Hello beautiful souls,
The other day I was coming back from the gym and a light switched in my brain. Or maybe it was the rush of endorphins running through my body. I don’t think I can pin point it. All I know is that I wanted to share with the world how I started this interesting journey of working out on a regular basis. Because here’s a little secret (that everyone knows): You will feel ten times more amazing after working out than how you felt before. TRUTH.
Before we get into the specifics, I want to give you a bit of a background on me and my health state prior to being conscious about it. I started gaining weight when I was about 9 years old. Which meant that during most of my primary school days and all of my secondary education (which would be middle school in the United States) I was overweight. Not fun for anyone. Nevertheless, thank God for puberty. At least in my case it really was a blessing. During the summer break, right before starting highschool, my body changed and I lost a bunch of weight without really doing anything different. I was never the sporty kind or an athletic girl, so I never had a fit body.
Therefore, and despite that marvelous moment of hormonal craziness, the weight came back when I started college. Yes, the Freshman 15 made an appearance in my life. Times three. For some people, that may not be a lot of kilograms, but for a 1.57 m (~5’1″) woman, it is a lot. What a joy!
WOW that was a long intro!… Sorry about that. But I do believe it’s important to know the history to understand the present.
After living with the extra weight for about 4 or 5 years I made a rather quick decision one day. I will start exercising. No excuses. No workout buddies required. No promises to anyone. No nothing. Just me and my brain deciding to join the gym and work out. One day I said it and the next day I joined in. Man, that was a very, VERY, difficult first week. There was a lot of pain, suffering, many aches, sweat and even tears. And of course, a bunch of thoughts of this is not for me, it’s very difficult, I can’t do it, I will die!… With all that in mind, here’s my first piece of advice:
1. Do not over think
Don’t give your brain the chance to make that dreaded pro/con list about starting a workout routine. Because rest assure, it will find a reason why it is not a good idea to do it. Instead, take the plunge, just go over there and have fun at it. Take it for what it is, a new experience. It’s OK to suck at first.
It is never easy to start a new adventure. It takes courage, determination and heart. But once you endure the hardest part, the rest of it is truly magnificent.
I believe that applies to working out just as much as any other adventure in life. For me, exercising was not about having a thin figure or to be prettier, have a smaller waistline or loose X amount of weight. For me, it was about being fit. I wanted to stop feeling sluggish, slow and heavy. I did not like the lack of stamina and energy.
So my second piece of advice is:
2. Set a realistic end goal
I believe that one of the key factors that helped me in my path towards better health is that I decided that my end goal would be to get healthier. That’s it. It is easier to achieve better health just by moving more everyday, than wanting to lose 5 kg in one month.
By doing this, I did not have to convince myself everyday to go, because I already wanted to do it. The sense of heaviness became smaller each day that passed. I was hooked!
3. Try different things until you find a workout that is right FOR YOU
There are a number of options out there. Going to the gym, having a personal trainer, running outside, working out at home or taking classes like Sumba, kickboxing or Pilates. I will not list all of them because I probably don’t know every option out there. Instead, do a web search of the alternatives closer to you and start from there. Each person is good at something, and each feels good by doing something in particular. Find what tickles your fancy. It’s fun!
4. Set a goal of workouts per week
I still remember hearing people say that you had to do five workouts every week in order to be fully committed. That if you wanted to see results you had to be hardcore and do it seven times a week for best results. What a load of BS. That is not true! You don’t have to over work your body to get great results. You don’t need to kill yourself in the gym everyday to be in the right path. You have to find out what feels right FOR YOU. Pay attention to your body and set a personal goal for you. For me, it was at least three times a week. With that, I felt like I was on the health path that best served me and my fitness end goal.
5. Wear workout clothes that make you feel confident in your own body
This may sound like and obvious one, but for some reason not everyone gives it the attention it needs. For example, I believe that wearing pants that are tight and don’t let everything jiggle is important. I enjoy looking at my fun colored sneakers in the mirror when I’m taking a Pilates class. I love wearing comfortable sports bras that give me freedom to move freely during my exercises. It does matter, so choose what works for you. You will thank yourself later.
6. Give yourself credit every time you do a workout
I think this is the easiest one of them all. Of course, you are going to be so happy after a workout because you did it that you will look at yourself in the mirror and think “I’m proud of myself for doing this”. Never fails! I do not know anyone that after a workout has said they wished they hadn’t done it. It’s always a rush and a sense of accomplishment. So give yourself the much deserved TLC and pad in the back. YOU DID IT!
I hope today’s post inspire you in some way to go after what you want. If not, I hope you at least enjoyed it. If you have any comments, please let me know =) Best of luck in your adventures. And remember: