I do still want to drop some weight, but that's not the primary motivation for my exercise. For the first time in my adult life it's because I feel I'm worth the exercise. I'm worth taking care of. And it feels good.
This epiphany came to me recently, only in the last month or so. I don't know how or why, it just appeared. To be honest, my knees have been bothering me lately, and I don't like the way that feels. Also, I've had a lot on my plate--both emotionally and in life, period--and I felt like moving might feel good to me.
I was right. It does.
I'm approaching this movement differently than I have in the past. In the past, I would have told myself, "You need to exercise because you're overweight and you need to drop some poundage."
I would have hit my exercise routine hard, planning out rigid workouts that would often take 1-2 hours every day. I would tell myself I had to work out every day, or else I wasn't doing it right.
I would have told myself I had to push myself to exertion, really kill myself, or else the workout wasn't "worth it."
I would have quit my routine within a week.
This time around, I'm only exercising when I feel like it. (No rigid workout calendars, or keeping records of reps and weight lifted).
I'm only doing things I enjoy doing (light/dance type aerobics, light weight lifting, fun treadmill routines) and only for the amount of time I feel like doing them (usually it's been around 30 minutes). I'm also doing yoga again, and for 30 minutes. No "hot" yoga.
(Gotta love child's pose!)
I'm exercising because I care about my health, not the numbers on a scale, wherever that may be because I ditched my scale a few years ago.
This change in mindset has been life affirming. Simply by altering my thoughts and approach to exercise, I'm enjoying the act of moving my body more than I have in years.
I also thought about how fortunate I am that I'm even able to move my body and pretty much do whatever activity I want to do. I don't want to lose this privilege. I want to keep being active as I get older. I want to continue playing golf and tennis, walking my dogs, going on hikes whenever anyone suggests it. I don't want to have to hang back and not participate because my body can't move the way it used to. I don't want to miss out on life.
It's such a relief to experience these kinds of feelings in relation to movement and exercise. I've been killing myself for far too long. Being kinder and gentler to myself feels amazing. It may have taken a while, but I'm glad I've learned this lesson.