Last Sunday I was in a kickboxing class and it was not going awesome. I have been struggling to find cardio exercise that feels comfortable and good in my body and at 26 weeks pregnant the choices are dwindling. Though I do walk and lift a lot and do not do nearly as many endless hours of cardio that I used to, I still like getting a good sweat on from good old fashioned cardio exercise.
Looking at my pregnancy journal from Caleb, I was working out and doing a lot more cardio than this time around. I am trying to be okay with that since I feel that I am slowing down faster with this pregnancy which is probably because I am two years older and running after a very energetic two year old. About halfway through class…I thought this kind of sucks. Don’t get me wrong, the teacher and class were great but it just did not feel right. Just walk out Sara. No shame. You do not have to be bad ass. Why did I even have to have this inner dialogue? Why I could I just not honor my body and say hey this isn’t going well and leave? I finally told my inner self to shut up, walked out and went to walk on the treadmill and do a few min of lifting. Was it the best workout ever? No. Is that okay? Yes. But sometimes I need a little convincing of that.
I am competitive and I know that. But as I try to emphasize to my pre- and post-natal clients…pregnancy is not really the time to be competitive or try to be a bad ass. Do I think you should exercise throughout your pregnancy if you have no complications? Heck yes! Do I think you should start exercising when you are ready after baby? Heck yes! I also think there are other times in your life that you do not need to be competitive or a bad ass such as super stressful times like job changes, divorce, moving, sickness and injury.
But why do ‘we’ have such trouble honoring our bodies?
I think because lately trending in the fitness industry it is often ‘go hard or go home’ or ‘no pain, no gain.’ Now do not get me wrong, I do think you need to get out of your comfort zone often while working out to get results but do we need to do that 100% of the time? No.
So as I walked out of the class (and honestly when pregnant with Caleb, I might have humbly walked out) but this time, with my head held high, I walked out and was okay with it. This may seem silly to some but as a fitness professional, I do not like quitting a workout, especially a group workout where others might wonder what is wrong with me or that I could not keep up. But who am I kidding? No one there cared that I walked out. I found the teacher afterwards (since she was a colleague) and just let her know that I was okay and that is was just not feeling right. Many people are worried about what others might think of them at gyms or in classes but most people are too focused on themselves to worry about other people.
So I again reminded myself that I chose this pregnancy and I want this. I also am so grateful for this pregnancy as I know many others struggling with infertility treatments and was blessed to not have to go through that again. So I told myself to ‘get over myself’ :), checked my ego at the door as I left and knew that I did the best I could. This is going to have to be my mantra over the next few months as my workouts will become more and more difficult. But I will remember to be grateful for this life that I am growing inside and to honor my body where it is at that exact moment.
Switching the mindset to honor your body can be challenging but powerful. If you are too busy too train for anything specific then just make your workouts be about maintaining. Going through a major life change as mentioned, then maybe your workouts are about reliving stress and regaining focus. Injured? Workouts should be about rehabilitation and strengthening the injured area/body part. Pregnant? Just moving and exercising in a way that makes you feel good.
So maybe it’s time we honor our body exactly where it is at this exact moment. Not where it used to be or where we want it to be. But being grateful for what it can do right now.
Have there been times in your life that you have had a hard time not honoring your body? What did you do to change your mindset?
I would love to hear from you.