I am sure I am not the only one who has started the new year this way: goes to buy a gym membership, starts going for a month and then canceling said membership in favor of Netflix and my favorite snacks while expecting my “summer body” to magically appear. It is an absolute struggle to keep a routine when it comes to working out aside from the harsh, cold winter weather.
This only adds to the lack of motivation during the first weeks of the new year.
I had recently gotten a membership to the gym I used to belong to but quit a couple of years ago because I was living on-campus at the college I was attending. This ultimately led to me stop working out altogether. Now that I am a commuter student and have acquired more time, I felt going back to the gym was a good thing for me to do. Below are some reasons I am starting 2018 on a high note by going to the gym.
This is probably one of the main reasons why I am working out again. I missed having a place I could go to and physically release my pent-up anxieties and frustrations. The minute the earbuds go in your ears and you start the songs on your workout playlist, you enter your own world for an hour. That, combined with the adrenaline rush from lifting heavy weights, becomes an avenue to diminishing the stressors that hinder positive mental health. This could be anything from relationship issues to that 20-page research paper that is a large portion of your final grade. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that physical activity releases chemicals in your brain called endorphins that alleviate tension which can lead to better moods and sleeping habits as well as improved self-esteem. Exercising does a lot of good for the mind in addition to the body.
2. Eating and nutrition
Currently, I weigh 235 pounds. I am not afraid to admit that and know I could do a lot to reduce that number. The first step is to look at the food. Fast food should be eliminated. It substitutes what we really should be eating in favor of the more convenient choices. As a result, we neglect the nutrients our bodies need to help us burn calories and perform other important functions. By including healthier food options and establishing moderation, boosts in energy and reduced health conditions are a couple of the benefits. I’ve started noticing how I can get slightly tired and worn out, which I think is attributed from the food I’ve been eating. Yes, I might sound like the same lecture you got from your physical education teacher in high school, but it’s true nonetheless.
For the past two years, I’ve had to buy new pairs of pants because my waistline can never stay the same for a whole year. I am not too concerned about paying money for them, but I am concerned that is why I have to go shopping in the first place. The spare-tire can get in the way of buying some very stylish clothing that I am too big to fit into. Sometimes it sucks to walk into a store and have to check the size first to make sure what you want will fit you, or avoid stores you know never carry your size most of the time. Recently, fashion has evolved quite a bit to a trendier, cleaner, more cut look. It would be nice to be a part of it. I am confident that once the pounds start shedding I can feel comfortable with getting the man to make the clothes, and not the other way around.
4. Body positivity
Yes, men are plagued by this just as much as women might be. The sight of a man my age with a six-pack compared to my flab is enough to motivate me to look better than I do right now. I used to be that kid who would go into the pool with his shirt on, although I grew out of it as my body started evening itself out with age.
I have come to accept how I look, but the need to try to look better still lingers. This message from a fitness blogger from the UK that I came across, that before we worry about changing how our bodies look, we need to love how it looks right now to the point that we want to do everything we can to take care of it.
Health and fitness is just one of many areas when tending to our state of being. Self-love is something I lack in, and with learning how to attentively care for my physical and mental needs, then it is possible to be the best me I can be and love myself during the best and worst moments of this new journey.