So I’ll give you a little background on my fitness history. I played field hockey my entire life, even in college. We ran a lot, had our food monitored and had a fitness consigliere who taught us how to get the most out of our workouts through lifting and high interval training. Well, after four years of intense fitness regiments, I was over it. I didn’t want to run mindless laps around the gym. I wanted to go out after work to Target and meet my friends for Happy Hour, not worry about getting to the gym, not stressing about being fit. The muscles in my legs served a purpose, my abs were needed to help my run, my back and arms needed to be strong, but I didn’t care anymore. I was done working out.
I’ve never really fell out of shape but my fitness lovers can attest to the fact that you can work so hard for weeks on end- all of a sudden you take a few days off and you feel like you’re having a heart attack carrying your laundry up the steps. Ok fine a few days was actually a few months but I needed to mentally unwind.
The problem with taking fitness so seriously is the noticeable change when you stop. I have never been the type to worry about the size sewn into my clothes but there was a point when I was no longer comfortable in my own skin and that is a terrible feeling. From a 4 to a 16 size doesn’t matter but confidence does. So after my little hiatus I decided I needed to get back into the swing of things.
“Wow, my pants don’t fit!”
So you finally washed and accidentally dried your jeans… BIG mistake. Now you need to do a minor Pilates class to get into them. Well it seems they don’t button, like not even close. After a few too many late nights of beers and besties ending in Gyro place on the square, your clothes don’t fit quite like they use to. It is uncomfortable to sit certain ways and when you take off your jeans it looks like your still wearing them, seams and all. You’re still your same beautiful self but you just don’t feel as confident in your own skin. You become self-conscious of what you look like for the first time in a long time. It’s not like it was instant but it bothers you.
Denial Ain’t Just a River in Egypt
That’s it you’re going to start eating right if it kills you! No more Rahman out of the pot or Dairy Queen for dinner. You throw away all your Easter candy and swear off soda and Turkey Hill iced tea. You’re fine with how you look because you’re beautiful and nothing will ever change that, but we should never settle for fine! You decide to cut out the crap (literally and figuratively), and accept that you need to seriously think about how you want to approach your impending change. Weight loss, muscle gain, goal weight, healthier lifestyle – whatever the goal, set it and stick to it!
Something Must Be Done
You acknowledge that you don’t like the way you feel so you set a plan into place. Personal trainer or Planet Fitness it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get out there and move. You skip the cookie and chip aisle and your dessert Pinterest board falls by the wayside but your “Workin’ On My Fitness” board is getting more lovin’ each day. Remember ease into it, that 7 minute mile isn’t going to happen for awhile and maybe starting with just the bar to squat won’t make you want to scream every time you have to pee. Baby steps.
The Successful First Week
YAY! You made it to the gym. This is awesome because this was the hardest step. Bad news- your six pack is not where you thought it would be after what?- five workouts? There is a long road ahead but it will never get easier. Because before you know it those 5 pushups in 30 seconds turns to 10 then 20. You need to keep pushing yourself. I don’t mean to sound like a tween Nike t-shirt but it’s true. You’re already steps ahead of where you were one week ago and even though it might not seem like it, it’s paying off.
Off the Deep End
Your best friend’s bachlorette party and you’re the MOH. Well your diet just went out the window like your morals because you have a plane to catch. You were doing so well, maybe even lost a few pounds or maybe you just were eating healthier and feeling great. However after 6 shots of low-cal tequila that Big Mac and Fries is calling your name! You thought it would stop after this little weekend getaway but think again! You think to yourself “I already ruined my diet today/yesterday/this week.” So that one little treat or occasion that made you think that you have worked hard enough to deserve this, comes and bites you in the ass.
Back On Track
You relapsed- it happens. We’ve all been there- 2am, standing in the pantry eating handfuls of Smidgens. You were so happy with how your desired results were coming along but you got a little derailed. You can’t let yourself spiral into the junk food pit of no return, this isn’t Candy Mountain Charlie, stay away. Diets don’t start on Mondays or the first of the month- they start now. You remember how amazing those weeks made you feel and how terrible that drunken cheat burrito felt the next morning. The most important factor is remembering the goals you set.
The Noticeable Change
You hit your goal weight or look or size or confidence happiness level! No matter how you look at it, you did it! The key here is to be happy with the goals you set. Allow yourself to be satisfied with all that you accomplished. I’ve seen far too many people spiral out of control with working out. The thought process of “I can always be better” seems to be a driving force for those who want to continue this fitness or weight loss journey. Just be careful- it’s a fine line of working on your lady lumps and never feeling good enough. You should be so proud of yourself for working towards a healthier lifestyle that will benefit you for years to come.
Ultimately I would love to see everyone happy with the body they have been blessed with. No one ever teaches us that we’re supposed to fall in love with ourselves too. Falling in love with yourself is just like falling in love with someone else, it happens little by little than all at once you’re smitten. Love your body and it will love you right back. But remember you’re body does not define us as people.
Free yourself from beauty trends, from people’s opinions, from who you are not and will never have to be. Accept yourself and what you’ve got. Love and embrace every bit of it because you, not anyone else, are the one who defines you, who lets the world see what you have here. And that will not be restricted to just a body. You want to be a runner? Do it! Thinking about taking up cycling? Try it out! Don’t like working out at all? That’s fine! Just do whatever makes you happy in your own skin.