I’m so excited to share this post with you, not because of the physical results, but rather because I want to share with you how much I’ve grown as a person since starting my fitness journey just one year ago!
It’s been one year since I started what I didn’t know would be my fitness journey. I walked into Cielo Studios on July 4, 2017 after getting the approval from my treatment team to start incorporating exercise into my life. I had no idea what to expect nor did I know that slowly but surely, it’d become my passion.
I exercised in the past but never committed to a consistent routine because life always seemed to get in the way. Reality is, I had to just do it & step out of my comfort zone to see the value it could add to my life.
I walked into the gym afraid, uncertain, paranoid, anxious about whether I’d be able to get through a class & feeling both mentally & physically weak & unsure of myself.
There were days I left & said I was never going back. But I somehow always woke up the next day & pushed myself to work through the anxiety & rise above it as opposed to let it control me the way I let my mental illness control other aspects of my life in the past. When you change your thoughts, you change your behaviour.
The best way to face your gym anxiety is to literally face it head strong. You can do all the mind work in the world at home but if you don’t put yourself in the situation that’s triggering the anxiety, the mental efforts will be fruitless.
I realized that in life, there will always be moments where I’m the “new girl” & that’s NORMAL. Remember that every single person started somewhere. Everyone had a first day, a new beginning & it was probably scary for them too. But the thing with fear is that it doesn’t go away unless you face it.
A year later, a habit I strived to build that once triggered anxiety & made me doubt my abilities has become something I love, live & breathe & the main way I cope with other types of anxiety in my life. I find purpose in fitness that has nothing to do with physical appearance. It changed my life in so many ways.
- It showed me just how much my body & mind are capable of & how much stronger I am than I think.
- It showed me that my anxiety doesn’t have to dominate my life & that there are alternative coping mechanisms.
- It showed me that determination will take you far & that sticking to a routine at the gym can help cultivate a sense of consistency & structure in all other aspects of my life.
- Most importantly, it showed me that belief & faith in myself is the key to living my happiest & healthiest life. At the end of the day, without faith & motivation to become mentally strong, I could be the strongest person in the room physically & it means nothing.
Exercise requires mental strength & control & self-doubt will wreak havoc on what you can accomplish. Physical performance is directly affected by mental health. It all begins & ends in the mind. It’s a progressive journey & learning experience & you learn & grow with it everyday.
If it’s something you want enough & that you believe can bring something beautiful & valuable to your life, go into it with a positive mindset & apply yourself the way you would to anything else you wish to accomplish.
Don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way. Surround yourself with positivity & radiate it. You’re SO MUCH stronger than you think & you can do absolutely ANYTHING & EVERYTHING you set your mind to.