There is something I’ve been wanting to express for a long time when it comes to all that fitness has done for me, but it just all of a sudden dawned on me tonight. Yes, call me slow – but better late than never! I susbscribe to a lot of blogs and fitness websites, and am struck daily by how positive people who work out are; all fitness “geeks” seem to have so much energy, so much life in them and they are always, always goal oriented. Looking for the next challenge, while not losing focus of what they are doing right now. Why is this? Well, no doubt does working out do wonders for your physique, but what is not so often recognized is the improvement of your mental state. The release of endorphins when you do cardio, the “burn” in your muscles after a good weight session… not to be compared to anything and unless you are a gym rat, you most likely won’t know what I’m talking about! When I lift weights I feel like all my problems are behind me, I feel on top of the world. I may have come in to the gym feeling defeated, bothered by life’s many complications, bills, clients, customers, etc. but after an hour of doing my thing I feel invincible! Lately I may feel that I have a few too many pounds on my frame, but I know I have it in me to get back to tip top shape and I’m DOING it!
I am happy to have found my way back to training when I was at a pretty crazy state in my life. First, in 2004, I was let go in a job I was more than happy to leave (I guess fate does do what it’s supposed to sometimes); , I completely changed careers- went from making six figures to $10 /hr in a new industry, second, I fell in love and got married after 3 months (goodbye to my bachelorette state which I so proudly held on to for 33 years), third, moved from the big city of NY to a small town north of NY – can I add more life changes?? I completely lost sense of myself, who I was or was becoming- on top of it I had lost my routine, stopped going to the gym, started eating and drinking more than ever and had gained 30 + lbs. We all know the story- I started my weight loss journey in the fall of 2008 and I’m now 35 lbs lighter and lost double digits of body fat… and completed my first figure competition. Am I proud of what I have accomplished? Hell yeah! Am I becoming complacent? Hell no! I am competing with myself all the time because it’s the way I feel fulfilled. I have always been competitive, goal oriented and had a greater vision in life- whether it be in fitness, career or in anything else I decided to take on. Fitness helped me find back to “me”- who I am as a person. Someone who takes pride in themselves, someone who always looks at the glass half full and not half empty (or overflowing, for that matter!) and who LOVES life. I know I can do anything I set my mind to – I just have to do it! Sometimes the road to getting there is bumpy and challenging, but as they say; life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. How boring would it be if we got “there”, and there was nothing else to reach for? Humans are made to strive for new, bigger and better things- this also applies to fitness. You may see the gorgeous, almost perfect looking physiques of Pauline Nordin, Emily Stirling, Monica Brant and Erin Stern- but you don’t see them sitting back down on the couch chowing on chips (well at least I know Pauline doesn’t, haha!) relaxing and thinking that “this is it, I can relax now”.
So think of that the next time you feel like you can’t “get” there- start enjoying that you are actually in the middle of working on getting there- most people don’t even accomplish that! Take a minute to notice how great you feel while you are reaching for something you want. You are being productive! One step at a time, one little bite, one work out at a time… And before you know it, the next time you look in the mirror, I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised!