Why exercise, even though it's hard? The REAL Story...

I promised that I would always keep it real with you guys, and so I am going to share something with you.

This week, my exercise routine has been hard.

I have been really busy, and it's hard to find the time to exercise, and when I do actually have the time to exercise, I find myself resistant, procrastinating, doing mindless and unnecessary things to fill my time (like scrolling through Facebook). I don't actually WANT to exercise- it feels difficult, exhausting, and frankly, sitting on the couch, staring at my phone feels easier.

Have you ever felt this way???

Ok, so, here's what I did. I forced myself to get off the couch. And I said to myself- "No pressure to do anything great here. Whatever you do will be better than just sitting and staring at your phone. Just do something. You can always stop."

And so I did. On Saturday, for example, I got off the couch and I went to a yoga class. And I would LOVE to tell you that it felt great, that I did it beautifully, that it felt easy. But that would be a lie.

The honest truth was that it was hard. Every movement, every moment felt difficult. My brain was basically rejecting movement, saying on repeat "I don't want to be here, I don't want to do this." I started to think of all the other things I could be doing, should be doing, instead of this. My brain thought of every reason to bail out. My brain kept saying, "You can just stop now."

But something in my body kept going. Even though my brain wanted out, my body stayed in. And I completed the class. And when it was over, I did feel better, but I also felt tired. My legs were heavy as I walked to my car, and when I got home, I did take some time to sit on that couch.

But- in this moment, I learned something important about myself. The takeaway lesson here wasn't about the physical, it was about the mental.

I learned that I could do something uncomfortable, miserable even, and that even though it was hard, I could finish it.

I learned that the discomfort I felt in my body and in my brain- that it would pass.

I learned that I could put myself in uncomfortable positions, and try to adapt to the discomfort.

I learned to trust my body to carry me through the tough moments, even when my brain is freaking out.

And this is why exercise is everything to me. It is a metaphor for life.

Yoga, weight lifting, walking, running, even Autoimmune Strong- any exercise program really- can teach you so much about yourself. It can show you what you are really made of. It teaches you how to push through challenges. It teaches you how to overcome. It teaches you how to work through a problem, even if you think you can't. It teaches you that your body is stronger than you think. It teaches you not to bail out when the going gets tough. All you have to do is show up.

The point is to pick an exercise program that is right for you, and to continue to challenge yourself to show up, and stay committed. You don't have to pick the toughest workout to learn these lessons. Autoimmune Strong is designed to teach you these same lessons, through gentle and effective movements.

Just showing up, even when it feels hard- this is the growth opportunity. This is how super heroes are made.

Andrea Wool