The Psychology of Fitness and being human is normal. There are good days and bad days, and today, my mind is in the gutter. I don’t know why today, because it wasn’t there yesterday. Alas, it’s here and it’s a real drag to say the least.  I know we all have bad days, but instead of wallowing the feeling, I thought I would let you guys in on my real life and how I pull through

Have you ever noticed how our bodies express and hold onto emotions; that acne break out, those tense shoulders?  Dis-ease and discomfort (stress) have a way of manifesting in our bodies and showing up as injuries or ailments, both mental and physical. We are manifestations of our emotional intelligence. In fact, the sooner we face the emotional charge, the sooner we can get on with our lives.

Today, my body is feeling bloated and groggy.  As a result of these feelings, my mind has found its way into the gutter. These are the days when I get so down about my figure, I don’t or can’t find a way through. Now, I know what you might be thinking, ‘Jules, you look great, you’re fit, puh-lease gurl.’ This moment has nothing to do with how I look, but everything to do with how I feel. The outside doesn’t always match the inside. Today, I feel like shit and I’m having trouble finding my way back to the light.  I know the light is there, because it’s always there, but right now…it’s darkness.

I know our bodies don’t determine the value of who we truly are within, but I can’t help attaching the way my body feels . It’s affecting my sense of self-worth.  I don’t consider myself to be a vain person, but dammit, the way my body feels right now is messing with my PMS, aka my positive mental state. Not to mention my creativity and graceful parenting ninja moves. To say it sucks would be an understatement, because it does…it just…SUCKS.

What do we do when the mind finds its way into the gutter? When the light has dimmed and all we feel is the darkness? It’s simple (or not), but this is how I shift my mood and change my energy on days when I feel like this.

“How I feel, matters more than how I look.”

STEP 1: RECOGNIZE – Understanding the Psychology of Fitness – My mind is in the gutter, I recognize what is happening. I take the emotions that I’m feeling and put them in front of me in full view.  I separate them from myself, and recognize that they are just feelings. Then recognize that these feelings are temporary and that change is constantly happening, but I still recognize them nonetheless. Finally, I remember that nothing ever stays the same. Life is an evolving adventure, and this moment is only one point in time.

This gives me HOPE, because the old saying, ‘this too shall pass,” is true. It is important to detach from our thoughts and feelings when shit gets bottled up inside of our minds. It’s important because these feelings can pull us into a whirlwind, sending us on a down the rabbit hole. That exercise is a waste of time and energy.  When you put your emotions in full view, emotionally detach yourself from them, you can identify what is true and what is not.

This little exercise helps us get a clear perspective. It shows us what is actually going on, what is possible, and not what the emotions and feelings are trying to trick us into believing.  I know in this current moment of ‘flux’ that these feelings may in fact be here right now, but know they won’t last forever. It’s like a tough pose in yoga, when you think you can’t hold the pose any longer, but remind yourself that the pose won’t last forever. It’s the practice of ‘remaining calm’ when the yogurt hits the fan.

STEP 2: ASSESS – Taking a step back from these thoughts and feelings and viewing them like a pedestrian in a cross walk, I can begin to replace them with more realistic thoughts and statements. In this case, I know this feeling my body is feeling is going to change, because there are more good days than bad days. I know it will change, because I know that change is possible.

Psychology of Fitness - My Mind Is In The GutterI further begin to recognize that over the last few weeks, I have felt FANTASTIC about my strength and physical fitness. Then recognize how I have a lot of fantastic projects on the table for work that I am truly excited about. The question I now ask myself is this; why am I giving so much power to this one shitty moment? To this one shitty day?  It’s important to note this step isn’t trying to suppress the fact that I feel funky, and not quite myself today, but to allow myself the knowing; energy flows where attention goes.

Moving further into this step, I commit to my work in the gym, my work at my desk, and allow myself to detach from these momentary shitty feelings of this one day.  To be honest, with myself and you, this entire experience is sort of an inspiring space to lift myself up and find my way back to the track, tighten up the diet, and throw a creative curve ball into my physical fitness that will cause even greater strength and change.  The question I have to ask myself is this; did these feelings come up to make me stronger?  Even more empowered?

STEP 3: ACTION – In order to get out of that funk, I know I need to take an action by changing my inner and outer feelings, which is the Psychology of Fitness – My Mind Is In The Gutter needs help.  So, I hop on my bike, read some studies on fertility (current project ;-), and recognize my choice to allow the downward spiraling feelings to float away. I’m not engaging in them, but I have respect for them, have compassion for them, but girlfriend, they gotta go. I say that because I’ve got things to do and I will not be pulled down because of a momentary feeling of funk or disconnection from my soul.

Instead, I embrace an attitude of gentle loving care for myself when these types of feeling find their way to the surface. Even though I try to tell myself or sell myself on the idea that these feelings and emotions aren’t “real,” but they are real.  They are real because I am feeling them. They may not be completely true statements about who I am, what I am, or what is really going on in my life, but I recognize them and have compassion for the part of me that feels hurt by them.

I cannot just shove these kinds of feelings down the hall or stuff them into a backpack and pretend they don’t exist or claim them not to be true.  Instead, I have to recognize them for what they are at this point in time. A little bump in the road. That’s all it is. A blip on the radar and not the full picture of me or my life. I recognize the unbridled hope for a better tomorrow because I know this will pass the minute I get my body moving.  When I do, hope is restored and I can move on from them stronger and more powerful than before.

CONCLUSION: The secret to all of this is to investigate and navigate yourself through the chaos.  The term Investigate means finding the source of these thoughts and determine where they are coming from. Did something trigger this emotion? Was there something that made me feel vulnerable? Was I rejected in some way or am I under a lot of pressure to perform? We ask these questions as a way of sourcing where the emotions come from and why they are here now.

As the dust settles from the emotional tornado of my mind in the gutter, I realize all of this is coming from a familiar place for me.  Later today, I have a lot of filming to do with a client for my Stay Fit Prenatal brand and whenever I am on camera or find myself in the spotlight, I have the tendency to be hyper-critical of myself, my body, and my current place in life. And hey, if that wasn’t enough, the PMS sure doesn’t help…at…ALL.

Hormones have a dynamic effect on our personality (some more so for others), but it’s important to realize in the moments of arriving chaos, these moments will surely pass.  They always do. The ups and downs of being a woman, a human being, are simply part of the adventure of life. As women, the more we are able to recognize our emotions/feelings for what they are, human, the more we are able to limit the time we spend in the downs, so we can enjoy more of the ups.

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