The secret to making exercise a daily habit is by incorporating more fun activities into your daily routine.
When I first joined the program, Live More Weigh Less (LMWL), one of the first things that was brought to my attention was that I had forgotten how to have fun. All my “Fun” revolved around eating. Outside of food, I had forgotten how to celebrate life in other ways. All of my workouts were punishing and brutal and felt like “work” as I thought they should. I never moved my body in ways that were just for fun. I would get up and do a “workout” but then outside of that I’d be pretty sedentary the rest of the day. Ironically, I now realize if I had just incorporated more fun activities into my days then I might not have needed the grueling workouts at all. Putting more fun into our lives can be an easy way to sneak in exercise without even realizing it.
Because my workouts were punishing and my life was dull, I would overeat because food was my only source of entertainment and joy. I used food to take up the space of the fun that I wasn’t having.
As I worked through the LMWL program I sought out more fun and I worked hard to come up with ideas for ways that I could have fun. But I soon realized that there were 2 main issues keeping overweight people like myself from having more fun and they had nothing to do with our lack of creativity.
The first issue is that we, as overweight people, tend to have limiting beliefs about what we can and cannot do in our plus size bodies. We tell ourselves that we can’t do this or that activity because we’re fat. No matter how large you are, there is always a way to figure out how to incorporate physical activity into your everyday routine. Sure there may be a few physical activities that would be harder for you to do depending on how much extra weight you’re carrying around. But in my experience the activities people avoid when they are fat usually have very little to do with physical capability and everything to do with not wanting to draw attention to themselves. Examples: swimming, dancing, anything that requires getting dressed up or wearing shorts, etc. You get the picture. You’re not afraid of not being physically able to do something. You’re afraid of how you think you’ll look doing it and how uncomfortable that attention might make you feel. I say, get over yourself. No one is focused on you that hard. They are way too busy obsessing about themselves.
The second issue that keeps us from having fun is that as adults, fat or skinny, overtime we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe that grown-ups are only allowed to have a certain type of fun and a limited amount at that. This belief manifests in many different excuses. I’ve listed the most common ones I’ve heard below and I offer some rebuttals to help you claim back your fun.