There's two things I do when I step on the treadmill. First, I imagine myself as a horse. (I'll explain this more in an upcoming note. It will make perfect sense once you know the details!)
Second: As I'm jogging I intermittently tell myself that I am super healthy and strong. I don't simply say the words; I also attach emotion and vision to them. I both see and feel my body as healthy and strong.
Every time I jog, I integrate the same two elements. Me as a horse (bear with me on this one) and me as super healthy and strong.
Now, let's talk truth.
The truth about my body is that it's far from perfect. I've got a bunch of physical things going on that are in direct contradiction to my "healthy and strong" story.
I mean, I've given birth to three children and let's face it, I'm no spring chicken! (I feel like that's a phrase my Grandmother Ruth would use.)
These days I've got my fair share of aches and pains, some more serious than others. Nevertheless, I stick to my story of super healthy and strong because I have discovered that when I'm on that treadmill the story in my head matters very much.
So does yours.
It would be pretty easy to step onto that treadmill and allow my mind to run through the laundry list of all the ways that I'm not feeling so great. And by experience I know that whenever I do this, I sabotage the quality of my workout right out of the gate. By focusing on what ails, I set myself up beautifully to be disappointed (in a myriad of ways.)
I used to consider my workouts as a means to getting somewhere else. There was always a future goal in mind to run faster & further, lift more weights, lose some weight, be more fit etc. etc. I've finally learned that when we show up from that place; the real story at play is "I don't get to feel good about myself until I get somewhere else, until I've accomplished something else."
In other words, what we're really saying to ourselves in the moment is, "I suck."
And this my friend is the reason why it can be so damn hard to break our patterns of self-sabotage. This is why we lose 10 pounds and gain 15 back. This is what makes us sick. This is why we overspend and overeat. This is why we keep coming face to face with some not so great feelings about ourselves.
This is also exactly how we get back on-track.
We step onto that treadmill every single time and we tell the story of healthy and strong. And every time we do, every time we strengthen our muscle of self-love, we silence the story of "I suck."
This isn't about faking it. It isn't about asking yourself to believe a lie. It's about a deliberate choice to show up from a place of real love.
When I go to the gym now, it's never with a plan to achieve anything other than to enjoy what I'm doing. And wouldn't you know, with all my little aches and pains, with no longer being a spring chicken, with some aching knees and a bad back and peeing my pants when I run, I'm in better shape that I've even been and my issues with my weight are no more.
The number one, most powerful move you can make to take back total control over the quality of your life is to stop turning to all the things you're doing as a means for measuring your self-worth.
I encourage you to see what it feels like to put the measuring stick down and instead, decide to show up to whatever you're doing with the only goal being to feel good about yourself.
You can have all your imperfections and still choose to see, feel and believe all the ways in which you're more than enough.
You can either tell a story of all the ways you're lacking or you can tell a story of how strong and powerful and lucky you are.
The choice is always yours. You are so much more powerful when you turn to yourself with love.