My Fitness Journey
I never grew up playing sports, so I really have no idea where my passion for fitness came from, but I remember finding workouts online on pinterest and doing them in my childhood bedroom late on summer nights. I loved the way they made me sore and I loved seeing my muscles develop and loved getting stronger. I tried running for a while when I was in high school, but it only stuck for a few weeks before I got over it.
My biggest roadblock in my fit lifestyle has been consistency, and I have no issue admitting that because #life. Who is motivated for the same thing every single day when it comes to working out?! The secret is to stop asking yourself if you're motivated. Just acknowledge that you're not feeling motivated to do your workout today, and go anyways. Don't think, just start!
I went to the gym almost everyday throughout my last three years of college, and I was really into lifting heavy weights and increasing weights every week. I got really strong and defined, but then once I graduated, I realized I just didn't find the same happiness in that anymore. I started dreading the gym and really forcing myself to go every single day, and had a terrible attitude the entire time I was there and the whole day before I got it over with. Of course I felt amazing after I got home, and that's what kept me going. But once I started working, my workouts got less and less enjoyable and I stopped trying my hardest. That's when I knew I needed to change things up.
I started doing research and tried so many new things- I LOVE PureBarre classes, but they are too expensive for me to want to keep going. I really enjoy yoga, but it's not enough of a workout for me personally to only do that. I actually cannot stand running long distances, and find jogging extremely boring and rough on my knees and ankles (again, never did sports growing up). Weightlifting is really fun for me, and I love watching myself get stronger and increasing my weights slowly, but I stopped liking myself in photos after 3 years of it, because my legs were getting bigger than I thought looked good since I have an extremely petite stature.
ENTER HIIT: high intensity interval training. If you haven't heard of it, please do some research if you're looking to trim excess fat while toning every muscle in your body and doing it all in such a short amount of time. Today I am doing a mixture of HIIT, weight lifting, and yoga daily. I am the happiest with my body today than I ever have been, and I can really tell a physical difference in muscle tone and cardiovascular health. I'll talk more about my workout routine in a later post, but having a mix of these three types of training has improved my flexibility, cardio stamina, mental health, and strength.
My biggest piece of advice for someone feeling like they are in a fitness rut or just can't figure out what to do, is to try as many new things as you can. That may be the last thing you want to do when you're feeling lost and unmotivated, but it's truly the only way you can find what your body responds best to. Always listen to your body and never do anything that is really painful, but don't stick too close to your comfort zone. Once you find something that makes you feel beautiful and powerful, stick to it and...
...don't make unrealistic goals. I always told myself "I'll do this every morning at 5AM and I'll be the fittest I've ever been. I'll stretch every day for an hour and get the splits in two weeks. I'll eat perfectly clean and lose all my excess weight in just a week. I won't skip one day, and I'll be so happy". Guess what happened? I missed a day of working out, I ate a donut (or 4) when someone brought them in during a stressful day at work, I couldn't do the splits after two weeks, and then I just stopped. In my head, I already messed up my "perfect plan" so why would I keep going when I already messed up my goals.
Instead of that plan that is destined to fail, I take it one day at a time. That's it. Just one day at a time!! Wake up, don't think too hard about working out and just show up and get it done and try your best. Eat as healthy as you can, when you can. Go out to eat with your friends and eat a bite of that birthday cake. You don't need an entire plate of cake, but having a slice isn't going to ruin ANYTHING. Just don't overdo it because sugar is extremely addicting. When you just can't make it to the gym that day, don't beat yourself up about it. Don't make it a habit to not show up just because it's inconvenient, but don't feel bad about missing a day because you're a human being and your body needs the rest anyways.
I hope you find something in my personal journey to help motivate you to reach your goals too :)