Hey hey! Happy Tuesday! I was thinking recently how I've changed a lot in the course of a year from working out (and I'm not just talking about my body), I myself have changed. I see working out and getting fit in a completely different light than when I first started. Instead of this dreadful experience I thought I'd have, it was actually a really fun (and still fun) experience! Which got me thinking about how no one told me about any of this, which is why I'm going to now tell you. Here are the things no one tells you about getting fit.
Motivation means nothing after the first few weeks
When I first started committed to working out again (almost a year ago now! Holy smokes!) I was super motivated. Nothing could stop me and I was gonna kick major butt in this program I was starting. The way my body looked made me motivated to change it. That strong motivation lasted about 3-4 weeks until I slowly started to kind of dread doing my next workout. My motivation was going away and I found it a little harder to push myself to get out of my warm, cozy bed and workout (especially in the dead of Winter!)
However, just because I was no longer super motivated didn’t mean I stopped. So, what kept me going? Habit and determination. I was determined to change my body and feel good about myself and I had formed a habit of working out 5 days a week - so I continued doing it. That’s not to say you’ll never be motivated ever again, but motivation is when you look at something or read something and you think to yourself, “WOW! I need to do this now!”. It lasts only a short time, but a habit and determination is what keeps you going.
You’ll realize more about YOU than you ever thought
Interestingly enough I thought I knew myself pretty well before I started my lifestyle change, but I actually didn’t. I learned a lot about myself. For one thing, I now call it a lifestyle change instead of saying I was doing a program just for a certain amount of time. For me, I learned that I actually love working out and that I love how it makes me feel and that it’s something I actually, in the first time of my life, don’t want to stop doing. It was a major change for me. I also now know that I love cooking whereas before I kind of wanted nothing to do with it!
You’ll realize things about yourself you just didn’t even think about before. Like, now you may love eating avocados and drinking almond milk whereas before you may have though “avo-who? and almonds make milk??” haha. But in all seriousness, you may find yourself surprised by what you find out about yourself, but in a good way!
It’s not all fun and games
While Instagram can make it seem like everyone is absolutely LOVING their workout (even I tend to portray this sometimes), it’s important to know that that is not always the case. While I do have great workouts for the most part, there are other times where I went slower than usual, had a harder time than normal, but I don’t exactly talk about it in great detail. This goes for everyone I think. There will be times where you’re cursing up a storm and hating every second of those burpees, but there will also be those times where you absolutely smash that workout and feel on cloud 9! Working out and getting fit is a lot like going to class. Sometimes you seriously would rather not go and have to force yourself to or else you’ll miss out on some gains (brain gains that is!)
Working out is just as much mental as it is physical
Yuuuup, there will be those times where you gotta give yourself a little locker room pep talk before you hit the weights/treadmill. There’ll be times where you’re huffing and puffing and telling yourself, “come on girl, you GOT THIS.” Mental strength is just as important - it’s what keeps you going and helps you continue working out on a daily basis. I’ve also come to realize that your mental strength improves over time (kind of like a muscle) and it gets easier to talk yourself into and less out of your workouts ;)
Simple is better
You’ll see people with their protein shakes and supplements galore and at one point I thought you needed those things in order to get muscle and get fit. However, they’re not really necessary. Of course protein is necessary, but you can get it in food instead of a processed powder (no shame on those who do use protein shakes - I use them every once in awhile). When it comes to supplements, I honestly don’t have a lot of knowledge on them. I’ve always been unsure about them, but I don’t believe you need them in order to gain muscle or be fit. One of my fitness inspirations, Kayla Itsines (as you may all know), doesn’t use any supplements or pre-workout drinks at all and I admire that. When I had protein shakes after every workout I honestly didn’t see any difference from when I wasn’t taking any protein shakes. In my eyes, simple is better, and if you choose to not use any supplements I don’t believe your results will vary by a large degree.
You’ll still have time
There’s a crazy myth out there that if you start working out daily you won’t have anymore time to do anything fun. Well, I’d like to kill this myth by saying you CAN have fun even when you add a workout into your day. Workouts don’t have to last an hour at the gym (mine are 30 - 35 mins) and take as long as an episode of Friends - which I watch at the same time so I’m basically killing two birds with one stone ;) (by the way, that’s a horrible saying isn’t it?!) You’ll still have time to hang out with friends, go to the mall and even watch more Netflix if you desire.
You’ll make more friends
I would have never guessed that I’d make any friends from working out. I thought it was a one person deal, but I was wrong! I’ve met many friends from working out (one whom I’m going to NYC with in February!) Some of my best friends are because of working out and that can happen for you too. Create an Instagram, talk to people at your gym, go to a Soul Cycle or group fitness class and chit chat! It’s so fun and you’ll have a blast!