Why the F*ck Do I Fitness?: Five Reasons to Work Out and Change Your Life
(Sorry for my French)
There is this illusion that some people grow up inherently fit and driven towards athleticism. That was never me, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t become someone who loves to work out! I want to talk about how I integrated fitness into my life, because I started where I know a lot of people start- trying to get into a dress.
Let me explain.
The first time I fully committed to working out, I was 18. I may have run track when I was younger and went for the occasional jog around the block, but I really devoted my time to working out a few months before prom. It was the end of senior year, we had to wear uniforms everyday of highschool and I was known as a starch academic.
So...I bought a red dress from Guess that was short enough to stop traffic and told my mother I was wearing it to the dance. My mother shrugged her shoulders, and said, “I guess you’re only young once”.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that working out because you want to fit into a dress is NOT one of the best ways to pursue physical health. But, I’ll admit that walking into prom felt damn good.
The next time I started getting into fitness was because my ex-boyfriend was really into fitness. Like, “Babe, check my gainz” every other day kind of fitness. He worked hard, got results and really encouraged me to try and “get back into it” as it were.
So...I went to the gym with a friend once and awhile. I’d lie on the mat, shift through my playlist and flip through Instagram until an hour had gone by. I would pat myself on the back for a quick jog well done and head home. This is the kind of fitness I see people talk about everyday. The occasional kind of fitness that is harder to start than initially anticipated.
Being productive at the gym is not easy and it really takes practice. I did not practice.
But when the gym membership got too expensive, I began trading at Enso Yoga. I’d work three hours a week and get free unlimited classes.
In a way, this helped put things in perspective for me. My financial justification for this was that the three hours I worked a week would be “paid off” by going to three classes. Therefore, the labour was worth it if I ended up practicing yoga and barre at the studio.
Initially, I did not like it at all. I sweat a lot and couldn’t hold a pose and did not realize you needed to bring a towel. There was a lot of slipping and it was very embarrassing. But this is normal, I told myself. I was beginning and this would take time.
I started going more. Eventually, with school, it became too much and I begged my parents to buy me a monthly pass. This REALLY got me going. I had to prove to them that this (relatively expensive) membership would be used in FULL.
I went five times a week. Six if I could. I started planning my life around it because eventually I got better.
But, I didn’t keep going just because I got better at the yoga and the barre. I stayed because I began to feel better about myself.
Rather than rant, I’ll make a short list of everything that changed for me:
I learned how to breathe. It seems easy, it’s not.
I changed my diet. I craved healthier foods (much more water) and had to limit my alcohol intake because being hungover and dehydrated in a 38 degree room is a terrible idea- trust me. Besides, this was also great for my skin!
I learned to schedule my life more effectively and efficiently. Now that my time was accounted for each day at the studio, I became accustomed to managing my schedule to the minute.
I became stronger. Not just physically, but also emotionally. I learned how to push through pain and discomfort and to discipline myself towards a goal. That’s a life skill I’ll always appreciate.
I became happier. I felt good. And when I don’t feel good, fitness is a coping mechanism I’ll always have that helps me relieve stress and manage anxiety.
The most important thing to remember, if you want to get into fitness, is to do this for you. No one else is responsible for your happiness and your happiness is so important! Dieting, working hard to fit into a dress for one day or going to the gym and spending all the time on your phone are never going to be the answer.
If you want to incorporate fitness into your life you need to find something you like doing (even if you don’t love it at first), and find a way to hold yourself accountable to it! Make it a financial commitment, a commitment to go with your friend or get to know the fitness community!
Just get out there! Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner...and don’t forget your water bottle! #hydrate
PS. Follow my fitness journey and blog on instagram at @deannajvd
I love updating my playlists, blogging and chatting anytime so feel free to message me with questions or comments!