25th April 2016

We know that each and every one of us has something about our bodies that we would like to change and often those alterations form a big part of our fitness goals.

Chunky thighs yearn for slimmer ones, big boobs wish for little and little for big, rounder hips wonder if they’ll ever be able to shrink them, while those with small bums wish for a bit more bounce and the bouncier bottoms lament not being bonier…

Doesn’t it all sound just a little bit crazy when you read it aloud like that?

We’re all beautiful and different – imagine if we spent our whole lives being miserable because our legs aren’t the shape we want them to be!

And the fact is that if you’re trying in vain to drag yourself to the gym or a particular class because you have a vision of a perfect body that you’re hoping these activities are going to give you, then maybe, just maybe you’re going about this all the wrong way.

Try this exercise for size and let’s see if it helps you at least begin to see fitness in a new way – a way that could lead to some lasting results.

We all see women with bodies that leave us envious but we have no idea what the rest of their lives are about. So, first, ask yourself if you would really swap places with anyone else in the world?

Think about it carefully…would you give up who you are and what you have to swap with someone else’s life?

Probably not.

Good, so the starting point is you.

You and all of your perfectly imperfect bits – the bits that, by the way, nobody else even notices because they are too busy marveling at how kind you are, how smart you are, what an amazing mum you are, how you built that business from scratch, that promotion you just got…

So, take yourself and try to love yourself. Just give up the angst and say ‘this is me – yes I can work on being a fitter, stronger version of me but I’m not going to be miserable while I do it’.

Okay, we’ve agreed that bit.

Now you need to ask yourself about the things you do regularly, that you stick at, you keep at – are they things you love and enjoy? They must be right?

Think about your exercise routine the way you think about a good book. It’s like a friend, a friend you want to see every day because you like spending time with them. Each page you read gets you a step closer to the end and you love every second of it. Why on earth shouldn’t exercise be like that?

So if your exercise routine isn’t something you look forward to even just a little bit, then change it up, try something new, ask someone to come with you, whatever it is that might begin to make it something you really like doing.

We know you’ve heard it before but fitness really should be an enjoyable activity for the most part. Yes, it’s hard work but there’s nothing wrong with that.

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The more you love something, the more you will do it and lo and behold you’ll begin to see the changes that you’re looking for. And maybe even a few you didn’t expect.

See your body as a good, positive starting point and find an exercise or two that you love. Slowly you’ll notice that body (and mind) flourish.

If the idea of the gym makes you groan then ditch it. If you really have to psych yourself up, then maybe in the long term it’s just not for you.

Life is about living and not just enduring. There are so many ways to get strong and fit, that you really shouldn’t feel you need to keep hammering away at an activity that brings you no joy at all.

Instead, why not set yourself a new task? Tell yourself ‘The goal of my exercise is simply to enjoy it.’

Go to new classes, or go to your old ones but change your mindset, learn to let go and have fun, be social, really throw yourself in and you might just get more out.

Dreaming of completely altering your body can be really limiting and mean that you end up achieving nothing whatsoever as the task (as you see it) is just too big.

Instead, learning to relax and love what you have, even if it’s just for now, will help you take all of the small steps you need to to achieving your goals.

Perhaps the secret is to enjoy and not endure.


We love seeing new and old faces alike at our group classes. Whether you are pregnant or have already had your baby, there’s something for you to try and lots of new people for you to meet along the way. Have a read of our site and see if there’s a class you fancy or if one of our trainers could help reignite your exercise enjoyment levels with one-to-one training.

WORDS: Penny Stretton


Make exercise about enjoyment and start smashing your fitness goals - Jelly Belly PT