Fitness Isn't Always Fun And Gains

Fitness Isn't Always Fun And Gains

Not everyone embraces the suck, and for that, they suck.


There's nothing I love more than seeing people improve their physical and mental health by hitting the gym. Even though I still hold some disdain for Planet Fitness (see my article from a while back calling them out), if people feel most comfortable there and are actually working on their health, I am 110% behind them. However, there is something missing from the majority of those who are the face of the fitness world — transparency.

As my headline suggests, fitness isn't always fun and gains. If you're like me, I thoroughly enjoy physically and mentally pushing myself to the brink. For most people, however, the physical and mental grind is the reason why fitness turns them away because it's not easy. From a mentality standpoint, putting your body under stress doesn't seem worth the investment of time for many people. The problem I have with the fitness world as it is right now is a lack of transparency. We know that people put the most filtered versions of themselves on Instagram. It can be a perception thing, an art-based form of a self-marketing thing, or a completely born out of insecurity thing (this list is not exhaustive). This is dangerous for those trying to get into fitness, and those trying to stay in fitness.

People who are learning about the fitness world, i.e. how to diet and exercise as well as find the routine that works best for them, see the polished versions of those individuals they look up to. They never see the entire truth. Yes, most days working out for me is great and overall, I love dieting because of its structure. However, rarely shown is how much fitness can plain and simply suck. When I'm sick, do you think I want to lift? You think eating the same meal for five or six days a week is awesome every single day? You think I don't feel like slacking off sometimes? I don't, it sucks, and hell yes.

Those who play face in the industry, however, like to act like fitness is a breeze. They post short workout clips and make it seem like getting results is throwing some weights around a few days each week and hitting the treadmill. Then they post their "cheat" meals that they can eat "because they lift," and promise results from a half-assed regiment.

I can tell you one thing about these people — they are either genetically blessed, or they are faking it to make themselves look good. I used to idolize these people in the industry because their lives seemed so perfect. But just because @GirlsNameHereFitLife is 5'2 and has been naturally toned her whole life doesn't make her a fitness personality that you should follow just because she posts a few lifting photos and videos. Same for @BrosWithBigArmsAndChickenLegs, posting cheeseburgers and pizza after a "lift session."

We as people should learn to better see through the BS people put online.

This fakeness on social media creates a false perception for those who don't understand how a fit lifestyle actually works. They get discouraged because they don't see results that they want, even though they follow the plans that these fitness personalities sold them on. Even better, they believe they can run the weekend warrior diet of crash dieting during the week and feeling like garbage, but slam down drinks and junk food all weekend and still look shredded.

Most importantly, good and honest people are duped into believing that a lackadaisical workout and dieting regiment will produce results, simply based on what the influencers are publishing on their pages. These new people don't understand that it takes consistency, and doing the work even when you do not want to. Or that calories are the ultimate determinant of your overall body composition, and orienting your diet around them and not some dumb fad diet is the way to achieve results.

So many great messages get lost in the polished bullshit because fitness is "cool" now. Fitness isn't always fun, and gains don't come easily. The reason I started my fitness page, @gainwithgoodwin, isn't that I wanted to show off or get endorsements. It was so I could be someone different in the industry, and help enhance the messages of those who don't put out bullshit content (see @syattfitness as a great example).

You don't have to torture yourself to make progress with fitness. Just know that progress isn't always as glorious as these semi-celebrities make it out to be.

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18 Things To Do Before 2018 Ends

The first half of 2018 has been more or less of a bust while the second half of the year is approaching quickly.

Last year you said would be better than the one before that, and this all of your New Years Resolutions have gone directly out the window and now you're feeling incredibly unmotivated and unaccomplished. Have no fear, it is never too late to set some SMART goals for the rest of the year ahead. The first known use of the term was in 1981’s November issue of Management Review by George T. Doran. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable / Attainable, Relevant, Timely. I'll save you some time and make you an easy to follow cheat sheet!

1. Create less waste.

The hardest part about using reusable-anything is remembering to bring it with you. Next time you go to get your morning pick-me-up cup of coffee, bring a reusable mug or stainless steel straw. Additionally, glass food containers are your friend when it comes to creating less waste - imagine how many plastic sandwich bags you use on a weekly basis!

