The new year is a time when people make resolutions, usually having to do with enhancing their lives in some way. As known, one of the most common New Year’s Resolution is to go to the gym and get in shape. But, what about a resolution to NOT go to the gym?
Going to the gym & getting in shape should be done to feel better about yourself, and enhance your overall well-being. Fitness can have so many positive mental & physical impacts, but a recent conversation with a friend completely baffled me & inspired me.
A couple weeks ago I was having a conversation said friend and they (I’m choosing to keep them completely anonymous) said something to me that really got me thinking. This is the gist of how the conversation went:
Friend: “My goal for 2019 is to not go to the gym at all this year”
Me: *confused* …“what?”
Friend: “Yeah, I started to realize that I was going to the gym to look good for others, not to make myself feel better.”
To be honest, I was in a state of shock. But after a while, I started thinking about how powerful and inspiring that is. “I started to realize that I was going to the gym to look good for others, not to make myself feel better.” First and foremost, I am so proud of my friend for acknowledging the fact they were doing something to impress someone else, not for themselves. Making a decision to do something that is completely opposite of the norm because you realized you are doing it for all the wrong reasons is so powerful. Seriously! Going to the gym should be about YOU! It never occurred to me to think about it this way.
After thinking about it for some time, it made me realize that I needed to take a step back and make sure I am doing things for myself, not for others. Actually, I think we all need to take a moment to stop and think about whether we are doing things for no other reason than for ourselves.
*To clarify: I am talking about “things” related to self-care. Like, working out, in this scenario.
Working out is such a great way to improve our overall physical & mental health, but we have to make sure we are doing it for all the right reasons.
Ask yourself these questions:
Are you working out to impress someone?
Are you working out to look good for someone else?
Are you working out to post a gym selfie on Instagram?
Are you working out to get in shape & feel good about yourself?
Especially with social media being so powerful, we are always cautious about what others are thinking of us. We want to post the most beautiful images of ourselves & are constantly worried about what others will think. But, at the end of the day, we do need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves, taking a mental break from looking good for others and make sure we are truly taking care of our well-being.
For me, fitness has completely changed my life in so many ways. I feel so much more confident & happy and I can’t imagine letting go of my workout routine. The last time I did that, I fell into some serious mental health issues. But, for me, I decided to get back into the gym for myself. It’s something I use for self-care & something I identify with!
While I still believe that health & fitness is important, this recent conversation has left we thinking about it in a whole different perspective. It made me really think about making sure I am making these decisions for myself, rather than for the acceptance of others.
While social acceptance is a human necessity, I do think we all as a society could start thinking more about our mental health as well. In my personal experiences, when I start taking care of myself & my mental health, social acceptance follows.
So let me ask you this…
Are you really doing things, like working out, for yourself or for others?