The difference between pushing vs. punishing

Look at me posting a new blog for the second week! I’m going to try to keep this trend going.

Many of you know that I’ve been going through some tough times lately. It’s made me think about the importance of taking care of yourself. There are many different components of that. Good nutrition and exercise are two of them that I talk about a lot! But even if you have those two things locked down, I bet you could still improve in being nice to yourself.

Self care

I often talk about pushing yourself in your workouts. Pushing your limits is good. You should always be challenging yourself to do better. BUT, you shouldn’t feel like you’re PUNISHING yourself.

Think about it…if you look at a workout as some kind of punishment (for eating too much, weighing too much, not having enough muscle, etc.), how are you going to be EXCITED to do it?! No one ever gets excited about a punishment. A punishment means you did something wrong. And if you’re feeling like you did something wrong, you’re already in a discouraged mindset. Our minds and bodies are so interconnected, that you’re probably not going to be at your physical best when your mind is down in the dumps.

It’s also not useful to get down on yourself for not being able to do all of the moves in your workout. If you’re pushing yourself, you know your body is being challenged, and you ARE improving! (even if they are small improvements) Don’t mentally punish yourself by comparing to the fitness professionals on your screen. Do what’s challenging for YOUR body, not theirs!

On the other hand, if you’re in a positive mindset, your workout is going to feel completely different. You might find that you can do more than you thought you could.


Instead of looking at a workout as something to “get through,” what if you look at it as a reward, or as your “me” time? That sounds a lot better, right?

Just because I’m a coach doesn’t mean I’m always excited to work out. Some days I’m tired, or just feeling lazy, and it’s a struggle to push play on that DVD! But I try to remember how lucky I am. I have a strong healthy body that is able to do these challenging exercises. Even when I have to modify a move, I try to focus on small improvements that I’m making. Maybe I only did 10 reps of that move last week, but this week I was able to do 12.

So the main difference between pushing yourself and punishing yourself…is your mindset!

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