2. Attend LOTS of concerts.

Do you have a favorite artist you’ve always wanted to see live? Find if / when they’re playing near you and sing your heart out. Know of any local artists in your hometown? See when they’re playing their next gig and go support. There is nothing cooler than being in a room with a bunch of people who know your favorite songs.

3. Save $$$.

Next semester tuition bill coming in the fall? Really want those shoes you’ve been looking at for a while? Save $10 a week for the next 52 weeks and you’ll have yourself a good $520 by the end of it! Remember that anything counts and change adds up.

4. Shed some pounds!

Wishing you had more energy? Wishing to feel healthier? Wanting to get fit or strong? Wanting your clothes to fit a little bit better? Aim to shed a few pounds in the second half of 2018.

5. Read, journal, doodle, meditate, or just generally check in with yourself for 18 minutes a day.

Take some time to yourself and check in with how you are feeling. How are you feeling emotionally, physically, and mentally? How did your day go? What were your intentions? What went right? What didn’t go as planned? How can you make tomorrow better than today?

6. Take a trip.

You don't necessarily have to go far to take a trip. Never been to your local metro park? Go now. Never been out of the country? Book a flight.

7. Drink 64 ounces of water per day.

Sadly, the 14 caffeinated drinks you've had since peeling your eyes open don't count. Drink more water to gain more energy, get clearer skin, and overall feel better.

8. Read 8 books.

Dust off that old library card, log into that kindle account, visit your local bookstore and pick up something new.

For a list of what I'm currently reading, click here.

9. Volunteer 18 hours of your time.

Time is one of the most valuable things in the world, why not give a little to a good cause? Do you know someone looking for someone to walk their dog? Is there a local shelter you can get in touch with to see what they need? Maybe a community garden that needs weeding? People are always looking for help from folks who will give it.

10. Visit 18 new restaurants, coffee shops, tea houses, stores, etc.

Do you feel like you and your family or friends are constantly eating at the same restaurant, drinking the same cup of coffee, shopping in the same stores? Branch out, find something new.

For a list of places I visited in 2017, click here, or click for my current list in 2018!

11. Learn a new skill!

Always wanted to knit your own sweater, learn how to braid hair, skateboard, or speak a new language? The time is now and the possibilities are endless, you might even just find your new favorite hobby along the way.

12. Cultivate a morning/bedtime routine.

Your alarm clock goes off and you're bolting through the door, hair half-brushed, teeth cleaned, face washed, and looking like a hot mess. Better yet, you can't sleep because you pass out wherever you fall and never get a good night of sleep. Change that, cultivate something to help you wind up for the day, or wind down for bed.

13. Find a physical activity you actually enjoy.

If you hate running with a passion (like I do), find a physical activity you genuinely enjoy participating in. Yoga, walking, weight lifting, tennis, parkour - there is something out there for everyone.

14. Wrap your ears around some new music.

As much as I love listening to the same old tunes from the Alternative 2000's Playlist on Spotify, finding new music can be a fun way to expand on what you enjoy.

For a look at what I'm currently listening to, find me on Spotify here.

15. Attend a local event in your community.

Does your town have the coolest art fair around, but you've never been? Is there a local farmers market that you've never seen? Check your community calendar or event pages often, you never know what you might find.

16. Start your own blog!

Really enjoy underwater basket-weaving? Super into plants? Love film or photography? Create a blog and write about it. Blogger, Squarespace, Weebly, Instagram, and so many other platforms are available at your fingertips.

17. Spend more time doing things that make you happy.

Sing in the shower. Plant plants. Go for long car rides. Doodle. Learn. Whatever it may be, spend more of your valuable time doing things that make you happy to be alive in this world.

18. Say "thank you" more than "sorry."

Thank you for existing. Thank you for sticking around. Thank you for making me a better human. Thank you for reading this article.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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The 4 Js For Your Week

Grab your pencil pouch and pay attention.


Mindfulness is a virtue. It is one of the reasons I love writing on Odyssey. It forces me to take a step back and look for inspiration in everything throughout my week. I like having the accountability to force my self to really think about what is going on in my life and how I feel about it. Being mindful helps me work on not having such a full mind.

