What if your workout wasn’t just a workout, what if it was a work-in?
The fitness industry loves to make you feel insecure, uneasy about your body, and talks way to much about calories. But what if we started to approach things differently…?
What if your workout kept the same promised results but was less focused on reminding you “how many calories you are shredding” and more on how incredibly amazing it is that your body is showing up for you!
Far too often I go to a class, I work my little tush off, I feel great and then the teacher or instructor starts talking about burning calories and asks someone with a tracker how much they have burned, like it’s some kind of gold medal to be won. Not everything you do in a class or workout can be measured on your fitness tracker friends, especially the stuff that really matters.
It doesn’t measure the work-in. The times you looked in the mirror and said “damn look at me go,” the times that your were amazed at what your body was capable of, and it sure as hell doesn’t measure HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF, you know, the thing that actually matters.
It’s even seeped into the yoga community which should not be focused on how much you burned and should be focused on how you feel. Nothing strips the sanctity of any yoga class quicker than an instructor or community more focused on the burn than the actual point of yoga.
Yes, results are important. I get it, trust me. I lost over 50lbs 4 years ago, I’m back up 20lbs and working them off, and guess what… the only thing I track is my food to make sure I EAT ENOUGH. Yes, you read that right. Enough. I track calories only to ensure that I fuel my body correctly… so that it can continue to show up for me and support me in whatever I decide to do.
I trust that when I go to a class or workout I’m burning and torching and whatever other trendy fitness language you want to use. I don’t need to focus on it when I am there because I trust that it will happen. Rather, I think about how I feel, I show so much love to my physical body for just being there, for just showing up. And then… I hype myself up all damn class. I wink at myself, I say to myself “dayum girl you’re so strong and killing it,” I tell myself how grateful I am to have a body that shows up for me even when it’s not where I want it to be yet.
See when you workout, by nature you’re going to burn more than if you sat at home, it’s a given… You are going to burn calories and sweat and do all of the things. So, imagine if you trusted that that would happen and you then focused your energy on working on the relationship with yourself and your body while you worked out… What if you worked in while you worked out rather than obsessed over a something that doesn’t really mean anything, like calories.
It doesn’t matter if you torched 800 calories in a class and then berate the person staring back at you in the mirror just a few hours later. If you do not appreciate yourself and your body for where it is now, you will never be okay with it. Not even At your goal. Trust me I know.
I’m not shaming you if you are a calorie counter, if you track your fitness goals… I’m just offering the reminder that there are other non numerical things to consider that offer just as much, if not more, value in the long run to your health and well-being, and I don’t just mean the physical.. it impacts your mental and emotional wellbeing just as much.
This is why teaching sets me on fire. It ignites a flame in me. It fires me up. You will never come to any of my classes and hear me talking about burning calories or any similar language. Rather, you’ll hear me say things like “Feel that shaking?! That is your body getting rid of what no longer severs you! What are you holding onto tonight that doesn’t serve you, what do you want to leave here?” I want you to turn in, to do the work not just physically. I will challenge you every single time to show up and appreciate where you are in that moment.
It’s a work-in. I’ll kick your ass every time, I promise you you’ll feel and get all the physical benefits of the workout or yoga class. However, your class, your time, it’s for you. I would be doing you such a disservice if I only cared about how many calories you burned instead of you feel about yourself and how you created space and a little love for yourself in the time you carved out of your very busy day to focus on you.
You are not one dimensional, reduced down to a worth based calories in and calories out. No, you are so much more, and the time you take for your wellbeing, for your self care should reflect that.
We need to make the shift, it’s not just a workout, it also needs to be a work-in.