Five things I wish someone had told me when I began my fitness journey, to find my authentic body.
1. You will question everything you’re doing.
It’s a difficult challenge to love yourself fully, yet not become complacent to a point where you begin to make excuses for slacking. Any long-time fittie will tell you, in order to achieve goals, making fitness and health a part of your lifestyle is a must. You’ll question if you’re working out enough, too much, if you’re doing the right exercises for what your goals are — don’t torture yourself. Know that it will take work, adjustments, and time.
2. Rest is important.
Rest is just as important as your workouts. Your muscles recover and rebuild on rest days. When you lift weights (for example), you get micro tears in your muscles — they need rest days in order to repair and grow. Working out too much can have adverse results. Your body will go into exhaustion mode and try to store fat, you may regress in progression, or get really sick. I like to switch up my routine where some weeks I take Saturday and Sunday off. Other weeks I workout every other day. This is dependent on what kind of exercises I do throughout the week.
3. You’re going to change internally.
This is one you will hear time and time again. I have never felt so empowered and confident in my life. Working out has given me the ability to commit, set difficult goals and reach them, and learn about my downfalls. I promise this journey is more than just burpees and bench presses.
4. People will always have something to say.
From my own experience I’ve heard, “you were already skinny”…”I like your ‘before’ photo better than your ‘after’.” You have to ignore these comments because no one’s opinion of your body matters but your own.
5. Be realistic about your goals. And keep going.
When everyone starts their fitness journey they have these outrageous expectations (myself included) of a six-pack after a couple months, or dramatic weight loss within weeks. While this is possible, it relies heavily on genetics how/where you lose weight/build muscle. Choosing to make fitness a part of your life allows you to benefit from all of the positive things that come with it, instead of having an arbitrary goal like, trying to fit into a bikini within two months. Commit and make it a priority — it’s your body. Find your authentic body; the one that is your healthiest you. That means, when you feel good, look good, and are content. It’s OK to strive to better yourself, but be able to find happiness with where you are today.
Lastly, know that you will always have your authentic body and it comes in many different silhouettes. Pregnant, thin, bloated, muscular, weak…allow yourself to be human, to be flawed. And keep going.