in a “no excuses” world, let’s give ourselves permission

Scrolling through my fitness-heavy Instagram feed, I sometimes see “motivational” quotes like these:

Laura and her small, white dog Ava curled up on a yoga mat. Ava is looking at Laura as though she is sad and needs comfort.

“Never miss a Monday!”

“No excuses… work out at home using a throw pillow and a can of soup!”

“The meal plan you need to finally lose those 10 pounds”

This kind of “get your shit together” inspo has never worked for me. I guess it’s working for somebody, or these businesses would be failing, but it has the opposite effect on me.

When you tell me, “no excuses,” I feel defensive.

When you tell me, “never miss a Monday,” I want to tell you that you don’t know how my body feels.

When you tell me that something is wrong with my body, my life, my way of living, I am angry not just for myself but for all of the other people who don’t conform with that sales pitch.

And yet, I’m a fitness professional, and I have services to sell, too. I’m just not going to market to anyone’s fears or insecurities. Maybe I won’t ever be as successful as the fear-based “no pain, no gain” instacelebrities, but I’m okay with that.

My marketing strategy is simple– I talk to you the way I want to be talked to.

Let’s give ourselves permission.

Permission to:

  • take care of your body, mind and spirit in whatever way you think is best
  • remember that accessibility to health and wellness services is a privilege
  • think critically about what you’re reading and watching
  • ask questions about things that don’t make sense
  • unfollow accounts that make you feel guilty, shameful, or less-than
  • know that you and only you are the expert on your lived experience
  • try new things and see how they feel
  • learn for yourself what works best for you
  • find movement practices that feel good to you
  • find ways to enjoy life in the body you have
  • stick to disciplines that improve the quality of your life
  • take a rest day/week/month when you need one
  • change your mind as often as you need to. we’re allowed to grow
  • disagree with popular culture
  • know that food can nourish your body, but also your heart & soul too; it’s okay to eat what you’re craving
  • all bodies are equally valuable, regardless of health or outer appearance
  • trust your intuition
  • ask for help when you need it
  • connect with and learn from people that resonate with you
  • seek teachers and coaches that you like, trust and believe in
  • find what inspires you from within, and
  • be fiercely loyal to what matters most
  • share messages that speak to your heart/soul/spirit
  • do your best and let that be enough

How would it feel for you to give yourself this permission? What else would you add to the list?

3 thoughts on “in a “no excuses” world, let’s give ourselves permission

  1. Laura, good advice, spoken from the heart. When my wife and I took Yoga classes, we really liked the instructors who gave us options if we could not do a pose. The “tree” pose is hard for a newcomer and her advice was make sure you don’t put pressure on the knee. Falling over was the norm. Now, I finish every morning workout with a tree pose, with my foot above the knee. It took time and encouragement. I still do the pose near some shelves I can grab if a teeter a little. Thanks, Keith

    1. I have always appreciated your perceptions to seek fulfillment from the way something “feels” and to trust that inner guidance. Isn’t that ultimately what our real yoga practice encourages? How would it “feel” to live in a world where everyone practiced even just a few of these suggestions you list? Nature does it. Why can’t we humans follow along? PS: If this granola recipe is even an inkling as good as your pesto recipe, I am stirring some up this afternoon! Love you (and your heartfelt inspiration!) Jaye

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