This is not one of your typical how-to blogs that I’ve written in the past - this is more of a reflection. A reflection of my journey into fitness and the solace that I found in it. This is a story of how I embraced the body I was given, and used weights to mold my body into the best version of myself. This was not only a physical change, but a mental shift as well.
With the start of another year, it’s a perfect time to shift your mindset and celebrate your body for not only what it looks like, but also what it can do. With the amount of media content that we see each day, we often find ourselves drooling over the latest insatiable “ideal” body we see in the magazines, tv, social media etc. We inevitable drill that image into our heads as something to strive for. I too found myself with a hole in my head, pumped with the media’s interpretation of the ideal female physique. I spent hours in the gym to attain this physique, an idea that wasn’t even my own; and I did this just so that I could look like the pictures of “beautiful” women I saw on the internet with perfect faces and photoshopped bodies. This way of exercising became more stressful than it did rewarding, and I became obsessed with what I saw in the mirror. I lost sight of why I began working out in the first place: to feel better about myself. I began working out to look a certain way, instead of feeling a certain way, and that is not what fitness should be about.
This past year I was introduced to strength training, and it helped me shift my focus from achieving the ideal skinny body to achieving my ideal body. I embraced my curvy figure and began to appreciate my body and what it’s capable of. Lifting became my trance. When it’s me versus the weight, it almost feels as if everything is in slow motion. I craved the rush it gave me. Being able to squat over one and a half times my bodyweight is something that I never thought I would be able to do. I was getting stronger with each workout, and my body began to transform in such a way that hours of cardio couldn’t come close to doing. My shape became more defined, and I finally had a deeper appreciation for my body - for both how it felt and how it looked. Now, I can say that I love my body, and not for the Instagram followers but for myself.
Fitness is not a one size fits all model - anyone can do it, and everyone can succeed. However, you must first embrace your unique body type and be realistic about what your body is capable of - not everyone is meant to be size 2’s, and not everyone is meant to bench 500lbs. Second, come up with a game plan on how you’re going to achieve your fitness goals, whether they be strength- or physique-related. And third, pick workouts that are appropriately suited for you and your goals. Now start this year off right, get out there, and love your body!