Is this what self-love is?
Ohhh my gosh, okay so…I’m halfway through the Beginners Foundation Program at Bedrock CrossFit and y’all let me tell you: I’m obsessed!! For so many reasons!! And I’ve learned so many things about my body, about strength, and most importantly, mindset. And nutrition from working with Jenna of Simply Nurtured for the past few weeks as well!
In the past two weeks, I’ve learned a lot about proper form, different exercises, how to protect my body to keep from getting injured, what foods don’t work for me, portion control, and so much more. But the two most important takeaways I’ve found so far, might not be the most obvious. I guess that’s the emo parts of me that like to dig deeper emotionally into things.
Lesson Number One
This might sound obvious, and on so many levels I already “knew” it. That being said, it’s one thing to know something is true, say it out loud from time to time and believe it, but it’s an entirely different thing to put it into practice. And I think in doing so, only then can you really know something is true…you know?
Fitness is a mindset. It’s more about training the mind than the body.
I have a workout shirt that says “mind over matter.” I’ve worn it a ton of times during various workouts and I bought it because I believe it’s true (ha ha ironically wearing it in the photo above). But, again, it’s one thing to “believe” something. I’ve put the mind over matter thing into practice several times during a yoga class, a spin class, running a race, but with CrossFit, it’s a completely different animal and I think that’s why I’ve quickly fallen in love with it.
So, the other day we were learning an exercise on the bar. I remember when the coach explained and then demonstrated what we’d be doing. I tried to maintain a cool, calm, and collected facial expression while internally screaming “SHIT I have no upper body strength, there’s NO WAY I’m gonna be able to do that. He made it look so easy. There’s NO WAY, NO WAY SHIT SHI-” When came time for me to try, lo and behold I COULD do it! With a few tries and some further correction of form, obviously not nearly as well as he could, but I could do it. Once I understood the different parts of my body that needed to turn on in order to flow through the movement and that it actually had little to do with my upper body strength, my mindset shifted completely. I knew that with practice, I was fully capable of doing exactly what he demonstrated. It would just take time.
As one of my favourite yoga instructors likes to say “everyone has to do a pose for the first time at some point.” This is true for anything. We have to have a first time trying it, even if we may think we’re flailing about on the bar completely wrong…with proper instruction, encouragement, and training your body in the movement, we can get it.
This is just one example of over the past 2 weeks where I’ve been faced with a challenge during this program and in facing that challenge put into practice a mindset shift, rather than continuing to beat myself up internally or just giving up before I even tried it. The encouragement I’ve gotten at Bedrock to push my mindset has made me even more stoked about choosing this gym, and even more proud to grow here. The coaches pay such close attention to what you’re capable of, so even when you think you can’t, they’ll push you to (safely) challenge that thought.
The thing is, this mindset, this inner strength doesn’t just apply to fitness. It carries over into everyday life. That the strength that I’ve found in doing CrossFit has bled into my work, my relationships, and most importantly, my mental health. In living every day with anxiety and depression, I’ve always found fitness to help immensely. I find that when I don’t move in some way almost every day, even if it’s just walking the dogs, either one can flair up pretty bad. I’ve tried other workouts, and I’m not saying CrossFit is for everyone, or that it’s the be all end all to curing mental health…there is no cure. BUT in saying that, I’m finding a huge positive impact this mental strength training has had on my mental health. And I’m freaking grateful. You have to find what works for you, and CrossFit may not be it. But finding something that encourages that mental shift and that strength that can spill over into your mental health is key to thriving with mental illness.
Lesson Number Two
Okay so, this again, might sound obvious to some, but hey, maybe not! This path with nutrition and fitness has made me realize some aspects of what self-love really means.
Self-love is choosing to pay attention to what nurtures you rather than what may be “easier.”
In working with Simply Nurtured, and choosing to cut out the things that make me feel shitty physically, I thought it would be a lot harder than it has been (again more about that mindset shift). For me (I have to emphasize FOR ME), dairy and bread don’t make me feel good. Like really don’t make me feel good. I’ve gone Paleo before, but have wavered a ton over the past few years. In starting these programs and having had a bit too much Holiday eating with way too many cookies and bread-filled meals, I decided to give it another go. At first, I thought it would be inconvenient or frustrating, even though I’d done it pretty successfully before and I’m only cooking for one! But here’s what I found: in choosing to put things in my body that nurture rather than, well, make me feel like shit, I actually don’t even have to think twice about these decisions.
I literally don’t want to feel shitty, (lol because that sounds so obvious). Even though those foods taste great and are fun to eat from time to time, day to day, I don’t want them. It’s not even a “weight-loss mindset”, I literally don’t want to put things in my body that cause it to not feel good. To me, coming to that realization made me realize one of the foundational things about self-love. When we choose to nurture rather than to take the quicker or easier route (say, fast-food on the way home after a busy day), we say ‘yes’ to loving ourselves and ‘no’ to what doesn’t foster love and positivity within us. It’s in these small choices that we shift our mindset from negative self-beliefs, or just simply not taking care of ourselves, to not only nurturing our bodies, but our minds as well.
This spills over into everything too. Not just food, but in fitness (in choosing to exercise and find the things that work for us), in work, in relationships (getting rid of toxic ones), in how we spend our time, all the way down to our attitudes about literally everything. Just Marie Kondo the shit out of everything!!
So I’m halfway through and loving every minute of it. And the part that I was most excited about? The community aspect? Well that’s turning out to be even better than I thought. It’s not like your average fitness “classes” where people are in there to get in, get the workout done, and GTFO. People introduce themselves, ask questions, get to know you, talk to you about more than just CrossFit. They know each other’s kids, hang out on the weekends, support one another’s goals, invite you to things. The people there want to be there for more than just a “good workout.” And really, I think it all comes down to a mindset thing. Everybody is choosing to love themselves a little more everyday and that love spills out into this badass community full of some of the kindest people I’ve ever met! I can honestly say, I’m proud to be a part of something so epic.
Here’s to week 3! Follow along on my instagram for daily updates!