It’s difficult to stay motivated ALL the time. For me, I always got super motivated to improve myself whenever a boy or someone would hurt my feelings. There was one time when things were actually going well, no drama, no doubt in self-worth, all good vibes, and I ACTUALLY remember saying out loud, “I wish a boy would be mean to me again," solely for the motivation it gave me. LOL But it was because my past motivation for working out was to be able to say, “How do you like me now!?” *cue Toby Keith song* Sometimes a good workout does help to reboot your self confidence after a dumb boy tries to question your worth, BUT there are plenty of other reasons to workout and we have to remind ourselves of those.
1. ENDORPHINS, THE REAL MVP
You should workout because it makes you feel good AFTER. I know what you are thinking. “Umm, running three miles does not make me feel good, it makes me feel like death.” Yeah, me too, sister. That’s why “working out” doesn’t have to be a certain activity. Push yourself just as much as your body can take and stay consistent with it. Then you can steadily increase your endurance. But as you find your “happy place” in the gym, you will begin pumping endorphins, chemicals in the brain, that give you allllll the good vibes. Endorphins tell your brain that the pain isn’t that bad and that you should actually feel ~happy~ about life and living. What a great thing God created. It counters depression and sedates pain. It gives you feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Yes, just by getting your heart rate up and your blood pumping! Give me alllll the endorphins PUHLEASE.
2. It’s Like Cheap Therapy
It’s a healthy solution to when you’re angry, anxious, or feeling any other negative emotion. It’s hard NOT to be stressed in a culture that tells us to do more, produce more, work harder, and win more. We are used to lots of demands and little grace, so it’s no surprise that over half our nation's population is STRESSED OUT.¹ Working out can be a great outlet from the pressures of the outside world and your corporate job. Take time to do something for yourself that is beneficial, instead of detrimental, to your health. Get on that treadmill and literally RUN away from your worries. Listen to a calming podcast or your favorite songs, focus on your breathing, and take your mind somewhere else for the time that you are within the four walls of the gym (or outside, both are great). You will leave feeling relaxed and refreshed. every. dang. time.
3. Strength= Increases, Waist Line= Decreases
You don’t have to go to the gym long to start seeing results, but once you stop those results quickly fade away just as fast. So this is where it is important to stay *consistent*. As you slowly push yourself further in the gym, whether it be cardio, weight lifting, abs, etc., you will strengthen your muscles and your endurance will increase. Even if it’s slow progress, guess what? IT’S PROGRESS. And progress is gooooood. When your bodily strength increases, it tends to make you feel like a kick a$$ woman which then increases your mind positivity strength. Muscles are great, and another thing that makes every girl’s heart skip a beat is that moment when you look in the mirror and see that skinny waist. Ooo baby! Down a few sizes? Yeah, you did that! And you CAN do that! It’s all about commitment to change. Let me say this though, there is no *perfect* body. All bodies are unique and beautiful and require different areas of focus. BUT when we drop a few sizes that usually means we’re doing something right, working towards a healthier body by getting moving and feeding it the right things, and feeling more comfortable and more confident in our own skin. Which leads me to my next point...
Every girl wants it, every girl needs it. Working out and seeing results, or HECK even working out and NOT seeing results, can give you a boost in confidence. (That’s why lots of girls just selfie it up at the gym. lol) But seriously- if you take the time to work on yourself and put in the effort to work towards a goal, you are telling yourself, “Slowly but surely, I can do this. I will make things happen.” When you feel that sweat trickling, that blood pumping, once you feel comfortable and familiar with your workout routine, confidence will radiate through you naturally. And it feels good to be confident, in your abilities and your body.
5. God Wants You to Take Care of the Temple
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
You’ve probably heard this verse before. But it’s still true. God gave you your body for a reason, He specifically and uniquely knit it together to fulfill all the purpose God laid out for you. (Psalm 139:13) He wants you to take care of it. Yes, He loves you and cares more about your heart, but He cares about all of you and your overall health. Just like we can make bad choices spiritually, we can make bad choices physically, and He cares about those too. He wants to warn us away from gluttony and laziness. (Proverbs 23:19-21) Gluttony is a temporary crutch to fill a need of comfort that only the Savior can satisfy. God wants us to be diligent with our time, active, and moving. (Proverbs 12:24) I do want to address the fine line between taking care of the temple/body God gave us and worshipping it. We should never become too focused on ourselves and obsessed with our image. Instead we should work to maintain a healthy balance between maintaining our health so that we can give more time and attention to others. Scripture makes it clear that God cares about both, but our main concern should always be to love God and love others.