Yoga goddess Rachel Brathen, one of my inspirations, both for fitness, yoga and life!
I am currently creating a new Pinterest board.
You may say: what's new about that? You have like eight million of those things. You're right (and thanks for following me on Pinterest!). But this time it's different.
I've been looking into fitness for a long time and kind of wanted to get more serious about it but at the same time not feeling up to it. I'm a champion excuse-maker: it's cold, it's raining, the gym costs too much, I don't have time, I'm sad, I'm depressed, I already like how I look, I eat healthy so I don't need to and so on and so forth. But now it's time to stop making excuses.
I got my first gym membership during my first year of university, remembering that my therapist once told me that exercise can help get rid of panic attacks. And how right she was. I also felt less depression and apathy, had more energy and my skin got clearer. I loved the gym: I tried to fit in three sessions a week, no matter what else happened, and it made me feel great. When I finished uni and moved from Florence back home to Stockholm, I discovered running, thanks to David. He's a devoted runner and thinks everyone should run. I was totally against it at first - running has always bored the heck out of me - but I ended up doing it for a while, right until we moved to London. Here, my best excuse was a pretty valid one: I don't have any running shoes (hello, Lillywhites, here I come on payday!).
Here, I got back in touch with yoga, which is now my obsession and addiction. I absolutely love yoga. It's such an amazing, holistic way of life that goes hand in hand with my vegan diet and lifestyle. But I feel that in order to maximize my power as a yogini and be able to do challenging poses, I must get stronger from within, inside and out.
While I'm happy to spend my cash on yoga classes at the lovely Embody Wellness studio, the rest of my workouts are carried out at home - and that's where part of the problem is. Almost every time, I either space out and think about my dinner, my wardrobe and other life-altering issues and just go through the motions, or listen to an annoying inner voice whining about how hard it is. "This is so hard, can I stop now? Come on, it's Friday, it's almost the weekend, can I please just do twenty and not forty push-ups today? I'm too sad, I got another rejection letter from a job I really really wanted. I'll start over on Monday. I'll go for it and be strong and tough. Yeah, Monday. Now, where's that bag of salt and vinegar crisps?".
This is the downside to working out at home: there's no psychotic Lycra-bunny that screams bloody murder at you if you try to slack off. At home, you can just slump into Child's Pose and turn on How I Met Your Mother whenever you feel like that Friday feeling's got the best of you.
But enough is enough.
Starting hmmm, tomorrow, it's Monday every day (or, you know, six days a week because the body needs one day to take in all your hard work). Every morning is that "yeah, let's go!" Monday morning. This week I'll get my hands on those running shoes - no excuses. And I'll actually use them this time.
I've been looking at Tone It Up for a while now and it seems pretty awesome. Now that I've read a great review of it on Logical Harmony, one of my favourite vegan blogs, I just might try it. Those two bikini babes sure seem like they know their stuff. And a whole community of people cheering you on? Yes, please!
You might say: but what about your "let's love ourselves and stop focusing on our looks" philosophy? Shouldn't we be concentrating on feeling good on the inside instead of obsessing over our looks?
You're so right. But for me, working out is so much more than just a toned body. Aside from the fact that I don't want to lose any weight whatsoever, my main reason for getting fit is to feel stronger.
Sure, I have a pic of Kate Beckinsale in a bikini on my Pinterest board. But that's just the cherry on the cake. Fitspiration - I can't stand Thinspiration but am a huge fan of Fitspo - is just the glittering, shimmering distraction I need to motivate myself to get the workout I need to feel good all the time. To have more energy. To be healthier. To live longer. To say goodbye to depression and anxiety attacks forever. To reduce my risk of cancer and other illnesses. To complement my vegan lifestyle. To be stronger, rather than skinnier.
I've spoken out about unhealthy beauty ideals and my own eating disorder - but I think a strong and healthy approach to working out could actually help heal that. I think everyone should be encouraged to take care of their health. It's important. Almost anyone could be skinny with the wrong tools, such as crash diets that damage your skin, hair, teeth and internal organs, but that's as far from my goal as you can get. I don't even really have a goal - I just want a more dedicated and mindful workout in my life. Knowing that I'm sweating to keep my body strong and fit and my mind clear and focused, rather than to be able to zip up the jeans I wore in high school, makes all the difference.
My main goal with my new kick-ass fitness plan? Ultimately to make progress in yoga. I want to be able to to do a headstand - but that takes strong arms. Handstand? Yup, strong arms again - and strong abs. One-legged wheel pose? Don't even get me started! Yoga is not for wimps, ladies and gentlemen. It's a tough, challenging path, and I'm afraid you can't slump your way down that path with a bag of crisps in your hand. I'd love to be a yoga teacher one day in my free time. But there's still a long way to go - and I'm ready to start!
I'm not saying I want to turn into a fitness freak - I'm not giving up my cupcakes or my wine any time soon and Saturday mornings are made for vegan dark chocolate and banana pancakes in bed at 10 a.m, not for running! But there's something about spring and summer that makes me feel more motivated to get stronger, now. And now that I've published this post, there are no excuses!
One more thing. Does this give me a reason to go crazy in Sweaty Betty now?
Pictures from Pinterest