Staying Inspired and Body Positive in Fitness

Fitness for Everyone!

Fitness is Awesome and Important!

Physical activity, along with watching your diet, checking your blood glucose, and taking your medication, is a key part of diabetes management. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity, making it easier for your cells to take sugar out of the bloodstream, which keeps your blood glucose levels low. If you don’t already have a fitness plan, you can check out this infographic to learn how to start small, with 10,000 steps a day.

One of the many benefits of starting exercise is that it can help you get in shape! In addition to the natural feel good hormones that are released when working out, looking good can definitely boost your self confidence and overall well-being. It’s no surprise that many people use the prospect of losing a great amount of weight as their primary motivation to exercise.

Ditch the Fitspo Pics

Nowadays, a common method of staying motivated is connecting with the on-line community and following fitness inspiration bloggers (“fitspo” for short). A quick instagram search of “#fitspo” reveals photos of perfectly fit bodies with quotes ranging from “Don’t stop until you like what you see in the mirror” and “Would you rather be covered with sweat at the gym or clothes at the beach?” The photos of average or plus-sized individuals were sparse, or used as “before” photos to document how much weight someone had lost.

Fitspo Examples

Fitness "Fitspo" 1     Fitness "Fitspo" 2

Fitness "Fitspo" 4

 

 

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to fit into a pair of jeans or drop a dress size, it can be incredibly damaging to focus on an idealized body image. Society’s ever-increasing obsession with the lean, tan, and perfectly toned physique is contributing to a trend of body shaming. It’s not hard to see how someone would feel unmotivated or deterred from working out after being bombarded with photos that make them feel guilty or worthless.

The truth is, people are built differently, and not everyone can have chiseled abs and bulging biceps. These goals are pretty unrealistic and can lead to a lot of emotional unhappiness and distress if they are the only reasons you want to get fit. Progress takes time and you have to be in it for the long haul if you really want results!

Better Ways to Stick with Fitness

It’s much more productive (and fun) to focus on other reasons to want to get moving! Here are some things to keep in mind when starting or maintaining a fitness routine.

  • Fitness should be FUN: If you really hate running, don’t do it. Do something that makes you happy and enriches your life. Meet up with friends to go for a walk, play doubles tennis, go ice skating, play golf, etc. Check out that pilates or hot yoga class you’ve been wanting to try.
  • Don’t compare yourself to anyone else: This can be incredibly hard, especially when looking for a community of people who are also committed to fitness. Remember, everyone is on their own journey and you don’t need to beat anyone to be improve your health and happiness!
  • Set challenges and goals that don’t relate to your appearance: Instead of trying to lose a certain number of pounds, why not try to run a race or be able to get to the gym a certain number of days a week?
  • Work with your body, not against it: Love yourself as you are! You’re trying your best, and you will reach your goals. You’ll be less stressed if you embrace who you are right now and strive to be a healthier, stronger version of yourself!
  • Be Kind: Especially to yourself! Everyone has days where they feel just too tired to work out. Give yourself a break. The important thing is to try again the next day. It’s a journey, not a destination!

If you use fitness as a source of happiness and joy in your life, you will find it’s much easier to stick to!

Fitness Couple Jogging

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Sachi Patil
Sachi Patil

Sachi is a current undergraduate student and intern for the One Drop team. Type 2 diabetes runs in her family and she wants to help people make easy and fun healthy changes in their lives.