How I Finally Hit the Gym, and Stuck to It
A change in mindset can feel revolutionary
I have been plagued for years by the idea that I am fat. This perception of myself limited my confidence and implicitly manifested itself in other aspects of my life. I thought was never going to lose weight, so I never tried. I thought I was ugly, so I covered my face with my hair and avoided talking to people. I thought I was unattractive, that my body was unflattering, so I dressed to hide.
When I went to university, everything changed. As I found myself surrounded by health-conscious people, my idea of fitness changed from weight loss to healthy living. I wanted to be fit to live life to its fullest. I wanted to alleviate the back pains I have from being hunched over and studying for hours on end. I wanted to eat without feeling bloated and gross afterwards. Most importantly, I wanted a healthy outlet for my stress.
Right after first year ended, I searched for ways to motivate myself to hit the gym. Many say to just do it, but it's definitely easier said than done. I was also hilariously inspired by RuPaul's Drag Race. Drag queens exist in all types of bodies, and are never once carrying themselves as unconfident. They love their bodies and they sell themselves every single time. It's hard to not love their confidence and the sheer power they exude when they strut across the stage.
This is all to say that I needed to change my goals. I can't lose weight because I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2016. Fast forward to 2019, and I'm going to the gym 2 hours a day, 4 days a week. I do this because I want to feel good about myself.
What I want you to take from this is that it's easier to go to the gym and stick to it if you learn to accept your body for its current state, and then work on improving on it from this point onwards.
To jumpstart your process, ask yourself some of these questions:
- Why do I want to go to the gym?
- What exercises do I enjoy doing at the gym?
- What time of day is most convenient for me?
- How many hours/days per week can I schedule for the gym?
- What will I achieve by going to the gym?
- Do I work out best at home or at a recreational gym?
- Do I work out best in a class setting or independent setting?
- Do I need to be held accountable by a close friend?
- Do I need instruction and guidance from a personal trainer?
- What short-term/long-term goal do I wish to accomplish by going to the gym?