Here I am once again talking without caution about how I believe 30 day fitness challenges suck. A girl who goes by BOSS usually has no problem speaking her truth. Sorry not sorry
Yes it is true I have done them all! You name the 30 day challenge & I have done it.
I have done 30 day challenges for yoga, squatting, running, rock hard abs & to make my butt beautiful all in my recent adult life. Quite honestly I have done more than I care to admit.
With each challenge beyond completing the challenge I gave no real thought to what I was actually doing & what would happen beyond finishing the challenge. Sure I was hoping for 6 pack abs, a perfect butt & to be able to be a pretzel in yoga which of course never happened.
What did happen:
- I over worked my body pushing if often past a comfortable limit
- I did not listen to the needs of my body once during each challenge
- I was driven by a desire to change my body visually
In addition if those challenges took place where money was involved they were purely consumer driven marketing idea's having little to nothing to do with wellness.
Anytime workouts are based on number of days, amount of time or reps you are disrespecting your body.
You see challenges such as this never have space for thoughts like:
- Not today I am tired
- Wow my body is sore maybe I should slow down today
- How about we change it up today to allow the rest of my body to have some loving
The only space allowed is to complete the challenge no matter what.
The problem with a 30 day challenge doing the same thing is just that. It is the same thing. Nobody needs the same movement session every day & I was famous for this way of thinking. Especially because I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) I believed this was important because at least I knew what my body could handle. FALSE & I call bullshit on my self.
Yes folks this was autopilot movement. Movement based on things that fall outside of listening to my body. Just like challenges. In addition challenges done with cost involved are purely marketing machines driven by revenue streams which could not be further from wellness.
This does not mean that I do not work out almost every day because I do. My body loves them, moves better & looks forward to our daily sessions. However today's movement sessions quite often start with a dance party to help define what they will look like. This simple fun step allows me to multi-task by offering mental support while identifying the needs of my body based on how it moves when I am dancing like a fool.
Workouts customized to support the daily needs of my body are the most respectful way & turn off the autopilot thinking. Most of us tend to follow a routine similar to this: I go to this class M-W-F, run on off days while walking this many miles 5 days a week blah blah blah.
Where is consciousness here? Sure you may be driven by self love, but are you addressing your bodies needs doing this? NO.
After dancing I customize a movement session based on my bodies physical needs. My physical inventory coupled with a clear understanding of the potential demands on my body for that day help me design a work out that satisfies the daily voice of the body I love & cherish.
Yes this may include going to a class, taking a long walk outside or maybe both. Yet I never know until dancing what the outcome will be unless I am clearly having an issue that dancing does not need to happen for me to take note.
A 30 day challenge offers exactly the opposite. It requires your body to show up, no matter what being forced to perform. Trust me I have done enough challenges to know it is a struggle to find space for body awareness in any of them. However easy to find pushing beyond your limits in all of them.
I will call bullshit if you are sitting there thinking, "Well V you have MS so your body is different." Almost every challenge I have done with folks who are of 'normal' health & watched most end up with IT band issues, extreme body soreness often causing trouble functioning, foot problems & the list continues. Yet somehow these outcomes considered a badge of honor. WTF.
I encourage you all to take a 30 Day Self Love Challenge!
- Wake up every day with a commitment to have a conversation with your body both mentally & physically
- Plan your movement sessions around your bodies expressed needs
- Show loving kindness with each movement paying attention to how they feel & what outcome they deliver
- Be nice to yourself every step of the way driven by self love & not superficial consumer driven ideals regarding visual perfection
So the next time you want to challenge yourself for 30 days how about you consider a self love challenge that includes movement in some form every day. You just may find yourself simply dancing in the streets which is not a bad look for anyone.
Oh hell yes I have done it again. Addressed a topic that I am sure many are like 'Say What Bitch?"
No need to stop your gym membership or forgo your yoga class. Instead make sure that is what your body needs that day turning off the autopilot which often defines our workouts.
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