Don’t work out to punish yourself

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about working out your emotions. When I get all cranked up about something, which doesn’t happen often, I put on my headphones, angry music, and beat the ever-loving crap out of my body.

It’s a nasty habit and I’m working on it.

I am a work in progress (in so many ways really), but especially when it comes to working out from a place of love for my body, and not hate or disgust. I know I’m not alone in this struggle, but coming off of a holiday weekend, now seemed like a good time to remind everyone, myself included, to workout because it's good self-care; not self-flagellation. 

Last weekend was the kickoff for summer. I mean you wouldn’t know it given the rain and chilly temperatures, but now, as we speak, it’s officially summer. 

Also tourist season.

And summer.

I hope that you enjoyed yourself. I hope you put work to the side and family and friends to the forefront. I hope that you enjoyed community, laughter, and kinship. Perhaps you took time out, as we always did growing up, to visit the graves of those who have passed, plant flowers, and took a moment to give thanks to those who served. 

But I really hope you don’t come into the gym feeling like you need to suffer for any choices you made over the weekend. 

“Make me work hard, I ate more than I should.”


Work hard because you are rested and recovered and ready to get after it. Not because you had cheesecake. We all work out (or don’t work out) for different reasons. Motivation comes in all shapes and sizes, but whatever you do, I implore you to work out because you love your body, not because you had a double-fudge brownie.

I am guilty of feeling like I have to earn my food or a treat. Last week I ordered a drink from Starbucks and caught myself saying to a friend, “good thing I worked out today.”

No, just no. 

I don’t have kids, but I have an adorable six-year-old niece, and I don’t want to catch myself making these kinds of statements around her. (It’s bad enough, although somewhat adorable, that she picked up the phrase ‘you’re killing me smalls.’) 

Work out because you love your body and love yourself.