When I first began my "fitness journey", I found myself at the lowest point I have been in life. This phase lasted about 3 years too long. I had lost my sense of self and purpose and was avoiding doing any kind of deep dive into myself. I initially walked into Planet Fitness with hopes to boost my self-confidence by losing weight in order to feel attractive again. It wasn't until a year in that I began to realize the relief, happiness, and strength I gained from showing up in the gym for myself. This courage then spread its way into my personal life, allowing me to address the things I was suppressing and understand myself. I love the gym, aside from talk therapy, it has done so much for my mental wellbeing. My motivations shifted from extrinsic to intrinsic and I became more disciplined. I have not perfected this, self-work is never-ending as life shifts and changes.
An area of focus for me, as I work with my clients, is to improve their self-efficacy and self-esteem through fitness goals. By using words that make them feel empowered and bringing awareness to their personal progress that they may be overseeing, I see clients begin to bring more positive associations to how they carry themselves into the gym and into their lives. In turn, by making healthier intrapersonal choices, they make healthier interpersonal choices.
Wondering about intrapersonal vs. interpersonal? I'll give you a few examples of what this looks like for me when self-reflecting.
Meaning "within one's self" mentally and physically. Two big sectors in this are adaptability and self-management. This is where you spend time reflecting on your thoughts, actions, and feelings and where they are guiding you/ creating the life you are striving for.
My intrapersonal reflections:
Reflection question: How can I expect myself to show up for myself and my needs?
- Create a schedule that allows for exercise, fun, and rest
5 am rise time and 9 pm bedtime
I will only work during scheduled work hours, whatever I cannot get to within that time, I will work on the following day.
I will exercise at least 3 times a week.
Spend time alone in order to self-regulate.
Do one thing new or go to one place new every weekend
Meaning in relation to your relationships with others in your life. This may seem or feel loaded as we have so many different roles and relationships within our daily lives but this is also why it is important to reflect on how those interactions are serving you. This can be any relationship: familial, romantic, work, friendships, etc.
My interpersonal reflections:
Reflection Question: How can I expect others to show up for me and me for them?
- Keep relationships that have mutuality, understanding, and respect
My relationships respect my boundaries and stand my ground when they are tested, I respect others' boundaries.
It is important to me that my needs are understood and valued and that those I care for feel the same way.
I create space and time to spend with those that are important to me and expect the same of them.
I understand that we may have different values and views.
I will be accountable for my actions and expect the same from others.
Don't overthink it as you work through this, usually, the first things that come to your heart and mind are valuable to you. You can interchange these as frequently as you need to. The best way to reflect on these if you're stuck trying to find points on how you will meet the answer to the reflection question is to reflect first on areas you recognize yourself complaining about or have been wanting to do but haven't.
I have attached the link here for the layout of this reflection or feel free to copy it into your journal!