Strong is Beautiful: What's Your Motivation?

We’ve all got our different reasons for working out, but chances are that somewhere in the beginning (or maybe even right now), your motivation might have included a few or all of the reasons listed below:

because you want to lose weight

to get “toned”

you want your clothes to fit better

to be “healthier” 

to look better

to keep up with your kids 

to look good in that swimsuit on vacation

If any of these are what you used to get up off the couch and get moving, I’ve got no issue with that. It’s human nature to want to look good and to feel attractive. 

What I do take issue with are the messages that exist out there telling

women that the only way they can find value in themselves is based on whether they look a certain way, whether they’re thin enough, or fit enough, or strong enough and using that as motivation instead.

Fitness is supposed to be about what you’re capable of, not necessarily about the way you look, even though that definitely might be an added perk. I’m talking about primary benefits versus secondary. Your primary motivation should be improving your fitness level and health, your secondary motivation might be to build up those buns of steel.

For Example:

You’re interested in Boxing because it promotes that strong fit body type you’ve always dreamed of – Laila Ali Watch Out!!

You take a few trainings and feel like a weak and uncoordinated, as your muscles shake with exhaustion and you have to take several breaks during the workout just to get through. The burning…OH THE BURNING! But you keep going and you get better, stronger! The breaks get fewer and further between and before you know it you’ve become a boxing superstar! You got this!

You fall in love with Boxing because your balance improves, your becoming stronger and you feel amazing . Your muscles still shake and burn of course, but you’ve come to recognize that burning and shaking as a good sign and not a reason for you to want to quit. You can hold a plank for THREE minutes without breaking, you’ve got shoulder muscles for pity’s sake! 

You feel strong, flexible and confident, even the way you walk and sit has improved, your posture and presence has entirely changed for the better.

Your jeans fit better. These things are both real bonuses we can all admit, but you keep coming back because deep down you want to see if you can hold that plank for 4 minutes eventually, and because inside and out, you really like to Box!

Yes??

As women we don’t have to necessarily idealize one body type over another or use some version of an unattainable or unrealistic standard as our main motivation to work out.  

Fitness enthusiasts will often mention this feeling that they get inside when they’re in the middle of a workout, they’ll talk about hitting new PR’s and gaining confidence and strength in their skills and abilities. This is what pushes them to keep going, to show up every single day. It’s why they’re willing to put in the time and the reps, because their bodies CAN DO it and that’s a high worth chasing!  

Strong is Beautiful.

You only have one body. It’s up to you to take care of it. Nobody else gets to tell you what looks good, what feels good, and what makes YOU feel happy. It’s just you and your body, in it together for the long haul.

Treat her right and she’ll return the favor. 

Take pride in your strength, take pride in what your body is capable of! Next time you’re at the gym look around you and I bet you’ll find plenty examples of women who don’t necessarily fit into any sort of mold and are still there working up a sweat anyway. 

No two bodies are built the same and not everyone has the same goals or enjoys the same type of workouts or results. The faster we can embrace our own personal goals and throw the comparisons and the pressure to look and feel a certain way out the window, the better off we’ll all be. 

There is no standard for beauty or fitness, there’s only you and your personal goals. Do what makes you happy and helps you to feel confident and strong on your own terms. 

 

 

 

 

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