What do you value?

Talking abut values is an interesting conversation to have with someone

Most of us don’t give much thought to what our values in life are, in a post-religious society it’s pretty far down on the priority list.. but that’s a blog for someone more qualified to write

What I’m interested in talking about today is how your values effect your fitness/health aspirations

Because we all have a set of values, even if we don’t know what they are, and they of course effect the way we approach (or don’t approach) our training, nutrition, sleep, stress management and all the rest of it

What made me think about this was a conversation that Sam and me had last night

We were talking about her values around exercise

I think it can be difficult for some women at the minute because the cultural narrative is firmly tied to being strong

Anti-diet culture was definitely needed to remove the notion that the ideal woman is someone with minimal body fat, but it can feel that to not aspire to getting stronger and building muscle is somehow ‘anti-feminist’

The problem for Sam is, that doesn’t fit with her values when it comes to fitness really

Her main value when it comes to exercise is joy, lightness, fun, energy and, to use her word, sass

To that end, the form of exercise which perfectly aligns with all of this is dance, that’s what she wants to do

When her only way of looking after herself is calorie restriction and lifting weights she feels bogged down and like commitment can be a massive struggle

Were she able to dance regularly, she would meet all of the physical activity guidelines, she would naturally look after her food without over/under-eating and she’d be doing so while fully in line with what she actually values in life

It made me wonder how many other people find looking after themselves such a struggle because they’re trying to force themselves into a lifestyle that doesn’t align with their values

My mom wouldn’t step foot in a gym if you paid her a grand an hour to do so, but stick her in the Lake District with a flask of tea and the dog and she’ll walk up and down hills long after the rest of us have given up and gone home for a nap (this actually did happen last time Sam and me went to the Lakes with my mom and dad, we ended up taking a day off walking because we couldn't cope)

My grandad won’t go out for a walk like the doctors keep telling him to but he still plays walking football two or three days a week at 80 years old (if there's anyone over 50 reading, give it a go, it's brilliant)

I’ve always said that exercise really is for everyone

I’d love for everyone to get hyped up for a deadlift PR but that just isn’t how the world works

When your form of exercise is aligned with what you value though, the struggle falls away instantly

If exercise feels like a struggle to you, ask yourself this

What do I actually value?

Self-improvement?

Strength?

Fitness?

Variety?

Joy?

Competition?

Aggression?

Fun?

Follow that thread until you find your answer and your life will improve beyond measure




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