I cannot believe I started my fitness journey two years ago. It feels like only yesterday I had a meltdown about not being able to do a sit-up, and now I can easily do them at an incline with a weight strapped on my chest. I’ve adopted a new lifestyle that most of my friends and family members do not share an affinity for. I can’t believe how far I’ve come, and I still have a way to go to reach my fitness goals.
I thought today I’d share a few pearls of wisdom that I’ve gathered over the past 24 months of sweat, blood and tears on this journey. Things that they don’t always tell you about fitness journeys. Things I wish I knew before I started on my journey to a new lifestyle.
What They Don’t Tell You About Fitness Journeys
Not all parts of your body will lose fat at the same rate
Oh boy. I really wish someone had told me this when I first started getting active. Many of us have stubborn, troublesome areas. Inversely, some parts will shed fat quicker than others. making the stubborn areas give you the impression that you’re getting larger when in fact it couldn’t be further from the truth.
That trick has played so many mind games on me. It has been the source of many downward spirals and bouts of second-guessing everything I’m doing. You’re not alone if you think you’re regressing.
A cruel, cruel trick your body plays with you.
The reason there are so many workout plans out there is because our bodies get accustomed pretty quickly to a routine. It explains why I didn’t see much results from back to back 12-week completions of BBG. Although I have a hunch my omitting the cardio 3x a week had something to do with it.
You won’t always want to workout
Creating a routine will help you hold yourself accountable. You won’t always have motivation to workout. I found writing in my workouts into my planner helped me create the habit the first month. In two weeks my body craved the movement, and it was the greatest feeling ever. But it’s discipline that will keep you going.
You may like this FREE printable heart rate zones cardio worksheet to help keep you in the right zone. Fat burning (aerobic) exercise happens in a certain range and many times my heart rate was far too low or far too high to burn fat. I created it to help me, and I’m sure it will help you, too!
There will be times when you think you’re a total badass
The other day, a guy tapped my shoulder at the gym. I was confused as to what he wanted, because there were plenty of other machines available. Turns out, he wanted to know if I knew how to use the Smith machine.
Um, duh? Haha.
All jokes aside, I feel strong and powerful when I’m the only woman in the weights area at the gym. When there are other women there, I feel strength and solidarity with other strong women. Fitness is as good for your physical health as it is for your mental health.
There will be times when you think you’re a failure
Bench jumps, I’m looking at you. I have a nasty scar from a missed bench jump that I’m still trying to fade using my favorite AHA/BHA peel. I’m still terrified of bench jumps almost two years later. It was painful!
There will be times when you will be disappointed with your perceived lack of progress
There’s a reason why I say “perceived” lack of progress. You can’t measure your progress solely on how you look in a mirror. I recently got a gym membership and I wasn’t expecting there to be mirrors everywhere.
I didn’t know how the areas I’m most insecure about looked at different angles. Thanks to those mirrors, now I do.
These are the moments when I have to remind myself that my progress is slow yet steady. The happiness and confidence I’ve gained are not in the mirror’s reflection.
Your T.O.M. will make you bloat
For the ladies: this one is a no-brainer, but hear me out. Don’t castigate yourself with mean thoughts when your body naturally retains water. You are NOT failing in your fitness journey. Give yourself some grace, and use kind words in your thoughts. If you wouldn’t belittle a friend with mean statements, don’t direct mean thoughts towards yourself either.
Cute workout gear will totally make you workout harder
This is truth. I am loving these Athleta compression crops. They’re snug. They contain all the jiggly bits. And they make my behind look like JLo’s booty.
The comparison game will wreck you
Look, I know everyone does it. I was in a bad, bad place earlier last week when I saw one of my favorite IG fitness accounts and saw how quickly she bounced back after having a baby. She looks better than I do—and I’ve never had kids.
We all do it…compare our bodies to each other. But we’re all unique and capable of many different things. One of the many, many heartfelt conversations I had with my late voice teacher was about weight. We both struggled with our weight all our lives. But, he countered, can XYZ sing like you? No, no they can’t.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We all have desirable traits. Just don’t focus on your less than desireable ones, because what you dislike may be what someone else covets. And just like all life lessons Dave gave me, “I say this to you as I say this to myself.”