When I first started exercising regularly, I had to get over a lot of fear and intimidation at the gym.
I was in college. I was working really hard at figuring out lots of big things about my life- what my future career should be, how to do laundry in the dorm basement, how to have adult relationships, and how to get my body to finally look the way I had always wanted it to.
Just entering the gym was terrifying! So many other coeds in there that all actually knew what they were doing, lots of hot guys, and my effed up view of myself making me feel totally out of place!
So, I found comfort in rows of cardio machines, in a Zumba class taught by a good friend and over in the corner where I could do all my “core” work without anyone seeing me.
And so, began my time spent in cardio-land.
For nearly 5 years, my fitness regimen consisted of 1 hour on the elliptical followed by a bajillion crunches. At least 5 days a week. Every week. Forever.
What I found was that I lost weight and got a little skinnier. BUT, it took up so much of my time! I was tired, bored, and still a bottom-heavy, pear shape with no abs... even with all those damn crunches!
Eventually, I befriended the owner of my gym, and he challenged me to start working out with him, in exchange for me keeping him accountable on cardio.
I. Was. Terrified.
Would I get “bulky”?
Would I be able to do it?
Would I look stupid?
What the hell was I even doing!?
But, I knew it was time to do something different, if I wanted to see different results. So, I let him guide me through the first workout... then the next... then 4 workouts a week for the next year or so.
And, so began my first experience in the world of strength training. It became a true love affair.
In the time since, I have worked with 2 other coaches, and then transitioned to writing my own programming after getting my own certification.
Here is why I dove so deep into fitness. Here is what really happened when I started weight training:
First, and most obviously, my body transformed.
I lost weight more easily and kept it off.
I became more hourglass shaped and less pear shaped.
I saw muscle definition in my arms and abs for the first time ever.
My posture improved.
I had more endurance and felt less fatigued at the end of a work day.
My workouts were shorter and more focused.
Second, and less obviously but maybe more importantly, it transformed me mentally
I held my head higher (thanks to the improved posture) and started to exude more confidence.
I felt more connection with my body and became more aware of how it moved and what it told me.
I learned discipline and how to stick to my program.
I learned how to be flexible and adapt that program to fit my life.
I felt accomplished and proud of getting stronger and staying invested.
I learned better time management and prioritized my schedule.
I met new people and made new gym friends.
I felt, for the first time, what it meant to invest (time, money, and energy) in myself.
I stopped giving up on myself.
Changing the way I worked out completely changed the person that I am. I stopped doing endless hours of cardio as punishment to burn off what I ate the night before. I started making food choices that would fuel my body properly, and I essentially pulled myself out of the depths of an eating disorder that was ruining my life.
I grew and evolved and found new love for myself because the foundation of that love was no longer about what my body looked like, but rather, what it can DO!
It was the first time that I ever celebrated myself and my body, and that was life-changing for me.
I say it often, but it feels so deeply true today, as I sit here writing this post:
Every meal is an act of self-love.
Every workout is a celebration of the life that my body has inside of it.
I feel so deeply that other women, struggling with the same things, can have similar transformations. It is so empowering to know that it is within reach, and you CAN do it… with help and encouragement. Wherever you are in your journey, I am so stoked for you!
Here for you if you need anything, and cheering you on all the time.
Start your journey today!