#HoBFitness: Permission

Wednesday 3 February 2016 by

Workout, Gym, Health, Fitness

Healthy eating and fitness are hardly the easiest things to do. It takes determination and motivation and a lot of willpower. But here’s the thing: you’re allowed to not bother some days.

I have hang ups about my body – there’s a lot I’d like to change – and I have a sweet tooth so bad that I’d happily eat an entire red velvet cake for breakfast every day. I’m trying to tone up and keep healthy, but some days I just stay in my pyjamas and trawl Twitter all day. The key lesson I’ve learnt through all of this: give yourself permission.

Permission is a multitude of things. It’s permission to give yourself a day off, and permission to have dessert. Permission is wanting to change your body sometimes but also being happy with parts of your body.

I have a few issues with all the fitness inspiration Instagram accounts and YouTube channels, and the influx of perfectly shaped bodies in perfectly balanced yoga poses drinking nothing but coconut water and eating chia seeds is so misleading it can be really destructive. So I’m asking you to ignore those and concentrate on yourself.

Give yourself permission to get red faced and sweaty when you work out – not everyone glows and keeps a perfect hairstyle (in fact, it’s impossible for nearly everyone) – and give yourself permission to not both with a workout sometimes. You don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn, and you don’t have to look perfect at all times. Give yourself permission to get it wrong, to avoid it.

But as long as you’re doing that, give yourself permission to work hard. Push yourself further and faster and harder. Allow yourself to enjoy it and embrace it. There is a good reason that healthy eating and fitness is so attractive – but that’s not the only part. The rush of endorphins and nutrition from a good diet and healthy regime reduces the risks of mental health and long term disease and all sorts… and the more you do it, the easier it gets to motivate yourself and the more enjoyable it becomes.

There is a lot to give yourself permission for, and I’m not under any illusion about how easy it is. If you have hang ups about yourself and your lifestyle, it takes a lot to step away from those and accept them without allowing them to control your habits. But in order to move forward from them, you have to be more accepting. It sounds so corny, but stop worrying about what you look like, or what people think of you (they’re going to think it anyway), and start enjoying being yourself. Work out as much as you like, and stop worrying about what you look like when you do. No one looks perfect. Have that second helping, or say yes to dessert, because chances are you don’t do that every day, and so it’s okay to do it every now and then.

Give yourself permission, and you’ll go a lot further.

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