For as long as I can remember I have been so intensely attached, devoted, madly in love with THE GYM.
Since college, high school even, I was always told that I needed to go to the gym at least 5 days a week in order to maintain a desirable weight. Being a rule follower my whole life I really believed this so much that I have missed maybe a handful of weeks where I didn’t go to the gym since college. That would be 10 years my friends. 10 YEARS OF GOING TO THE GYM AT LEAST 5 DAYS A WEEK. Devoted is an understatement.
I am that rare breed that once I establish a routine of any sort it only takes me a few days to stick to it, for life. Literally.
So here I am 10 years later trucking off to the gym at 5:30 a.m. EVERY DAY…
Tuesday: Leg day
Wednesday: Arms and abs
Thursday: Leg day
Saturday: Free day
You get the gist.
I have this down to a science and guess what, I have been doing this same routine (with a few adjustments) for, you got it, 10 years! I’m tired just thinking about it.
Not to mention I never really saw any difference in my body until I changed my eating habits but thats another post for another day.
I wake up every morning with a lot of energy therefore the best time for me to workout is in the morning. I got into this crazy habit of hopping out of bed at 5 a.m. and going straight to the gym regardless of the state my body was in, if I was sore, sick, or flat out just didn’t want to go, I forced it.
Because as social media tells me… #gymlife #fitspo #fitnessgoals #nopainnogains
(insert eye roll here)
I was a creature of habit and I have to admit this habit was not the healthiest. To some people this seemed applaudable. But even what seems like healthy working out can cause unhealthy relationships with your body. If I didn’t go I felt so guilty.
Up until a few months ago I truly did love the gym. The atmosphere, the endorphins, the people, everything about it. So what happened to make me decide the gym was no longer serving me? Well besides the fact that I probably overdid it for the past 10 years…
I found activities that I actually really love and the gym took second place. I started to ditch my gym days and started hiking, biking, walking and doing yoga. All activities I absolutely love.
I had this battle in my head for awhile. I was waking up and still going despite how I felt and I noticed I was starting to get anxiety on my walk there, feeling very unmotivated and fatigued. These are rare feeling for me and only happened on days I went to the gym but never on day where I was doing an activity I enjoyed. The whole time I was at the gym I had negative thoughts in my head about not wanting to be there.
I decided to sit down and analyze why i’m actually going to the gym. What am I hoping to achieve? Why did I start in the first place?
Phase 1: When I began my fitness journey it was so I could eat whatever I wanted. I felt that if I worked out it would make up for my bad diet. Guys, no work out is going to outweigh a bad diet. Period. I never saw any results but rather just wanted to maintain my weight. I also only did cardio for the most part.
Phase 2: I evolved into wanting to lose weight to look a certain way. I changed the way I ate and added in HIIT and weight lifting. I did see a big difference in my physique and how I felt. But I soon came to realize how unrealistic my goals were nor were they sustainable. Our bodies change all the time and long term it would be near impossible to maintain this “perfect” figure I wanted. This thought alone was unmotivating.
Phase 3: Today I have completly changed my motivation from wanting this “perfect” figure to wanting to be stronger and more capable so I can continue to do the things I love as I age. I want to be able to climb mountains and ride long distances into my 60s. I want to be able to live a long healthy fulfilling life doing the things I love and maintaining my strength will allow me to recover quicker from injuries or accidents. I have learned excercise is important and beneficial regardless of if I lose weight. And I have also learned that exercise can simply be going for a walk during the day, it does not mean I need to slam out a 25 minute hardcore HIIT workout or deadlift 150lbs.
Perhaps I love myself more or I’m just truly happy where I am at in life.
I can honestly, wholeheartedly say I love my body and how amazingly capable and strong I am. I’l never be the thinnest girl or the fittest girl on the block and that is OKAY! Life is meant to be enjoyed, it is not meant to stress out over that roll on your stomach or that cellulite on your thigh.
I love my food, I love my choice in activities and I am living life happy and fulfilled. I am finally learning to relax and not only am I noticing positive changes in my body but my mindset as well. Oh and that guilt I once felt for not going to the gym has completely disappeared.
Guys, bodies are so amazing! We can breath, feel feelings, eat delicious food, climb mountains, run, walk, learn… I am so very grateful for this healthy body, stomach roll, cellulite, or not. All I can hope is that everyone else can someday look past their little imperfections and understand how grateful we all are to have these bodies.
Fitness and the gym will always be something I love deep down but I have found new ways of moving my body that I enjoy. So for now, I am intensely attached, devoted, madly in love with hiking, biking, yoga and walking. Will this change some day? I’m sure of it and that too is OKAY. For now I am going to embrace this change and take it as a time to relax and really listen to my body.
Conclusion is find something you love doing and do it! Just because social media tells you that HIIT workouts and lifting weights is what you need to be doing in order to lose weight or build a booty or whatever the hell else they say these miracle workouts do does not mean it’s the right activity for you and if you dread going to the gym it might be time to take a break and spend your time moving your body in ways that you love!