I was not born with the athletic/sporty gene at all. All my life, I’ve been pretty average when it comes to athletics. When I was younger, I did tap and ballet dancing which was a bit of a work out each week. The most I’ve ever been active was in high school, when I did color guard and winter guard. Both of these activities were intense and gave me mad muscles, yo. Nevertheless, when I graduated high school, I was not inclined to work out. I would get little itches to be fit after looking at myself in the mirror every once in a while but I wasn’t serious. My mind wasn’t ready for what it actually took in order to get the body I wanted and to maintain it. Needless to say, I slacked off quite a bit in the fitness department up until 2013 when I was a junior in college. I had a fear of being the chubby girl, so I started working out. But the workouts I was doing were not up to snuff. I started that journey by walking on the treadmill at a fast pace because I felt like I wasn’t good enough to run yet. I slowly started to get up to jogging and, to my surprise, I was able to jog a 5k on the treadmill. I was doing well.
I don’t remember what happened but I got complacent and started working out less and less. I think it was the fact that every time I looked in the mirror, I saw no difference in my body. I was looking in the mirror expecting to see an ab or a bicep or something and I saw nothing. I gave in and stopped working out altogether. I kept on this track for a while. Sure, I’d work out from time to time but it wouldn’t be anything intense. During Christmas time last year, I started researching exercises, foods to eat, and running techniques. I wanted to get in shape, for realsies. Finally, on January 5th, 2015, I went to my school’s gym and just started working out with HIIT on the treadmill. The rest, as they say, is history.
I tell this story because I feel like all those times I “worked out” and “wanted to get fit for real” led to this time in my life. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been since leaving high school and I’ve been doing this not to just look better but to feel better. There have been two things that have helped me out so far during this journey:
- Taking weekly progress photos instead of judging my progress by what’s on the scale. If I went by what the scale says (which is between 180-185 pounds for 3 months now), I’d be severely disappointed in myself right now. I do go by what I can see and I see that I’m gaining a butt, losing back fat, and my stomach is shrinking slowly. The body is an amazing thing and watching myself change each week brings me joy and motivates me to keep going.
- Giving my mind the strength to move me in a positive direction. Whenever I’d start these fitness journeys in the past, I’d give my mind strength to lead me down a negative path. I’d listen to the excuses I made up for myself and I’d give up so easy. This go round, I’m harder on myself to keep going with the workouts and it works out for me (no pun intended ;)).
I say all this to say getting into a healthier lifestyle should not be done for the short term goal of looking good because that implies that once you reach that point, you’re going to stop. Getting fit for real is a long term lifestyle choice. It's an ongoing thing. You may fall off from time to time but get back up. You’ll be happy you did.