Now, I am certainly no bodybuilder, but lifting weights really did change my life in many ways. When I starting attending high school, my body confidence was at an all-time low, and my body weight was at an all-time high.
After graduating and beginning college I began to work at a gym called Equinox, I met some amazing instructors and personal trainers. From there they would encourage me to try out their classes, and experiment with the personal trainer's techniques. As I became more comfortable, I started taking the classes but would stay in the back embarrassed from how out of shape I was. I certainly did not want everyone seeing my red cherry tomato face panting and about to pass out. Slowly but surely I made my way to the gym floor but would always stick to the elliptical, never branching out and being too intimidated for people to see me struggling.
After working with my friend and great personal trainer Michael Habibi, I got more out of my comfort zone than ever before. He was the push that I needed, he made me begin to lift weights because he saw how strong I was mentally and physically, and saw that I didn't give up. I do owe quite a bit of my "gym confidence" to him, he showed me the ropes, and consistently pushed me to my limits, that I never knew were there before, thanks, Mish Mish.
After learning a few tips and workout routines from him I began to venture onto the weights floor by myself. I had learned enough from many other personal trainers as well so that I knew what I was doing, and I knew I was strong enough.
Lifting weights amongst only men most days did not make me feel intimidated as most would think, but I felt pretty badass and sometimes lifting more than the dude next to me, would boost my ego a bit, I won't lie. Women lifting weights has slowly become more acceptable. I was often discouraged by people close to me to not lift weights in fear of becoming too muscular and to just stick to cardio. They would say "lifting weights will make you look too manly, and no guy wants to be threatened physically by his girlfriend".
Au contraire my friends, lifting a few times a week doesn't turn you into a huge bodybuilder, it turns you into a confident individual.
The moment you start holding your talents back in fear of intimidating others-- become aware of it and quit holding your gifts back to make others more comfortable. Lifting weights amongst mostly men usually has also helped me encourage some of my girlfriends to lift weights with me. I've encouraged many of my friends to get out of their comfort zone and lift right alongside me. And some techniques I've found that work is, in fact, doing both weights and cardio. Ladies, get those squats and sprints in, trust me.
Now when I work out, I'm sweating and beet red, but I feel powerful. I'm not scared of people seeing me struggle, this just shows that I'm pushing myself to my limits and will continue to better myself. Lifting weights have helped me to become physically stronger, and mentally strong as well. Getting out on the gym floor, outside, beach, wherever and getting your sweat on, having the opportunity to show yourself that you are much stronger than you think you are.