5 Life Lessons I've Learned On my Fitness Journey
1. Actions speak louder than words
If you want something, work for it. Fitness goals don’t accomplish themselves. You don’t get stronger by talking about it, you don’t lose fat or gain muscle by talking about it. Typing a caption on Instagram about self love and confidence doesn’t mean that you practice self love or that you are confident. Telling everyone about how you are working so hard means nothing unless you truly are working hard.
Similarly, goals outside of social media and fitness don’t accomplish themselves. If you want an A on your test, study your butt off to get that A. If you want more money, work your butt off and make more money. If you want to move across the country, take the steps needed to freaking do it. If you want to feel more confident in yourself, practice it every single day.
In the fitness industry, there is a whole lot of talk. There is always a new trend… gaining weight is cool, self love, bikini competitions, etc. There are a lot of people preaching a lot of things…but there are very few who actually practice those things. In life there are a whole lot of people who talk about their goals, dreams, and the things they want to accomplish…but again, there are few who take the steps needed to actually accomplish them.
From getting my butt in the gym, to following through with the fitness goals I set for myself, to always trying to practice what I preach on social media, Ive learned that words mean JACK SH** (excuse my language). It’s actions that matter.
2. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s
Something many people struggle with in the whole realm of fitness is comparison. It is human nature. Whether it is in the gym or scrolling through social media, we compare ourselves to others. Our bodies, our bulk, our cut, our placing in our last show, how much we can squat or deadlift, our gym outfits…I could go on. This whole comparison thing stretches way beyond fitness. We compare personality traits, jobs, incomes, clothes, grades, social circles…again, I could go on. It isn’t always conscious, but everyone does it.
The thing is, it gets us nowhere. It’s comparing apples to oranges. It’s comparing protein ice cream to the real freakin thing…YOU CAN’T DO IT!! You can admire others, you can use others as inspiration or motivation, but comparing where you are or who you are to someone else will get you nowhere.
3. It’s not all or nothing
I’ve always been a black and white person. I will forever be Type A. It can be a blessing and a curse. When I first got into fitness, consistently going to the gym, lifting and tracking macros, I struggled a lot. Just like how I approached everything else in life, I felt like fitness had to be all or nothing. I had to get all my workouts in, I had to hit my macros perfectly, every lift had to be a good one, etc. Because of this mindset, I missed out on SO much. I went from being a social butterfly to isolating myself, never going out to eat, and basically just being a boring, one dimensional blob. My whole life revolved around getting to the gym and hitting my macros. Everything else came after.
Learning to live a little more in the grey has been one of the biggest lessons that fitness has taught me. I like consistency. I like routine. I hit my macros and my gym sessions MOST of the time, but I also like to go out with my friends. Sometimes I take a day (or 5) away from tracking macros. Sometimes life happens and I miss a workout. Sometimes there are other things more important than fitness! I know. WHAT?!?
This mindset carries over into many facets of my life. Instead of everything being a success or a total failure, instead of being THE BEST at something or not doing it at all, instead of focusing all of my attention on one or two things and missing out on a million others, I’m okay spreading myself a little thinner and doing MORE. I’m okay having some successes AND some failures. I’ll always try to be MY best, but I don’t need to be THE best. It’s not all or nothing.
4. Get comfortable being uncomfortable
This kind of speaks for itself. Fitness and social media have taught me to step out of my comfort zone…and no only to step out, but to thrive out of my comfort zone. To reach any fitness goal, a little bit of discomfort is required. If you want to gain muscle, you have to deal with the discomfort of being full and putting on some fat. If you want to start a cut, you have to deal with the discomfort of being hungry. Going to the gym and crushing a workout is far from comfortable. It isn’t always to balance real life and our fitness goals.
I’ve always been an EXTREMELY Type A person. I like to have a routine and a plan, and I like to stick to it. Stepping out of that routine has been extremely uncomfortable for me. However, through stepping out of my comfort on my fitness journey, I’ve gotten better and better at stepping out of my comfort zone in my day-to-day life. Things like going out to eat, traveling, switching up my routine completely or having no routine at all are no longer a struggle. I look forward to the day to day loops and challenges life throws at me because I LOVE challenging myself and working through them.
We all want results and we want them now. We want to grow the perfect booty. We want abs. We want to be able to lift X weight. We want to lose X pounds…and we want it now. Well, sadly it doesn’t work that way. Progress is SLOW, sometimes painfully so. Changes don’t happen over night. No matter what your fitness goal is, it probably can’t be reached quickly, and it can be frustrating as hell. Sometimes not seeing visible progress makes us want to give up all together.
Fitness has taught me to think long term. It’s taught me to work day in and day out to achieve whatever it is that I want and to keep working even if I don’t get the result I want right away. Hard work does pay off, maybe not right away, but if you don’t give up and keep working, it always does.