I know what your thinking, oh gosh not another cheesy article telling you about the importance of exercise and all these tricks and potions of weight loss. But no, I’m not going to tell you any of that. I’m just here to tell you how exercise changed my life for the better.
As long as I can remember I have always been an advocate for health, but I was far from healthy. I wished to be healthy and strong, I wished to be a healthy eater, I wished to be skinnier than I was etc. Don’t get me wrong, I already have the physical attributes, but for me there has always been something missing. For me I think that I am at the stage where I am personally developing and for that reason I am looking for the things that can help me progress in the journey.
I was determined to get healthy and maintain myself, but I had no idea where to start, plus I was really shy to start exercising as I had never been to the gym. At first, my aim to was to maintain the physical attributes I had (I was getting a tad chubby which was abnormal for me) and that was my motivation to exercise. Don’t get me wrong, this exercise regime did not come easy. I failed a lot of times. I started exercising in small steps such as jogging in the park (I live near a park, and I didn’t have to travel very far to workout so it didn’t feel like such as drag). I started jogging at around 6 am once a week (I got up early to avoid being seen as I was shy lol), and I gave myself small goals to achieve. So first, to motivate myself to get out of bed I would set myself a challenge to wake-up at 6 am and if I did I would give myself a small reward, and then I would challenge myself whilst jogging such as running around the park without stopping once to see how far I could challenge myself. Over time, jogging started to become so much easier, I increased the number of times I jogged a week, and the weight started dropping off.
Once I had mastered developing a small regime to exercise, I decided that I wanted to try out the gym. My fitness priories started changing and I wanted to challenge myself in a different way. Up to this point I had a warped perception of the gym, did not feel confident to go by myself, and had no idea how to use most of the machines, so I found a gym buddy/accountability partner who I could exercise with and learn from. I started going to the gym 4 times a week without fail, and with the help and support of my gym buddy I am able to continue to maintain my weight and health through fitness.
More often than not, I find that I have consistently achieved my goals and I was feeling better about myself. Of course over time I made it a routine, I maintained a healthy weight and I started becoming stronger. But not only that, I found that exercise also helped me in other ways.
For me, exercise is not based on what I physically look like anymore, it’s the feeling that it gives me. The feeling of knowing that I acquired my physical attributes myself through perseverance and determination, the feeling of my mind being clear allowing me to think clearly and rationally, the feeling of happiness and success that I am focused and striving to be the best version of myself, the feeling of doing something that I once found extremely difficult with ease, the feeling of accomplishment I get smashing my exercise goals that I had set for myself.
Now because I exercise so often, I get to experience these feelings again and again so much so that it has now become a fixed habit. Over time, I have found that a lot of my habits in everyday life reflect my exercise. For instance, I no long desire to eat bad food because it will alter my mood and energy levels (plus I work too hard in the gym to let it all go!), now I find myself not worrying so much about irrelevant things because I am constantly focused on me so I have no time to think about any negative thoughts. If I do think about a negative thought, I adopt the habits I have learned in the gym and logically try and see how I can overcome the thought rather than dwell on it, just like I would if I was learning how to learn how to use a new exercise machine. This mainly consists of concentrating all my efforts on something else such as socialising, working, watching a movie, or going for a walk or drive. I have also developed a sharper mind due to the practice of concentration on gym exercises, have developed the skills of integrity, support and taking responsibility through working as a team with my accountability partner (I cannot stress enough how this has helped me in my journey). In changing something, or doing something new, having an accountability partner is so important! Furthermore, because my mind is now clearer I have the capacity to think about and plan my goals that I want to achieve, but most importantly, I have developed the confidence that I can do the things that I had never thought that I could before, because exercise was one of the most challenging hurdles in my life.
So I have been doing exercise for over a year now and I can honestly say that it is one of the best things that I have ever started. Before I was lazy, I suffered from low mood, was often foggy headed and found it hard to concentrate, as well as having extremely low confidence. Not so much confidence in doing things, just confidence in my self, self-esteem, and the way I felt about myself in general. I can truly say that exercise has changed all of that.
For anyone wanting to start a fitness regime, I would say it’s best to start small, and by yourself, so you know where you are in terms of fitness, you can work at your own pace, and there is no pressure to be a certain way. Then when you have mastered your own fitness goals, then get an accountability partner/buddy and work together to set yourselves new challenges and reach those fitness goals you set. You will find that once you have your buddy it will be more fun and you can stay motivated for those days when you don’t feel like going, and they will be the voice of reason to remind you why you started. Remember fitness and health is a lifetime journey! 😀
Trust me, when you maintain your fitness and health, you will find things falling into place…
Ahh exercise, what can I say. Exercise has helped me in ways I never thought possible. I dare you to try it… Exercise helped me get my groove back! 😉