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Why Working Out Shouldn’t Be About Losing Weight

I always played some sort of competitive sport, up until my junior year of high school. When junior year came around and my family moved to a new city, I decided that playing competitively wasn’t for me. Instead, I filled my schedule with other, non-athletic clubs that took up a lot of my time.

When I first started working out (besides competitive sports), it was mostly just to pass the time. My family had moved during the summer, and I didn’t have a chance to meet anyone before school started. I started off going with my mom and my sister, and we always based our workouts on how we felt, and not by how many calories we burned. If I felt tired at the end of my time at the gym, it was a success. 

Fast forward to college, and my workout routine is pretty on and off. Freshman year I went through a phase of running (not for very long), and then I stopped working out entirely; up until quarantine. Quarantine was when I probably spent the most time working out than I ever had before. I did my share of Chloe Ting workouts, and went on long walks and runs with friends. Exercising was a good way for me to escape my thoughts and pass the time.  

Woman exercising with resistance band
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

During quarantine, I worked out everyday. And after this period of time, it was summer and I was headed to the beach. When I started trying on my summer clothes and bikinis from the summer before, I was disappointed when a lot of my clothes fit differently, or didn’t fit at all. I was upset at myself when I realized that I had put on weight, even after working out consistantly. This was a new feeling for me, because I had never remembered a time when I really had to think about my weight. The entire reason that I was working out had completely changed.

After this entire experience, I have realized that for me, working out in the beginning was always about feeling good, and not about the results. I think that in college, girls have an unrealistic expectation to look like they did in high school, and exercising turns into something that it shouldn’t. In the long term this isn’t healthy. Exercise for your mind! 


Hi I am Lily! I am a sophomore at SMU and I am from Austin, Texas, but I did live in London for 2 years! I am majoring in accounting and minoring in psychology.
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