout is. Because playing isn’t enough. I would have been on the sidelines doing my thing instead of making memories with Dave and the kids. I would have been planning how to get “enough” in. STRESSED. No fun. I would have been trying to burn as many calories as I could because I know I have Jacob’s Birthday party at 4:00 which will consist of pizza and dessert. I would have been stressing myself the F out!
So I want to ask you. What stress are you putting on yourself? Making rules. Judging. Labeling. Food isn’t supposed to be stressful. Face it, it isn’t going anywhere. We can’t live without it so we better learn how to live with it. I’m begging you to stop overthinking your food. You know that extra weight you are complaining about? Guess where it could be coming from. STRESS. And your body doesn’t care where the stress comes from. It just knows the feeling. The cortisol. And acts accordingly. So you can stress out about your food. And your workouts. And do more harm than good despite your best intentions. Or you can eat and move on. You can quit the guilt and shame. You can have fun moving your body. You can play. You can enjoy. You can stop over analyzing. Cut the anxiety. Release the stress. And you may feel like flying. Like I did today.
There are a million reasons I shouldn’t still be able to do that. I’m 32. I’m 150 pounds. I haven’t practiced gymnastics since 1999. I am more muscular and less flexible. I should have been scared to try it. But I wanted to have fun. I felt good. So I tried. I didn’t overthink it. I played. And I was able to do it. Why? Probably because I’ve focused on taking care of myself. I’ve shifted my focus from what my body looks like and how food and exercise can make me look to how my body feels and what food and exercise can make me feel like. There is so much less stress and anxiety for me around food now. And it allows me to do so much more.
I made 80 cutout cookies yesterday. I had a bite of one. Not because I said, “You can only have a bite. You can’t have a whole cookie.” But because I actually don’t love them. But when they are labeled as “bad” your brain wants what you can’t have. I would eaten them just out of rebellion. TRY THIS. Ask yourself, “Knowing I can have this at any time, do I really want it right now?” It’s changed my approach to food and fitness. MyFitnessPal doesn’t know how food makes you feel. It’s a calculator. You have to take the extra step. The pause. Take the responsibility to forget what everyone says and ask your BODY what she feels.
And for workouts? If they aren’t making you feel good, they aren’t working for you. Period. Despite what the calorie counter or Fitbit say.
Go have fun. Stop the added stress. Stop overthinking. Any anxiety is just your need to control things. And sometimes, they are out of your control. Pay attention to you. Learn about yourself again. What makes you tick? What do you look forward to? What foods do you actually like? What do you enjoy?
What do you need to do to enjoy your body and your life? What do you need to do to fly?