You Should Work Out Because You Love Yourself
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Health and Wellness

Don't Work Out Because You Hate Your Body, Do It Because You Love It Too Much To Stay The Way It Is

Working out shouldn't be a punishment, but a celebration of how much you can accomplish.

Don't Work Out Because You Hate Your Body, Do It Because You Love It Too Much To Stay The Way It Is

One of the hardest things I've ever encountered in my life is trying to maintain a good weight for my body. I love food — like really, really love food. I love snacking, I love big meals, and I especially love sweet treats. And there are a lot of times when this love of food gets in the way of my fitness and body goals. There are days when I truly feel like I can't help myself when it comes to eating. Recently, however, I have learned to be more honest with myself about how much food I eat and exactly how much work it's going to take to get to my desired weight and body type. One of those biggest factors of reaching my goal was, of course exercising.

When I first started, I thought of this mainly as a way of whipping my body into shape so that I wouldn't be ashamed of myself anymore.

Whenever I would look in the mirror, I would see a body I was not proud of. I had gained weight in places that had stayed small all throughout my high school and early college years. I was, quite frankly, disgusted with myself because I could not believe I had let myself go so badly. That disappointment and sadness with myself definitely showed whenever I would go to work out. All I could think during workouts were thoughts like "Your body is disgusting. Exercising is the only way to not be so gross. I can't believe you let yourself go like you did."

The first step to gaining a healthier perspective of my body is letting go of these thoughts altogether.

There are so many other thoughts to think during your workout besides how horrible you are or how disgusting your body is. That will do you no good whatsoever. Those thoughts will only cause you to be more angry with yourself. Instead, view working out as a way to better yourself because you actively want to. Your body is already beautiful, but you want to make yourself even more beautiful.

You want to improve yourself, and there's nothing wrong with that. But in the process of improving yourself, you should never think of yourself as a terrible person. Hating yourself should never be the reason to start working out. You should work out to show yourself how much you can accomplish and how greatly you can improve over time.

Yes, improvement always means that something can be made better. And can't we all afford to lose a few pounds or tone our bodies up a little bit? But do not start working out because you think you're fat, ugly, or disgusting. Recognize that you are beautiful, regardless of your size. But if you think that you need to improve your appearance by working out, then go forward with that and use exercise as an opportunity to find out and celebrate how much you can improve yourself. You should already love yourself before you start working out but love yourself too much to stay the way you are.

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