Stop thinking of exercise as punishment

I recently heard a popular 40-something Instagrammer talking about her workout in an IG story. She said, “I work out so I can eat.” It. Broke. My. Heart. I remember how it felt to have that mindset. It’s a cycle of food and punishment. It’s exhausting, but it also wrecks our bodies AND our brains. ⁣And it doesn’t have to be that way. ⁣
Here’s what I believe now, at 52, about health, food, and fitness.⁣⁣
FOOD IS NOT BAD. FOOD IS NOT GOOD. Food does not have a moral value, so I no longer assign it one. ⁣⁣
FOOD AFFECTS THE WAY MY BODY FEELS, not just the way my body looks. A smaller dress size is cool and I’m allowed to want to change the way I look. But waking up with more energy, being in a better mood, having more mental clarity, less sick days, and no more struggling with digestive issues or food cravings is even better. ⁣⁣
DIETS ARE DANGEROUS. I didn’t know that a popular low-carb diet would wreak havoc on my thyroid and mess up my hormones. Now I eat enough carbs to keep my hormones happy…and my thyroid is normal again. Also, all my menopausal symptoms disappeared.⁣⁣
EXERCISE IS NOT PUNISHMENT FOR EATING. I workout because I love my body, not because I hate it. And when I see it getting stronger, it makes me really happy. ⁣⁣
I believe good health is the ultimate gift I can give myself. Sure, I have some genetic coding that gives me a predisposition to one thing or another. But for the most part, I’m in charge of making my health better or worse. It’s not anyone else job. I’m the one that had to make it a priority and do something. And I’m so glad I did. Life is much better now.⁣⁣
I want to challenge you to make yourself a priority, invest in yourself and start reaching your health and wellness goals. Now is the time to do it, don’t wait. If you need help, feel free to reach out or join my next round of FASTer Way. I’m rooting for you!

Michelle Arnold

I help women over 40 get back on track with their food and fitness. Check out my Instagram for healthy lifestyle tips so you can burn more fat, get in the best shape of your life, and stay that way for good!

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The information presented (and the programs offered) by Michelle Arnold and/or Be Healthy With Michelle are for informational and educational purposes only. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases, or to be a substitute for medical or professional advice. You should always seek your doctor’s approval before beginning any fitness, diet, or exercise program.

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