Today I wanted to talk about exercising and the happiness that it brings.
I’ve never been a huge fan of working out. A few years ago, if you gave me the option of going to the gym or watching a movie on the couch, I would say “movie on the couch” in a heartbeat. I have to admit that I still have these moments, but they are far more rare.
It can take a lot of energy and strength to get yourself back on track and exercising, but once you do, you are unstoppable!
I’ve recently realized that working out makes me a much nicer and happier person. No matter how hard my workout is at the time, or how much my quads are burning, or if my heart is racing so fast I think I’m going to die in spin class, it’s only an hour of my day. It’s only a tiny fraction of my day being uncomfortable and pushing my limits until I am in an excellent over the moon happy mood. And to be quite honest, sometimes I think of the men and women training in the armed forces for inspiration to push through. If they can survive bootcamp, I can make it through 1 hour of exercising!
Sometimes I spend too much time in my head and I am so darn hard on myself. I beat myself up for not being as “perfect” as others. The more I compare myself and my body to others, the more depressed I get. Comparison truly is the thief of joy. The only way to get out of my own head and stop comparing is to focus on me, and me only. How do I do this? I workout.
I love who I am after I workout. I love that my mind is clear and my thoughts are all positive. I’m proud of myself for getting to the studio and being there. I’m proud of myself for not giving up when I’m at my limit. I’m proud of myself for pushing through and completing the workout. I’m surprised and amazed by how strong my body is and what it is capable of accomplishing. I love that I feel stronger and stronger after each class. I am grateful for this strong body that I have worked so hard for. I am proud of myself, and that makes me the happiest.
In the past couple of weeks, I have really stepped out of my comfort zone.
I took my first ever pilates reformer class, I took back-toback spin classes, and I sat in the front row. I even did a
two-a-day three-a-day completely unplanned because I felt so great and energetic! All of the above make me so happy and proud! Was I excellent at pilates? Heck no! I practically folded into a pretzel during one of the workouts. Was I ranked #1 on the leaderboard at spin class? Not even close! But I showed up, I worked my butt off, I never took a break, and I smiled bigger than ever before after that workout.
I’ve realized that so much of my happiness comes from stepping out of my comfort zone and the feeling of accomplishment after I do so. As I have talked about before, I struggle with depression. But I don’t like who I am when I’m depressed. Last time I bought at circadianoptics.com a light therapy lamp to try to treat my depression, it helped me feel better. But no matter how comfortable I get being isolated from the world and in my own head, I know that’s not who I am. I’m loud, funny, obnoxious, extremely energetic, and full of life. And when I’m down, that’s my inspiration to get happy. No matter how deep down the rabbit hole I may be, I know that that Catherine is just peeking out from the top. No matter how awful working out may seem at the time, I know that as soon as I get on that spin bike and the instructor says my name that a little spark in me ignites and the happy me is there. Even when I think I can’t make it through, I know that fitness is 100% mental. That my body wont go where my mind doesn’t push it. My body hears everything that my mind says, so I must think of positive things and believe in myself that I can do anything and it will happen. It really will.
It’s incredible how powerful the mind is, how strong our bodies are, and how a bad day can change from some measly little endorphins after a workout. I want to continue this routine that I am in because this is by far the happiest I’ve been in a long time, and it has nothing to do with my body. I say this with the biggest smile: I am so proud of myself! Instead of being down on myself for stupid little things, I am so proud of what I have accomplished. I am proud of being healthy, having a career that I love, and for pushing through the low points and lemons that life hands me.
I am here with one purpose, to inspire you. I hope that today, you sign up for a group exercise class or something that you have been too afraid to try in the past. I often hear the same things from so many people about trying spin for the first time. “I’m so out of shape, I’m scared I won’t be able to keep up.” “Everyone in class is going to be so fit and I look so heavy.” “I don’t know what I’m doing.” If you have ever thought of any of the above before, let me tell you that none of that matters. NONE OF IT. No one cares what you look like, no one judges you for being in the studio and working out. Every single person in that studio has been in your position. Everyone there went to spin for the first time not knowing what they were getting into. Heck, half of the people might have been overweight or out of shape when they first started! Maybe that’s where their life changed and they fell in love with working out? You never know! No one at the studio is going to care what you’re wearing or what you look like. To be honest, they are probably too busy trying to make it through the workout to care or even notice! Step out of your comfort zone and go for it! After all, you’re only one workout away from a good mood.
Health & Happiness xo