There have been quite a few articles about Lena Dunham and exercise lately but this one is my favourite.
Before you go 'Yawn! Celeb fitness trend alert' or 'Oh god I hate Lena Dunham. Get away!', let me start by saying two things:
1) I put very little stock into what celebs have to say about health & fitness (unless they happen to be professionally qualified in that area)
2) I'm not a massive Lena Dunham fan so that fact that it's her saying these things means very little to me.
It's the fact that Lena is talking about fitness as a normal person that makes this list of truths about exercise particularly fantastic. There's nothing even remotely celeb-y about it.
This isn't a celeb diet or someone trying to tell us all how they, like, totes eat whatever they want and never gain a pound if they do the latest personal-trainer-to-the-stars fitness regime. This is a woman talking about how she never exercised--thought she sucked at exercise--suddenly tried it and realised that it's really not about your weight on the scale. Yay!!! I love the message of her truths about exercise: your body is meant to move and you'll feel better about a whole lot of things if you let it do what it's built to do.
(Instagram, @lenadunham) This is real.
It's so mind-blowingly simple I really wish that we were better at instilling this in kids from a younger age, at creating a society where movement is integral to our jobs and daily lives, at reminding ourselves how awesome our bodies are for what they can do rather than berating them in our heads for what they're not.
Lena's message is one of confidence and feeling good. It's not about being 'beach ready' or, actually, even achieving a personal best. It's what I want to convey every day and through everything I do and why I started fit & happy in the first place. Movement is natural and will make you feel great. You have one body and one life: use it, enjoy it! It's not about how bendy the person next to you in yoga class is or how many chin-ups you can do (although I'm still aiming for two!), it's enough just to enjoy getting out or on the mat and doing something.
Having goals is great, sure, but some days my goal is just make it to the gym. I don't even promise myself I'll stay there or do my best. Getting there can be a struggle, fitting in fitness can be hard, Ben & Jerry's or a glass of wine in front of the TV is awesome: these things are all true. But will you feel better and be better off for moving your butt? Hell. Yes.
So who cares what other people think or how you look when you run or if you're not quite on the beat in Zumba (that's me for sure!). Find something you like and do it. It'll be worth it when you're done and you feel that high from doing it, and it will most definitely be worth it down the line when you're 80 and speed-walking past all the other grannies and grandads on the shuffleboard court ;o)