I don’t have the motivation to exercise

November 25, 2021

Is it important to know why you want to exercise and what you want to achieve before rushing into any exercise program?

The answer is a resounding YES!

This is true especially if right now you don’t feel the motivation to exercise.

  • When was the last time you exercised?
  • What do you remember about it (what you did, where were you, etc.)?
  • How did you feel before and after exercising?

If you can’t recall a specific time, try to answer these questions instead:

  • Do you have any beliefs as to what counts as exercise? Think about frequency, duration, type of exercise, how you expect to feel etc.
  • Is there anything getting in the way of you being more active right now in your life?

There’s a long-lasting trend connecting movement with losing weight or with compensating for cheating on a diet program you might be following.

Especially if you’re in your late 30s or 40s, you might have started noticing that you’ve often linked your exercise (or lack of) with the idea of shaping your body in a certain way or to make it up for eating something it’s in your ‘forbidden’ list.

If your motivation to exercise lies in moving the number on the scale or is supported by a diet mindset you get used to stopping and starting. As a result, each time starting again is likely to be more difficult because you link exercise to obligation, not pleasure.

I find this harmful and it’s certainly not the way I like to think about movement anymore. Aside from being harmful it’s also not particularly enjoyable and funny to approach movement this way.

I don’t know you, but I want exercise to be fun, entertaining, a good fit for my current body needs and capabilities.

Exercise with a diet mindset vs exercise to feel good
  • Who cares if everyone is doing the bootcamp in the gym 3 times a week to shed weight before the Christmas parties, when all I want is to enjoy a 1 hour walk out and my morning yoga and Pilates sessions to clear my mind, strengthen my muscles and prevent the back pain from coming back?
  • Who forces me to exercise with a group for motivation, if I know myself, I am much more satisfied when exercising on my own while listening to my favourite music?

It’s what makes me feel good, energies and keeps me want to come back to doing it!

My main wish is that this becomes true for you too, giving you the motivation to exercise and feel good about it.

You can slowly move from the idea of exercising to shrink your body or to earn an extra slice of cake.

You can start seeing it as an investment in you, to feel more energy, grow, be joyful, get stronger both mentally and physically, move more freely.

  • If you are struggling with exercising right now, go back to why you are exercising and how you want to feel before rushing into any exercise routine.
  • Don’t assume that whatever anyone else around you is doing must be the right fit for you too, if it actually doesn’t excite you.
  • Don’t believe that if it doesn’t make you sweat and lose weight, it’s not worth it.

It’s perfectly normal to want to exercise for reasons different than weight loss.

I’d say it’s actually fantastic!

Grab pen and paper (or you favourite journal!) and reflect on the following questions:

  1. What is one type of movement that brings you joy and that you can easily start including in your day (even 10 to 20 min)?
  2. What is your preference when it comes to exercising on your own or in group/class?
  3. How do you want to feel after finishing?
  4. What’s one benefit you can get from doing this one thing more often?

Have fun when moving your body! 🚣‍♂️🏃🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️

With kindness,

Dona 🌷

Want to come and share about this and other issues with like-minded women and do a bit of journaling together?

Why don’t you join the WOMEN COMMUNITY CALLS? It’s a free group support for women who want to stop judging their body, and finally learn to enjoy the food they eat.

Click here if you’d like to find out more!

a pic of the author of this article: donatella porceddu.
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Written by Donatella Porceddu

I am a registered psychologist and life coach specialised in binge and emotional eating, body kindness, and mindful eating. I empower women to become the best version of themselves through my comprehensive approach, which combines personal coaching and psychology, leveraging my client’s strengths and building around their opportunities.

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Donatella Porceddu Psychologist & Eating Coach specialised in Binge Eating, Overeating, Emotional Eating, Food freedom, anti-diet approach. 1:1 support through my Make Peace with Food program.

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