I have always been a note taker. I own more colored pens than you could count and in every shade of every color. It's a passion. I also am an agenda gal. My planner might just be my best friend. I spend time each weekend laying out my week and reflecting on the previous one- all color coded of course.

While working at Camp Glisson over the summer, I spent a lot of time with kids having the best week of their lives. A popular way to get kids to talk about their week was to use the 4 J's. Outpost counselors thrived off of this method and it forced the kids to truly reflect on their time at camp. When starting college, I wanted to do the same thing, so at the bottom of each week I wrote out my 4 Js. Every Monday morning, I think back and write down anything that comes to mind. It has helped encourage me to think, to reflect, to focus, and to spend time focusing on how I'm doing.


This is your highlight of the week. This is what you liked most, what you enjoyed.

A couple of my Joy's from college: seeing camp friends at Freshley, saw one of my favorite bands perform, Austin came to visit me in Athens, the best night out for my birthday, beach weekend with my friends, an awesome semiformal, getting closer with friends, free food at Tate

No matter how small or how little, the joys in your life matter, and you should acknowledge them. You should go about each week with the mindset of waiting for something amazing to happen. It keeps you looking out for something worthy of the pink pen. It's important.


These suck. These are the bad things. These are the things you hate about your week, your lows. Even though it's not as fun to talk about, we all have our bad days and those are worth reflecting over too. It's how you overcome them. It's how you move past them. It's how you improve.

Some of my rough moments: my friends fighting with one another, drama, my friends leaving to go home for the weekend, a boy screwing over my best friends, forgetting about an assignment, midterms, sleeping in the study room, a bad grade on a Spanish quiz, being sick (yes it's been 4 months since I was healthy), a dawg loss (shhh we don't actually acknowledge it happened), general stress, etc

Big or small: shit happens. We forget about it. We move past the one bad grade that doesn't actually control our future and we make up with our friends who made us mad on our off day. The worst days are only 24 hours anyway.


This one is my favorite. This is where you saw Jesus in your life during the week. It can be big or small. It doesn't have to be in a church. It can be anywhere in any aspect of life. It is important to see these. To be mindful so that you can be looking for Him. Acknowledging where the Lord is acting in your life is essential to him acting in it.

Some really cool places I've seen Him: in DZ bible studies and the community that fills them, in daily devotions that speak too close to home, in the BYX boys leading us in small group, in getting a good grade I prayed too hard for the night before (I got a 100 thx Jesus), in the message at freshley that showed me my worth, in my friendships with people who show the Lord's love to me, through the change in seasons, through North Campus in the fall, through answered prayers, through the life change that took place in Russell Hall and Delta Zeta.

The Lord is everywhere if you open your eyes to look. See him in people. See him in places. See him in experiences. That comforting feeling he brings is present outside of your pew.


This is where you embarrass yourself and your friends. This is the funniest part of your week. This is where something crazy happened. This is where you felt like you got abs from laughing too hard.

I wore crocs downtown. I went out with my parents. My dad sang every word of Usher songs no one knew he knew. A crazy man came on campus to inform all the girls that "It is hot. Don't be a thot." Charles had to look up what "a hat without a top" is because he didn't know the word for visor. I almost got hit by a car at a crosswalk. One of my friends balanced a pizza box, a bowl, and who knows what on someone sleeping who didn't notice. I went on a date night and my date answered the phone "is this big sexy?" (referring to one of his friend's nicknames) but it was actually Papa Johns.

Life is a trip. Being able to laugh at yourself sporting 12 jibits on your crocs daily and falling down the huge staircase in MLC in front of everyone is just part of it. Keep a note of the funniest parts of your weeks because these will be the memories you want to keep track of and look back on in a couple months.

That it. Those are the 4 J's of my weeks. The 4 J's that encourage me to make sense of what's going on and to embrace it. Here's to the colored pens that keep track of everything I would normally forget in a few days. Here's to the memories that flood mindfulness. Here's to being aware of what is affecting your life and why it's important. Here's to the 4 J's.

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