What’s This Fitness Challenge About?
I have never felt like fitness challenges were for me. As far as fitness goes, I’ve always felt like I’ve been on the outside looking in. Maybe it goes back to being made fun of as a kid for being bad at sports. I was always the last to be picked for kickball, red rover, you name it. And it didn’t help that when I asked those who were so obviously fit how they got to where they were, they shrugged it off and said, “I just love working out.” I couldn’t relate and felt that perhaps I had to have some kind of natural love for it, or some natural affinity toward athleticism to really take part in the fitness world.
Years of a bad and unhealthy relationship with my body and food only furthered my insecurities. I had only hatred for my body, and food and fitness were only tools for punishing my body into thinness.
Over the years I’ve worked on these unhealthy thought processes, but nothing has woken me up as much as getting my diagnoses of endometriosis has. I felt so saddened upon finding out I had been battling this disease for most of my life, and yet had ignored a lot of the pain. I thought I was being a baby, that I was overreacting. And therefore ignored my body’s needs.
But here is the thing: when you have been laying in bed with intense pain for weeks post surgery, are facing chronic, incurable, and progressive illness, and are finding out your body won’t be able to do some of the normal things it was meant to (i.e. make a baby), you start appreciating so much more what your body can do, what is has done for you and you start wanting to take care of it better.
Which is why I’ve become very motivated to do whatever I can to love myself better. If I need rest, I want to give it to myself. If I am hungry I want to feed myself, and well. And since I struggle with chronic anxiety I want to commit to the very best stress killer, fitness, as a new part of my daily life.
Love Yourself & Do it for the Right Reasons
This fitness challenge is not about being able to fit into a particular jean size. It’s not about looking good in a bikini by April. It’s not about “killing laziness” or “kicking your butt into gear.” I’m so over that whole ideology of hating yourself into change. And I’m so over prioritizing outward appearance and acceptance from others over my own physical and mental health.
This fitness challenge is just an invitation to join me on a journey of loving ourselves more. Of prioritizing ourselves more. Of taking a stand for what matters (like being healthy and whole) and rejecting what doesn’t (like looking some particular way in an attempt to avoid criticism or garner praise).
How it Works
Just get active once per day, 5 Days/week for the month of January. That’s it! Do what you can. Do what works. If that means going on a short walk around the block after dinner, then do that! If it means taking 5 minutes to stretch before bed, then do it! If it’s starting your marathon training, go for it. Whatever it looks like for your current level of fitness is exactly what you should do.
All are Welcome Here
No one is excluded here. Whether you never practice daily fitness or whether you’re a super seasoned athlete. There is no specific standard you are held to. The only standard is loving yourself and loving your body. Move it, for its sake. It wants to move, so give it that gift.
And since this is a challenge for everyone from every walk of life, there is no comparison game to play. This is a space for us to cheer each other on! Let’s be kind and be life-giving to ourselves and each other!
Specifics of My Fitness Plan this Month
For me personally, I’m going to be heavily relying on two things (which I featured in my New Years resolutions post) to help me do this fitness challenge right. The first is Cameron Diaz’s book, The Body Book and the second is Kayla Itsines iPhone app, Sweat! While the first is the best foundation to lay for loving yourself and your body well, the second is an amazingly easy and approachable way to get moving right in your own home.
Get Social and Win (literally)!
Lastly, I’m going to be sharing on my Instagram stories what I’m up to fitness-wise, and I want to hear what you’re doing too! Whether you’re going on a walk, doing a new fitness class, or dancing with your loved one, I want to see how you’re loving your body for this fitness challenge! Simply follow me (if you don’t already) and tag me on your Instagram posts showing what you’re doing for this fitness challenge. I’ll not only cheer you on, but I’ll enter your name into a drawing for a copy of Cameron Diaz’s book, The Body Book. This book has seriously changed my life and I want to share it with you just because.
P.S. This isn’t a sponsored post or challenge! I’m just passionate about this stuff! I hope you too can find the joy in loving your body better!
Are you ready for Adventures of Jess 2018 Fitness Challenge??? It starts now!
-Sports Bra (here) — Onzie
-Cardigan (here) — Barefoot Dreams
-Sweatpants (here) — Zella