1. You struggle taking rest days
If you struggle taking rest days, you need to ask yourself why. It could be because you don't fully understand the importance of recovery in your training (find out more here) But it could also be that you struggle to sit with yourself. To be still. You might be using it as an avoidance tactic to distract you from other issues.
2. You exercise to punish yourself
This most commonly looks like trying to burn off x amount of calories in your session, trying to make yourself as sore as you can after your session, or trying to keep your body at or under a certain weight. Exercise should be a celebration of your body, a way to practice self love and appreciation for what your body can do, and a method of positive growth and improvement in your life. If your motivation for exercise is punishment, its time to change that.
3. You only exercise to change your body
You absolutely deserve to have a body you love living in, but there is so much more to exercise than JUST changing your body physically. Exercise is a vehicle for change in every aspect of your life. It is a way to live a longer, higher quality life. To prevent diseases. to build strength (both mentally and physically). To prove that you can do hard things. To develop confidence and self trust. To just feel good in general! It's important not to get hyper focused on only changing the outside.
4. You exercise for someone else
Exercise should be something you do for YOU, first and foremost. If you feel pressure to workout or try to change your body for someone else in your life- that is not healthy. There's a difference between people in your life supporting and encouraging your independent choice to exercise and workout, and people making you feel like you aren't enough for them if you don't.
5. You cant miss a workout
Do you feel pressured to work out even when you're sick? Do you struggle taking time off from the gym when you're on holidays? I am all for staying active while on holidays, but if you feel like you can't take a day off without losing all your progress, it might be time for a reality check. Progress isn't about perfection, its about the cumulative total of your efforts over time. My client's and I regularly take planned and unplanned days and even entire weeks off training. And guess what... We don't regress or lose all of our progress. In fact, we typically come back to our training even stronger and more motivated than we were before.
6. You exercise to earn your food
Not only do you deserve to eat, not matter what... you NEED to eat no matter what. Exercise is not a means by which you get to earn the right to fuel your body. You need energy and calories from food regardless of whether or not you've trained, for a multitude of things in your day to day life- exercise is only a small part of this. Nourishing your body is not a privilege you must earn, it is an absolute necessity!
Does this sound like you??
Firstly I want to reassure you that having this relationship with exercise is not your fault! Fitness culture can be really tricky to navigate and it can be hard to overcome the way we have been conditioned to think about exercise.
Secondly, I know that even though it isn't your fault, you can (and definitely should) still do something about it. My intention with this blog is not to make you feel badly about yourself for struggling with any of these things. Rather I want to help you realise you can do something to change it! You deserve to have a positive, healthy and rewarding relationship with exercise.
Thirdly, I would urge you to consider investing in a coach to help you navigate the process of healing your relationship with exercise. I work with my clients extensively to achieve exactly this- all while still providing them the programming, tools and knowledge they need to achieve their goals!