My Tips For a Successful Fitness Journey

Everyone I know has struggled with staying active or having good self-esteem at some point in their lives. It is hard when transitioning from high school to college to find a new way to stay active while balancing the high demands of a college life. Most people have sports in high school that somewhat force them to stay in shape (I definitely did) and when that is no longer in their lives, they don’t know how to do it on their own.

 

 

My journey to “fitness” has been a bumpy one. I am not even sure I would currently consider myself fit, or even as fit as I have been in recent years, but part of my journey has been learning to be okay with myself no matter what. I can also say, I am not fully there. There are good days and bad days. They key is to work towards having more good days than bad.

 

 

I really just wanted to share all of this so anyone who is in the same position as me can relate to my struggles and small triumphs. “Small” is the key word there. Learning to focus on smaller victories will be much more rewarding than trying to focus on the big ones. Starting off a journey saying, “I want to lose __ amount of weight” is not always the best option. I have done that many times, and when it takes too long to get to your goal, it is hard to not give up.

 

I have started a fitness journey at least 5 different times throughout college. I have made progress, then gotten busy for many different reasons, then lost progress or completely backtracked. There was always a cycle for me: I would get really serious about fitness for about three to five months and then something would happen and I would completely stop. This could be anything from college stress, work stress, or a relationship. This most recent time that I have tried to get back in shape, I figured out more of a balance and a better mindset.

 

The first thing I have learned that has helped me is to stop thinking about weight. Weight is just a number, and everyone carries their weight differently. If you are feeling happy and confident in yourself, it does not matter how much you weigh. This has helped me a lot. I have been trying to stay active for a little over a year now and have made progress, but it is slow. That is completely okay! It helps me to think about goals in a different way. I push myself to run my mile faster, run two miles instead of one, or just to get through my workout without feeling exhausted. These things are much more rewarding than a number on a scale.

 

Another thing that has helped me is to just make myself go to the gym. The hardest part for me is getting there, and then the rest is not so bad. Personally I have found that I love warming up with a run (for however long feels right that day), then lifting weights, and doing a cool down stretch. It is also good to switch it up to keep things interesting. Find something that you enjoy doing, put on your favorite workout playlist to pump you up, and then you will be fine!

 

 

Another thing that has been very beneficial is to involve your friends and family in your journey. I workout with my best friend and my brother frequently. Having someone there to keep you accountable and drag you to the gym on the days you don’t feel like going is super helpful. They also motivate me to push myself harder in the gym when I am with them. It is also good to have a good support system when you are trying to make healthy choices. Even just having someone who can send you a motivational text or tell you to not get Taco Bell for dinner (again), can help you out tremendously.

 

 

The way that I have found to keep learning about different workouts and keep trying new things is to follow fitness people on YouTube and Instagram. Two of my favorites are: Whitney Simmons on both Instagram and YouTube and suzie_kb on Instagram. They post workouts and fitness tips very often which can be a way to keep you motivated when you see it on your timeline, or help you switch things up at the gym. I have tried workouts from both of them and they always work different muscles and help me keep it interesting.

 

Taking progress pictures has been one of the most beneficial things in my recent fitness journey. Because your progress does not always show on the scale, pictures show you everything. On days that I am feeling down or think I haven’t made any progress at all, I look back at all of the pictures from the beginning and it makes me feel a lot better. Pictures can really show you how far you have come and motivate you to keep exercising.

 

Working out does not have to be about an end result. It does not have to be all about your appearance. Working out keeps you healthy, makes you feel better in general, and helps you in so many ways. I have noticed how much happier I am by just trying to stay as active as my schedule permits. Which brings me to my next point….

 

Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t make it to the gym or if you eat an entire pizza for dinner. Life is all about BALANCE. Nothing can be sustainable if there isn’t room for your life. No one is going to succeed if they make rules of working out every day for the rest of their life and never touching fast food again. This just sets you up to fail. Instead, try to make healthier choices as much as possible. During the semester, I can only make it to the gym 1-3 times a week sometimes, and that is okay. As long as you don’t give up and go months without doing anything, you will still make progress.

 

 

Lastly, remember that you are amazing no matter what. Whether you want to start a fitness journey, are in one, or never want to step foot in a gym, you are amazing. The hardest part in all of this is just learning to accept yourself and build your self esteem. This is something I work on daily, and will continue to work on for quite some time.

 

Don’t forget..

 

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