Eliminate the “Should’s” in your life: you’re probably thinking what the heck does this girl mean?!?
Yeah, I promise I have some reasoning behind this and a bit of an explanation. (Or maybe this post will make absolutely zero sense, who knows lol).
The amount of times I hear people say they “should” go to the gym x amount of times a week, or maybe they ate some ice cream with their friends and say afterwards that they “should” clean up their diet, or so many people feel obligated to look a certain way nowadays, and believe that they “should” lose weight to mold their body into the picture-perfect image we are surrounded by in magazines and basically all around our society. I hear friends say that they “should” stop eating so many calories, people after the holidays saying that they “should” start this diet, and they “should” start going to spinning x amount of hours a day. There are so many “should’s” in our society, so many things and so many expectations that people feel they have to meet; regardless of the fact that these expectations may bring them nothing but misery, nothing but an empty pit of sadness in them for restricting themselves of a certain food, for missing a night out with friends because they are at the gym instead because they felt they “should” have gotten in a workout. These “should’s” have the power to make or break us, these “should’s” have the power to take us away from a life of freedom surrounding food, exercise, and the ability to live a life complete with balance in all aspects.
“You have more to do than be weighed down by pretty or beautiful. You are a fiery heart and a wicked brain. Do not let your soul be defined by its shell.”
I’m guilty of catching myself falling in the traps of the “should’s” in life regarding food and exercise. “I “should” workout today, I “should” eat more greens today because of that piece of cake I had yesterday.” I still catch myself saying some of these things, and this is an area of self-growth that I need to work on. But when I take a step back from the situation, when I take a step back from what I believe I “should” do and what I, Alyssa, actually wants to do, that is when I am able to stray away from these beliefs and expectations that I hold upon myself. If I believe that I “should” go for a run one day, but then take a step back from the entire situation and realize that I actually don’t want to run, then I will not make myself run that day. If I think of what Alyssa actually wants to do that day in terms of exercise, and not what I feel like I “should” do, that is when I am able to create the happiest version of myself-when I step away from these obligations and pressures I put on myself and society puts on each and every one of us. And maybe, in fact, I ended up not wanting to do any form of physical activity that day, then I take a step back and recognize that it is okay to rest- I do not have to do anything that doesn’t bring me complete and pure joy. Because life is too short for that, life is too short to confine yourself in the space of a sweaty gym and be miserable for an hour simply because you feel that you “should” be there, not because you actually, genuinely want to, not because you are truly excited to workout that day and sweat or maybe run a few miles. Life is far, far too short to surrender to what we believe we “should” do, and not actually what we want to do.
I fell into this trap for too long of a time, and by allowing myself to fall victim to the standards I placed amongst myself, and the standards that society places among each and every one of us, I lost what happiness actually felt like, I lost the feeling of joy that I once had. These “should’s” in life have the potential to destroy our relationships with food, our bodies, and exercise. These “should’s” most definitely did that for me. These “should’s” cause us to stray away from the balance that each and every one us deserves to have in our life regarding food and exercise. And to move away from these “should’s,” it is crucial to recognize that every individual out there is different, every individual finds happiness in different ways and different lights. Maybe your friend actually enjoys running those 10 miles every morning, and she runs them because she truly wants to, not because she is molding to society’s expectations of staying fit and working out to look a certain way. But maybe you don’t enjoy running those 10 miles, don’t feel that you “should” just because your friend is! THAT is when we became unhappy, THAT is when we lose our joy in life. But maybe you enjoy yoga, and you love going a certain amount of times a week and you choose to go because it makes you happy, not because you feel that you “should” go just to get in a workout. And maybe your coworker chooses to eat a vegan diet and is always talking about all these vegan recipes and how amazing it has been for her to make the transition to a plant-free lifestyle; don’t feel that it is necessary for you to become a vegan now just because your coworker is, or because it is the new, popular diet out there. Don’t squander your beliefs around food to what your coworker is doing, to whatever the new popular diet is out there. You should NOT feel the need to go vegan because someone you know is, you should NOT feel the need to make this huge switch to your diet because it may be the new trend out there in the world. If you don’t want to give up eating dairy and meat and eggs, then don’t! Diets are very restrictive in general and if you don’t want to restrict yourself from certain food groups, then you shouldn’t. Don’t feel like you should change your diet just because your coworker did! Eat however YOU want, to, eat what foods make you feel good and what foods YOU genuinely want to.
I would love to hear your thoughts regarding this.
Do you fall victim of the “should’s” in life regarding food and exercise?
Thanks for reading, sending my love your way as always.