Why I Love The Gym

Why I Love The Gym

If you're in need of motivation or a little bit of self love, here's why I work out and what motivates me.

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When I started my 'fitness journey' it was definitely to lose weight. I've already talked about my own body confidence issues and how I struggled when I first started exercising but through exercising more I changed my priorities. Exercise for me today isn't what it was a couple of years ago, I don't do it for aesthetics anymore and I don't think you should either.

Don't get me wrong, if you are one of those people that have chiseled abs that could cut apples or look like a Greek God -that's fine- and if that's what you want to do I'm not here to judge. I know how much motivation and dedication that takes to do and honestly kudos. My point is that there are so many reasons to exercise and maybe trying to look like someone else isn't the most important reason to do so.

Especially with the rise of social media and influencers, we're often bombarded with "how to look like this person" or "workouts to get you abs" or "how to get shredded in 30 days" but what about if we started exercising for a different purpose than to look good in a bikini for one month then go back to our old self because these plans are unsustainable?

I used to exercise because I wanted to look a certain way, I wanted a flat stomach and teeny tiny thighs but now I exercise because I love to feel strong.

I could never aspire to have the rock hard abs because I love too many things. I love wine and cake and chocolate. Guaranteed if you put a rack of ribs in front of me it will be demolished with absolutely no remorse, same with any form of chips or tortillas, or a glass (bottle) of wine.

Honestly, I don't want to give them up so that people can gawk at my abs and compliment me on them, I also love making memories and would rather go out with my friends than be in the gym. I would rather start stories with, "this one time I was so drunk I got turned away from the club and broke into first year flats" or "I was so drunk my friend had to crawl on the club floor to find my heel" rather than "this one time, I had abs" (both true stories, by the way, may elaborate one day, probably won't).

The point is, yes the gym is fun, having a great body is fun, but there is much more to life than the way you look.

I work out about 5/6 times a week so I'm not bashing on the gym, I'm saying there's an array of reasons to exercise. Personally, I love the feeling of exercising and improving myself. There's nothing better than finishing a spin class and being drenched in sweat but feeling like you accomplished something or upping weights and feeling yourself getting stronger. I can now lift my body weight which I would never be able to do when I was exercising for weight loss and not fuelling my body properly.

I also get energy from exercise and clarity, it really is therapeutic if you're having a bad day and I genuinely enjoy it (90% of the time), I just blast my headphones and get lost in it, I'm actually one of those annoying people that ends up singing to themselves on the treadmill. If you ever see me in the gym, feel free to join, I can always use a dance partner, just be aware that my music taste is questionable... I almost always revert back to the Mamma Mia soundtrack or Spotify's 80's workout playlist.

I would be lying to you if I said that it isn't good to see your body transform and that I don't get self-conscious and wish there were areas of myself that were flatter or more toned but whenever I find myself complaining about myself I'll go and deadlift and remind myself of my body's capability. I don't have the worlds best body but I know that I'm strong and I know that I'm healthy and I know that I'm happy. I've taken my friends to the gym before and whenever they say "you're so strong" it feels a million times better than "you're so skinny" because it's more of an achievement.

Also, I think people place way too much encouragement in the idea of feeling better once you're thinner, I've already written about this so feel free to check out my ideas on that in my other article but it's way more fun to be strong than to fit societies narrative of beauty. My friends, family, and boyfriend don't love me because of the way that I look and I would be genuinely offended if they did- I would like to think I have way more attributes that make me fun to be around.

The point is, fitness is about much more than aesthetic "goals", it's about clarity of mind, self-improvement, finding a hobby! It doesn't even have to be the gym, per say, I know that for some people the idea of a spin class or weights sounds like torture…but there is so much to get involved with, group classes, running clubs, walking with your friends, sports, it's about finding what you enjoy.

Yes, there's going to be days when you can't be arsed, lord knows there have been times I've walked into a gym, picked up a weight, thought, "nope" walked home and ate an entire bag of candy. That's going to happen. And the pain after you first start will feel like someone's set your entire body on fire but I promise you, in the long run, it's so worth it, because of how you feel not look.

So, grab your headphones, pick your favourite Mamma Mia song and go at it- or sit on the couch and eat Cheetos, honestly whatever makes you feel good.

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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My Experience Getting The Nexplanon Implant

Why I got this form of birth control and what you need to know if you are considering it.

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There are many different reasons for a woman to be on birth control; whether it is to prevent pregnancy, regulate periods or clear acne, each woman uses birth control for different outcomes. Although there are many opinions surrounding birth control, it is an important subject for women to be educated on in order for them to individually make the best decision for their health and lifestyle.

There are many different forms of birth control, both hormonal and non-hormonal, including the everyday oral pills, the IUD, the patch, the implant, the ring and many more. The most common hormonal contraceptives include the hormones estrogen and progestin, or a combination of both, and each hormonal combination can affect every woman in a different way, so as a disclaimer, my birth control experience will most likely differ from every other woman's.

I have been through a rollercoaster of side effects, emotions, and changeS for more than two years due to being on and off of birth control pills. Finding the right combination that reaped the side effects I could handle was difficult. I was on an estrogen-only pill for most of my freshman year of college which cleared my face, did not effect my weight and had good physical benefits for my anemia. Although I couldn't complain about the physical side effects, I decided to stop using this form of birth control due to the anxiety it caused.

Many women struggle with a change in mentality because of birth control hormones and although it can be manageable, there are so many other options and combination of hormones that can allow for a happier mental state. After months of research and conversations with my gynecologist, I decided to go on Nexplanon, which is a small hormonal implant that lasts up to three years.

The main reasons I chose the Nexplanon implant were how it would affect my anemia and mental state, as well as the reliability of not having to worry about taking a pill the same time every day. This decision was not made lightly because Nexplanon is not a form of birth control that I can stop taking or remove easily since it is surgically placed beneath the skin. Nexplanon contains the etonogestrel hormone which, because of its location, releases a low dose into the bloodstream over the course of three years.

The side effects concerning menstrual cycles vary from no bleeding at all to light spotting and even to heavy bleeding. Every woman who receives the implant has a different chemical balance in her body, therefore a doctor cannot accurately predict the patterns and side effects that will occur within a recipient of Nexplanon.

The insertion procedure involved my doctor marking the area where the implant would be placed, sterilizing the location, numbing the area with an injection and inserting the implant with its corresponding applicator. The only painful part of the procedure was the numbing injection, which could be compared to a bee sting lasting five seconds and after that, there was no feeling in my arm. The implant was placed in my non-dominant arm due to the bruising and pain that would be experienced during the healing process. The day of the insertion, I experienced the most pain due to the discomfort of the bruising and sensitivity of the area, but every day after that, my arm recuperated very quickly.

Overall, I made the right decision for my mind and body by choosing to get the Nexplanon implant. If you are experiencing any mental or physical side effects that you do not favor, talk to your gynecologist in order to discuss changing your birth control method, or if you are considering starting birth control for the first time, do your research and make sure you make the right decision for you.

Every woman will experience different side effects on the same forms of birth control, so make sure to never judge a method on reviews because your body could react differently. Birth control is not a subject to shy away from due to the benefits it yields on young women, especially in college, and starting or switching birth controls for the safety and happiness of your lifestyle is always an option to consider.

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