At Body Beyond Birth, we developed our Pilates course online because we knew that working towards a fitness goal can be a tough gig. We often feel as though there is a mountain ahead of us, looming large. But you don’t have to feel like facing your personal fitness challenge is a big, scary task.
Let’s get you mentally prepared to take on the new you and the fitness challenge that is great health with some special inspiration tips to help you stay the course in 2018
Define what fitness is for you
There is always a lot of pressure to make fitness be about Instagram worthy stories and pleasing external forces. But fitness is about knowing your body and having an expectation that it will support you through what you want to do.
Think about fitness in terms of unwanted outcomes as well as the ones you’d like to see in your future. We find the most successful members of our Pilates course online and in Becky’s studio in Sydney have a strong sense of what healthy means to them.
For example, you might be puffed after chasing after the kids. This might leave you feeling stressed and doubtful of your ability to catch them if they forget their road sense. Terrifying stuff, right? That is an unwanted outcome that might help you to push through a tough workout or a day where motivation is low.
Maybe your unwanted outcome is to do with inviting family patterns of ill-health such as injuries and disease. It could be that you are sick of knee twinges, back problems and worrying about your body’s ability to give you a pain free week.
Perhaps it’s about missing out on things your kids and partner like to do such as bicycle rides or heading to the beach. It could be that you have dreams of bushwalking, running a marathon or being able to minimise stress through exercise.
Taking time to sit down and write out what you’d like to change and enjoy in the future can really help define what your version of fitness is.
Avoid the kilos and the dress size measurements. Think instead of the outcomes of your fitness journey and the things you look forward to doing once your version of good health is reached.
Face the mirror
One of the most common things we see with women that have lost their connection with their version of health is that mirrors terrify them. Women and girls of all ages are taught from a young age to be concerned, often overly so, with appearance. We hide away from the mirrors when we don’t like the aging process, the shape of our body and the changes within.
But all women are beautiful. We don’t all look the same and that’s a huge bonus. No matter the height, weight or build we are, beauty comes from many places. Our minds, our generous spirits, our quick wit and yes, our good looks and body.
What we fail to realise is that good looks come in a variety of different forms.
You don’t have to be a size 8 to be beautiful. You simply need to be happy with yourself. One of the greatest joys is being healthy. When we’re healthy, we have energy. We reduce our susceptibility to stress and feel more resilient in the face of adversity.
Look at yourself. Study your features. See the love and kindness your children see. Relish in the humour and friendship your friends adore. Face the handsome, intelligent and wonderful face your partner seeks out in the difficult times.
Scan over the stretchmarks from child carrying or the lines of age and sun. Look for the laughter behind your smile. Admire those strong hands that carry babies through to childhood and beyond. Be kind to your body because as Tim Minchin says, it is the only one you have.
You may have seen the testimonials for our Pilates course online feature real photos of women without the gloss and the glamour together with a story. It’s because we believe that the story and the motivation is individual as you are.
Know your fitness level
Another trap on the road to fitness is assuming that the process is one size fits all. Our bodies change over our lifetimes. We are individual. Setting a goal or too hard a bar to reach will influence your confidence and potentially put you at risk of injury.
Body Beyond Birth encourages a baseline test with every level. Knowing your fitness level helps you to chart your progress and set realistic goals when you attempt our Pilates course online.
Changing a habit takes about 66 days. That applies to changing portion size, the sorts of things we reach for when we want to snack right through to making that space for your workout during the day. Being realistic about what you can and can’t achieve helps to build on this.
Track what you do instead of the TO DO list
If you can see you are moving forward and making progress quicker, it will help you to drive yourself onto bigger and better challenges. That’s why a DONE list is such a magical tool of inspiration.
TO DO lists help us categorise what we need to achieve. But a DONE list shows us how much we have completed. For a busy mother, it’s important to take a moment to take stock. We do so much invisible work. The housework, the trips for school pickups, the shopping, reading bed time stories, bathing, yard work, work in general- you name it, we have an awful lot to do and only a small window of reflection to admire what we’ve done.
But what would it be like for you to use a DONE list to inspire movement forward? Set up a chart just like the kids have for their chores and homework. If you swap the naughty snack for the sensible one, use a sticker. If you do that extra walk or have a bicycle ride with the kids, add that too. From your 20-minute workouts to the incidental exercise, play time exercise and good food choices, there is a lot to smile about.
So, stop, take stock and let what you have DONE drive you forward instead of being caught up in what TO DO!
Find your version of fun with our Pilates course online
Not everyone enjoys exercise. We know that. Some of us adore sports and adventuring, others prefer curling up with a good book. It’s a matter of personal taste. But if you’ve always thought sports was the place where you were a fish out of water and exercise was a weak spot, of course you’ll find it difficult to motivate yourself.
That’s why choosing what works for you and creating an atmosphere of fun is important.
If you must bribe yourself with staring at a beautiful view to get your exercise done, do it. If you have to psych yourself up, work out what is your version of putting on your game face and allow yourself the luxury. Look for places where exercise might hide as fun such as walking the pets or playing with the kids. You can join the local sports group or offer to do the letterbox drops for news from your kid’s school.
Or you can do something like picking up rubbish in the local area and make this your weekly long walk. Turn on the radio and dance in the living room with the curtains shut. Check out a standing desk and make the investment if you want.
Whatever your version of getting up and moving is, do it. Look for your version of comfortable and fun in the options you have available.
Your fitness journey, your way
Body Beyond Birth is a Pilates course online with a bunch of yoga exercises, incidental exercise ideas, challenges and a full library of recipes and good eating ideas. It’s also got 3 levels of post birth exercise and a dedicated pregnancy fitness program. We cover all the bases and put you in the driver’s seat for your fitness journey.
The reason why we make choice a part of the process is that is what works. Your fitness journey, the motivations for taking it, and the ideas and exercises that continue to inspire you are unique. You’re special and that’s why we’ve created your fitness journey with you in mind.