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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10 Ways To Keep Your Workout Motivation According To A Personal Trainer

"ALEXA play 'Work Bitch' by Britney Spears."

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Keeping your motivation for working out is one of the number one reasons why I think people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

Now I am no "fitness guru" by any means, and I have lost my motivation many times and worked back up.

No one is perfect when it comes to working out, and everyone can have different methods that are successful but from what I have seen, and talking to a few personal trainers, these are some of the best ways to keep your motivation and not lose track of your goals.

If you stick to these 10 ways, you will definitely have a better mindset when it comes to working out, and that will help you push yourself hard because you know that you are capable of much more than you think!

That is the last piece of advice I will leave you with, you are so much more capable of than you think. I recall so many times in the gym, I've thought I was gonna just collapse or crumble cause I was so tired, but time and time again I persevere and finish a set, and see that I can really push myself to the limits, and this is when I've seen the best results.

1. Talk about your goals.

You have to speak your goals into existence. Also speaking about them to others can help hold you accountable and you are working so hard for them, don't give up and let what you accomplished so far go to waste!

2. Get a consistent workout buddy.

This is something that I have found helps me out a lot, my roommate Jordan and I are always checking in on each other to make sure that we've worked out!

3. Want better for yourself, not to impress someone else.

This is also very important, if you have fitness goals solely to impress someone else, you will never be satisfied, or never feel like enough.

4. Want it more than you say.

You really have to want your fitness goals more than you are saying. If you have this goal that is driving you constantly in the back of your mind, your motivation will keep coming from within.

5. Have a scheduled workout plan.

If you have a workout plan that a professional or yourself has constructed, it gives you something to follow and not break. Having a plan for yourself will help keep yourself on track.

6. Take pictures every week!

Seems cheesy, but taking photos of yourself every week can hold you accountable but more importantly, you are able to see results, big or small, if you aren't seeing them in person, you'll be able to tell through the photos.

7. Know what your plan is before you go to the gym.

You should know what your plan is before you go to the gym, try not to just wing it. If you are winging it, who knows if you are really pushing yourself and constantly challenging yourself every gym session.

8. Try your best to maintain a healthy diet during the week.

This can be difficult of course, meal prepping is someting that can always helps! BUT if you don't have time to meal prep, then just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day to keep your motabalism working. Get foods to fuel your body so all your hard workouts don't go to waste!

9. Stick to a plan, it'll be hard at first, but it only gets easier.

Once you get into the swing of things, get into a routine, you'll get used to it. And then you will truly enjoy it, feel great, and have more energy!

10. Surround yourself with others that also have the same goals as you.

As cliche as it is, you do pick up the traits of the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with overachievers, hard workers, who have the same fitness goals as you, you'll all work hard together and encourage each other along the way!

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