Since sharing my fitness journey with you all, mainly on my instagram feed, I’ve been getting lots of questions on things like how I got started, how I know what to use, how I keep motivated etc so I thought I’d write a little mini series answering some of the questions I get asked the most.
Todays post will be focused on why I gym. Why I’m so into it now rather than this time last year or any year before that and not only what I gain from it now but what I hope to gain from it in the future.
I’ve always been a gym goer, I think I started back when I was in college so around the age of 17 but I have never ever been so motivated and dedicated as I am at this stage in my life. I don’t know if it’s it’s because the urge to be healthy is stronger now since we had such bad health in our family last year; or if it’s the amazing amount of inspiration that I see on social media at the moment but I thought I’d go into it a little bit more for you guys. I’d also love to know why you guys work out, it is for weight loss or gain, mental health, strength, to change your body shape or purely because you enjoy it … or even all of the above? Pop a comment below and it’ll be a great little hub for people to inspire others and reflect on why they’re on this journey!
You guys may know that last year a few of our family members suffered from cancer; we’re so fortunate that my mum has recovered but we sadly lost my sister in law and uncle and this was a huge push for me to get my health in check. I’ve always been slim so it’s been easy for myself and others to assume that I’m ‘fit’ but there is a huge difference between being fit and being slim and achieving fitness for me is a huge driving force – in-fanct even if I gained nothing in strength or body shape I would be so happy to simply have better health as an outcome. I have children and I want to be here to watch them grow old, not only that but I want to be as active as I can during that time and if I was getting out of breath carrying Jenson up the stairs 5 months ago how would I cope running around with my grandchildren 30 years from now!? I’m not a drinker, I don’t smoke, certainly don’t do drugs and I try to eat healthily so incorporating exercise into my daily routine just seems like a perfect fit and allows me to know I’m doing as much as I can for not only my own body but for my boys. I’d love to have an assessment one day to see the age of my heart and lungs etc now and a few months down the line of my exercise journey!
I also want to set a good example for my boys so a balanced lifestyle of exercise, healthy eating, plenty of rest, water and fresh air is something that I try to incorporate into our lifestyles and I just hope that they’ll carry it on with them into adulthood.
I want to be a strong mama, not just to be able to carry both boys, a scooter, bike and changing bag at the same time (yep that actually happened once) but also as a single mum there are a lot of ‘mans jobs’ that I now have to do; that or I have to wait until Pete, my brother or my dad can come around and do them for me. If the boys want the toy boxes from he top shelf in the garage or I want to open a really tough jar then I want to know I can handle it all myself without needing someone physically stronger.I also feel safer as I’m getting stronger; it’s an awful thought but I want to know I can protect my children wherever we are and knowing I can currently squat 60kg is a pretty good reminder that I could probably kick some butt if need be!
Now please let me iterate that body image is not what is important. Yes we should all feel good in our skin and be happy with how we look but the majority of that work should come from within. Feel stronger, feel fitter, feel healthier and those body hangups won’t be half as important. However I am also a huge advocate of the fact that if you can change something then go forth and change it! You want that tummy more toned – tone it, you want those arms leaner – get in the gym and lift. I personally would love a bigger butt. It’s not a priority, the way that exercise makes me feel is, but if I can achieve the results I want by squatting and lunging than my goodness will I get that booty! SO yes for me I want a bigger butt, I’d love toned abs and arms and those goals are also why I workout.
Mental health can’t be seen but it 100% needs to be heard. It’s scientifically proven guys, exercise of any form releases those positive endorphins and can lift your mood as quickly as that booty squats! For me a light bit of cardio before each workout gives me all the happy feels and I literally feel on a high for the rest of the workout – a sweaty, in pain high but a high nonetheless.
It’s not just the hormones that are great for your mental health though, it’s every other point in this blog post. Being physically healthier, knowing you can achieve your physical goals, seeing the physical results you’ve been working towards will all give you a positive boost. They’ll give you confidence, a feeling of self worth and achievement all which contribute to good mental health. The following points as well all positivity influence your mental health but I’ll touch on those in each one.
I work from home and I’m a mum. That basically means that apart from playdates, the odd mums night out or blogger event I spend most days by myself or with my children. I don’t go to an office and interact with other adults on the daily so going to the gym is my chance to be around real adult people who won’t ask me if I have a spare nappy or ask how my baby is sleeping. It’s adult conversation with likeminded people who are all working hard to achieve their goals. I literally do an inner ‘whoop whoop’ every time I see someone sweating on the treadmill or lifting heavy because I am just so happy for them to be working towards their goals whatever they are! If I could high five everyone at the gym I would because I know how much I need and love the gym and I’m so please that these guys know it too!
I don’t stick to a lot. I’m a bit of a quitter if I’m honest when it comes to any class, group or hobby but this is something that I am actually sticking to and it makes me even more determined to do it! Seeing the results helps as it motivates me to get even closer to and smash past my goals but I also love trying out new exercises, attempting heavier weights and really challenging myself both physically and mentally. When I started I never thought I’d squat more than my body weight; I never thought I’d actually see changes in my body and I never thought I’d go into the weights area by myself but I have and it’s done so much for my confidence, not only around others but in myself.
Last but not least, I work out because it is fun! I know that there are people who hate working out, they go because they have to to achieve their goals but they’d much rather be at home or elsewhere and I just wish I could help those people find that one thing that makes them excited to go! I don’t enjoy the treadmill, I can’t run for shiz and the rower makes my knees hurt. I don’t really enjoy swimming, spin classes bore me and there are machines I won’t touch because they just don’t motivate or excite me so I find the alternatives that I love! For me I love trying new equipment, I love lifting heavy and I love fun circuits and if something starts to bore me and I’m not looking forward to using it then I’ll do a quick youtube search for something different to do.
If you don’t find what you’re currently doing fun then try something new, try classes, buggy workouts, tennis, swimming, cross fit, ariel yoga – I can guarantee there will be SOMETHING that gets you the results you want whilst being fun!
Well that’s why I gym; all the wonderful reasons that made me start, keep me going and make me look forward to carrying on! Like I said I’d love to know why you workout and what you do so please do leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading,