The beginning of September has us all going back-to-something. Whether it be school, work, or life in general, everyone I have spoken with in the last week is feeling the same way about summer coming to an end: it’s time to get back to reality. I thrive on routine but one thing I’ve learned about being a grown up, and having a career in sales, is no two days are ever the same. But in an effort to have a strong finish to what has been an unbelievable year, I have to get back to my number one priority: taking care of myself. And yes, this includes getting back to the gym…
When I started going to a trainer five months ago, I’d expected magic and miracles to happen. I was willing to dedicate myself to a gruelling hour twice a week on my road to a healthier body and a stronger mind. I was determined that this would be the answer to no longer feeling guilty about what I ate and being uncomfortable in my clothes. The reward would be a brand new two piece bathing suit for the summer because by then I would be in the shape of my life. But what I quickly learned was like most things in life, this was going to be a marathon, not a sprint.
This year I made it a goal to have a healthier lifestyle, which to those who know me well would be surprised to hear. Without becoming a trainer, nutritionist or full blown wellness expert myself, from the outside there looked like there was little improvement needed. But where I needed the work the most was all in my head. I have spent years knowing I could be a stronger, fitter version of myself. I had never really believed in weight training because I feared gaining muscle would take me back to my younger days - the ones when I was a gymnast, growing to be as wide as I was tall. At the same time, I also knew that running alone wasn’t going to do it either. Running was for my mental health as much as it was for my physical health, but no amount of training was going to create the change in my body I was looking for.
As time passed, I grew frustrated by the lack of results. I had never physically worked this hard in my adult life and yet I was seeing no change. From the beginning I knew I wasn’t going to shed pounds and inches from my petite frame, but all this hard work had to be worth something. Had I set the wrong expectations? Was I reaching for an unrealistic goal? I had to be reminded that time and consistency were the only way to breed results and I had to keep showing up if I wanted to see them come to life.
But at some point there was a shift; a change in my mindset and motivation for going to the gym in the first place. No longer was I solely focused on trimming up and slimming down, I was enjoying the process and progress of taking care of myself. As a woman who values her independence, I knew this hard work was going to payoff in the long run. Isn’t that what we’re all striving for by working out? The opportunity to keep ageing at bay for as long as possible while preparing us to live as comfortably as possible as age inevitably catches up? I take pride in being able to take care of myself, to be active, to be free; all of which require a strong mind and a strong body. And though I still have good days and bad days, I know that each time I make it to the gym, I never feel worse, only better for it.
Share what motivates you to stay active in the comments below!