Let's take it back and first start with a little bit of my story...
I grew up a pretty active kid, I remember being outside playing a lot, riding bikes, (and my razor scooter - shout out to my 90's babies!), playing kickball, all that fun stuff. Around age 8, I got involved in sports and dance, eventually narrowing it down to just soccer because it's what I enjoyed most and was good at it. Let me note though: I hated (and still hate) running so I played goalie. Point is, I guess you can say movement was a regular part of my life.
Once I hit college and wasn't playing sports anymore, things changed. At that time, all I really thought was that running on the treadmill was the answer to staying in shape. Did I mention that I hate running? So, I'd miserably drag myself to the gym and do cardio when I could muster up the energy to do so. Ugh, the thought alone makes me bored!! My health habits didn't really exist at this time either, I lived on pop-tarts, ramen noodles, and special K. Working out was pretty much to burn off the calories I'd eaten or drank in booze and overall I had a shitty relationship with exercise, food, and my body.
Studying abroad in Australia my junior year of college was one of the most amazing experiences of my life but I also ate and drank, A LOT, for four months. I was at my heaviest weight and I remember just feeling awful about myself and uncomfortable in my own skin. And I wanted change, fast. I was still naive so I reached to all I knew, restricting calories and working out. Funny enough, I used to do Zumba videos between classes in my bedroom, LOL! Also, let me note, I do NOT believe now that restricting calories and over-exercising are the answer! I've grown a lot in my journey and I'll elaborate on that story another time. But here comes the part that changed my life...
Shortly after, I came home from my internship one day and my roommate asked me to go to a Pilates class with her. Little did I know, that Pilates class would change my life and set me on my career path. It was a Pilates Fusion class at North End Yoga with one of the best instructors I know, Jenn Phelan. The music was loud, the energy was high, and it was FUN! I woke up the next morning feeling sore in parts of my body I didn't even know existed and guess where my roommate and I went? Back to Pilates! I was hooked.
I found something I loved and I had an undeniable connection to right off the bat. It made me FEEL good, I started to see changes in my body that boosted my confidence. I enjoyed doing it and looked forward to going to classes. It really sparked my love for group fitness and movement, and it's been a part of my life since then.
Ok, ok....sooooo what does this have to do with shifting mindset?? Well now that you have a little of my back story that I'll refer to, let's chat mindset.
Why Mindset Matters:
Your body hears everything your brain says!! The conversation we have with ourselves affects how we feel physically and our perceptions. The beauty of that though? We can use that to our advantage!
Working out used to be a punishment, I would drag myself to the gym and do cardio because I felt like I had to burn off the calories. And it felt like a punishment, it was miserable! It was also really hard to be motivated, by myself, when I didn't want to be there in the first place. So, when I took my first Pilates class, had fun doing it, and was surrounded by positive energy, that sparked change! I suddenly didn't have to drag myself to class anymore because it was something I was looking forward to. My brain was telling my body that we were going to feel good during and after this class.
What Contributes To Mindset Shift:
1. Finding something YOU enjoy doing, that's fun, exciting, and pleasurable.
Everyone is different so you really have to find movement that works for YOU and YOU love the most. Because, if you feel good after a workout, you'll feel like you accomplished something and rewarded yourself. When I have a great workout, my energy shifts for the whole day!
2. Building community!
A huge part of what I love about group fitness is community. The energy that a group can create when they come together is amazing. Over the years, I have met so many cool a** people through fitness studios and made such strong connections. The people in the room with you (including the instructor) are going to be a big factor to your motivation! So, also find somewhere you feel at home and with your tribe.
3. Changing the conversation with yourself.
Like I already said, your body hears everything your mind says. The power of the conversation that we have about ourselves to ourselves is very strong, so use it wisely and positively! Over the years, this is something that I've had to work on and it's changed my relationship with not only fitness but also my overall well-being.
4. Becoming grateful.
Ever take a second to think about if you woke up tomorrow and the ability to move was taken away from you? Well, there are some people with that reality. So, becoming grateful that you have a body that's able to get out of bed and make it to the gym or workout class can change everything. How quickly the conversation can change in your mind to I "have" to workout to I "get" to workout. It becomes a privilege, and truly it is. When I find myself lost of motivation, I always come back to this reminder.
Why Movement Matters:
I'm a true believer that everything is connected....the way we move, the way we think, and the way we eat. So, if we can move more (and better), than everything else can fall into place along with it. Movement, to me, is part of living the best version of myself and shifting my mindset around it changed my life.
A little highlight of some of the incredible experiences and people over the years. <3
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