The Body Achieves What the Mind Believes

“I want the perfect body,” I said to myself at the start of my grade 11 year. Although my calorie counting obsessions, weekly weight checks, and daily Insanity workout videos helped, it just was not enough. I wanted to be the perfect, thin model, straight out of a Vogue magazine.

In the midst of being consumed by this exhausting lifestyle, I wasn’t focusing on what truly mattered: the fact that I was anxious and depressed 24/7. I was never happy and I dreaded waking up to the idea that I was in fact, imperfect. If I wasn’t perfect in all aspects of my life, whether it be my academics or physique, I concluded that I was never going to be successful and therefore never be happy.

As a consequence of my self-demeaning nature and desire to be in ultimate shape, my mom thought it would be a good idea to get a personal fitness trainer for myself. I would now get the body I had always desired. Perfect. My training began. Day after day I was waiting for results. And they came. But I wanted to be even thinner, prettier, and overall better.

Despite these oppressive thoughts, I began to realize that I was happier than I previously had been. How could this be? I was not even close to attaining perfection.

After countless training sessions, I finally realized what my trainer was actually doing for me. She was training me to change my perspective -- to change my mentality about what the whole point of training was. She showed me that true strength resides within, and in order to get stronger, you have to have first develop a strong mindset.

Even though training comes with its physique perks, it is more about how your trainer teaches you to live your best life and become your best self that ultimately makes you stronger. I know this because once I stopped training before entering university, I reached my lowest point in life during my first semester. I was the most depressed, anxious, and self-conscious I had ever been. My grades were dropping, I was struggling to socialize and form new relationships, my diet was all over the place, I couldn’t sleep properly, and I was only going to the gym 1-2 times per week. I felt as though my life was being swept away by chaos and I was consumed by it.

After several months, I had had enough. Although my first trainer was life changing, I realized I wasn’t ready to be finished with my training yet, and I ultimately decided to find someone on campus as soon as possible. Thankfully, I found yet another amazing trainer and my perspective began to change almost instantaneously. My life today is the best it has ever been.

I have talked a lot about how training has changed me, but I would like to elaborate on how I reap the benefits of training.

I essentially train...

1. To de-stress

As a university student, I am highly involved in extracurricular activities and have multiple academic commitments. Although I love what I do and what I learn, training allows me to set aside time during which I can relieve the pressure of these commitments and just focus solely on myself.

2. To be focused

Consequently, once I de-stress, I can become more focused and efficient. Since starting training, my academic performance has improved and my extracurricular involvement has been much more impactful.

3. To be ambitious

As a continual goal setter, training allows me to create goals and challenges that are both realistic and surpass my own self-imposed limitations.

4. To be happy

I never leave the gym without a smile on my face. I always have a much more positive aura that surrounds me throughout my day after training.

5. To gain perspective

Just like seeing physical improvement in training, if you want to attain something in life, you have to work for it. Work ethic combined with being happy will lead to success. I remind myself of this during and after every workout.

6. To improve strength

Both physically and mentally. I owe it to myself to lead a healthier life, and getting stronger can help me do just that.

Eventually, I want to be able to be strong enough on my own, and I believe I eventually will be, upon finishing my training. I know I have not reached that point yet, but I have learned that all goals take time and if you are willing to demonstrate work ethic and perseverance, anything is possible. Training has taught me just that. As for you, if you’re ever feeling stuck and as though you have not yet mastered your best self, I truly believe that personal fitness training is right for you.

Also, Tess and Jess, thank you both for changing my life in the best way possible.