How I Finally Motivated Myself to Exercise Daily (And You Can Too)

Content Creator Veronica Bishop of Bishop Content Studio is here with a guest blog on how she motivated herself to exercise each day as a busy full-time working parent. 

Growing up as a teen in the late 90s, I was what you would call an unathletic kid. I developed early, and quite frankly didn’t know what to do with my newly acquired C-cup status. Gym class was a nightmare, and my developing people-pleaser tendencies made me that girl who said “sorry!” every time she missed the ball. 

I said sorry a lot. 

Convinced that I was “not good” at sports, nurtured my inner bookworm and more or less turned my back on physical activity.

Entering my 20s, I realized that if I wanted to feel good in my body, I would need to start working out. I began hitting the gym, and monitored the scale closely. It felt good in some ways to start moving my body, but my sole motivation was to lose weight. Which, let’s face it, is an unhappy way to live.

For many women, this phase is the start of an overwhelming pattern of yo-yo dieting, blasts of intensive exercise followed by burnout, weight fluctuations and insulin resistance. A study from The National Eating Disorders Association found that 35% of dieting becomes obsessive, and 20 to 25% of those diets turn into eating disorders.* 

In my early 30s, I realized that my obsession with the gym and staying under a certain weight was not terribly healthy. I began to ask myself the single question that would eventually change everything for me. 

Why am I doing this?

The answer was, of course, “to look good!” But somewhere inside, I realized that a lifetime of working out for that one reason wasn’t going to be sustainable. I had to find another motivator. 

After having my son in 2015, I felt ready to lose the baby weight. I was also housebound (what we lovingly refer to as “the bubble”), with a baby strapped to me 80% of the time. Restlessness set in and I realized that I was going OUT OF MY MIND. 

So I walked. 

I walked to clear my head. I walked to feel the wind on my face. And I walked to calm the baby.

Veronica Bishop of Bishop Content Studio
Content Creator Veronica Bishop of Bishop Content Studio

And slowly, the walking did something for me. It unwound my nerves. I began to breathe easier. Mothering a new baby became more manageable. I began sleeping better. Hydrating more. It was as though, by walking, I reconnected with who I truly was, and that self was a completely different person. A person I wanted to take care of.

Returning to the question “Why am I doing this?”, I finally had my answer. 

To feel good. To feel whole. To connect my feet to the earth and remind myself that moving forward is always better than being stuck. 

This knowledge would eventually save my sanity during the Covid lockdown. And it continues to save me each and every day. As a business owner working from home, I spend many hours in front of the computer. If I miss my daily walk, I am exhausted, sore, and bad-tempered. Walking is what gives me energy.

But in order to truly motivate me to do it, I had to answer that question. I had to find my Why.

Since those first days as a new mom, I rarely miss a walk. Even in the rain and bad weather, which is actually good for you according to The Guardian (good news to my fellow Pacific Northwesterners!).

If you are looking for a way to motivate yourself to exercise each day, I recommend first asking yourself the question: “Why am I doing this?” Look deeper. Understanding the WHY behind our behavior is often the first step toward making different choices. Focusing on internal motivation rather than external motivation was, for me, the key to long-lasting behavioral change.

And yes, there are days when I have to actively choose to walk over other priorities. Work, my partner and my kids. Women are conditioned to put others before themselves; to feel guilty if we spend any time on our own needs. But without my daily walk, I know that my relationships would suffer. My work would be less efficient. And I would not actually be much use to anyone.

Today, my daily walk is such an ingrained part of myself that I could never give it up. It’s no longer a question of finding the motivation, but simply prioritizing myself. 

And that is a pretty great reason. 

*“Eating Disorders on the College Campus.” National Eating Disorders Association, Feb. 2013

Veronica Bishop

Bishop Content Studio

After years of working as a Professional Organizer and writing about her experiences, Veronica realized her passion of writing for small businesses. She is the founder of Bishop Content Studio, a one-stop shop marketing studio specializing in beautiful, clutter-free website design, copyediting, copywriting and social media content creation for small service-based businesses.

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