Today I had an epiphany. Over the past 2 years I have made a drastic change in how, and why I exercise. My whole life I generally exercised to keep weight off, lose weight, and get smaller. I would say 1 out of every 10 workouts was a workout I was actually looking forward to, but most of all I felt I had to go because ‘I had eaten something bad’ or ‘I need to burn off the calories I ate’ etc.
Over the past two years, a variety of influences have shifted my mindset and the reasons why I exercise. I slowly stopped exercising to blast calories, and slowly started getting strong and fitter. I started to love exercise because my lifts were going up, I was able to do some wild things I never thought I could do in yoga, and overall I noticed things became easier in life.
I noticed that I didn’t have to say ‘no’ if someone asked me to go for a 10 k run on the weekend even though I don’t run, because I knew I would be fit enough for it. I started noticing that the once dreaded push ups were now starting to get much easier. I loved going hiking with groups and always getting to the top of the mountain first.
I loved leaving the gym to realize how much stronger I was that session than the last.
As a result I WANTED to go to the gym more, I looked forward to it, I was excited to try new things and push myself and have fun. Workouts stopped being about “how much can I blast my body this hour’ to ‘what do I need to work on to get fitter and stronger?’.
With the consistent and desire to go to the gym more, and the more I worked on my strength and not just being a cardio bunny, the more muscle I built, fat I shed, and overall ‘trim’ and healthy I felt. And the best part is, I created a lifestyle out of it. There’s no ups and downs in weight anymore, because I exercise with equal consistency and regularity now.
Now I don’t even think about calories or sizes or weight, when I go to the gym I think “ok it’s going to be a back day and I really want to work on my wide grip pull up, etc. etc.”. As a result I still burn calories, sweat, and all that good stuff, but the oh so small shift in mindset from “I need to run for an hour to get smaller” to “I want to be the strongest, fittest, happiest version of myself” has been such a huge change.
I wanted to share this with you to see if any of it resonates with your journey. If you find you waiver in and out of going to the gym and not going to the gym really look at why you go in the first place. I find most often if it’s a superficial goal like “being skinny” or “losing weight” it will only get you so far. What is going to motivate you when you do lose the weight?
By having all types of goals that drive you to exercise, the gym, or whatever you do for activity can become such a huge driver, and a more sustainable one. Once you master your pull ups, there is always a bigger goal to work towards in the realm of fitness.
Right now for goals I am still working towards my:
– pistol squat
– more than 1 strict pull up
– Some crazy yoga holds (youtube videos to come)
– overall improving my main lifts
What are you working towards right now?