In the midst of all the hustle and bustle throughout the last few weeks, I have unfortunately added some extra baggage into my life. Quite literally, two bags have rolled under each of my eyes, and as much as I would like to leave them unclaimed, they keep coming around. Getting enough sleep never used to be a problem for me, but now it seems like each night I have a date with the clock every two hours. Cups of coffee and a positive attitude can do wonders, but they can only do so much before life starts to feel much harder. As I was slowly walking out of the gym after a lift last week, I asked both Noah and myself how I had ever managed to get myself into the gym virtually seven days a week for sometimes an hour and half in college. I feel like I have been running on empty for the majority of my days, and I have only been getting into the gym 4-5 days a week. On top of that, during many of my recent workouts, I feel like I have just been going through the motions, and I haven’t been able to increase my load on any exercises…until this past weekend.
This past Sunday, Noah and I both had the best workout we have had in ages. I got a good sweat on (which is unusual), and there was a lot of celebratory dancing and yelling (don’t worry- we were in a home gym). Deadlifts? Check. Hip thrusts? Check. Squats? Check. I mean, I think I am still hyped from it, and it was over a full 24 hours ago. I felt a fire inside me that I haven’t felt in a hot minute. Thus, I find myself here thinking about how I can re-create this moment and keep the flame lit. In answering this, I discovered a deeper issue that I didn’t want to believe was still taking root in my everyday reality. If you’ll go with me, let’s take a journey into the depths of an over-analytical mind. Maybe it will make sense and help you too.
What do I enjoy about exercise?: I enjoy feeling healthy and strong, and I love the sense of accomplishment that I feel when I move.
Why do I exercise on days when I don’t feel healthy and strong?: I am afraid that I am weak if I can’t work out as much as other people do, and that I will never see progress. (From this, I take that fear is sometimes my motivation- oof #1)
Why do I still tell myself that progress can change overnight when I am certified educated on the subject and know better?: I operate with a healthy mind-set regarding other people’s lives, but somehow the information gets lost in translation when I think about myself.
Why don’t I have a healthy mind-set towards myself?: I am not as mentally over my disordered eating and exercise habits as I thought I was. (oof #2)
Why do I care so much about progress?: Because I am still figuring about my passions and myself, I feel like if I don’t have fitness, I don’t have anything else. (From this, I take that I sometimes confuse fitness with my identity- oof #3)
What do I see as progress?: While we are being honest here, I guess I have been focusing too much on physique rather than overall health. I really have been working on this one, but it is just so unreasonably hard for me (oof #4)
Don’t get me wrong. I am miles away from where I was a year ago, but that doesn’t mean my journey is over. I didn’t intend to write this just to bash on myself. Rather, I want to reiterate a message that I can never hear or write enough, even if it is all cliche,
It is okay not to be okay. Anxiety is not for the weak. Be proud of how far you have come. Strength looks different on everyone. Love yourself. Beauty is what is on the inside.
I wish I could say #itsjustthatcz to be positive and clear-minded all the time, but it’s not; it’s hard (no shame in the pun). If you resonate with this, just know that we’re all in this crazy thing called life together.
I want to be that person who is at the gym purely because I love it. I want to be the person that looks in the mirror and smiles. I’m going to be that person someday; I know it.