Gyms crowd with new members every January, but within a few weeks, things slow down and eventually many of the newbies stop going. While I hope those leaving have gone on to find their activity, I fear more people simply quit. Just because the gym might not be for you doesn’t mean you’ll never enjoy working out – it just means you haven’t found your activity yet.
Fitness and being active are so important for living healthier, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. By my junior year of college, I realized I had been putting on the freshman-fifteen more than once a year. I needed to lose weight, and I was determined to do it through good old fashioned “working out” and eating right, no matter how hard I thought it would get.
I started in the gym with my mom (my fav gym sidekick!) on the cardio machines, but I grew bored quickly. I tried new machines, different workouts, watching Netflix during, but finally I stopped and took a handful of classes available at my gym. I found it was actually pretty difficult finding something that could keep my attention, something I could find enjoyment in for at least a half hour to get my sweat on and burn some calories!
It took a few months, but I didn’t stop trying to find something. I joined fitness groups online, tried using at-home workout videos, everything I could think of! Zumba, yoga, barre, and even crossfit! Eventually, I came to find I truly enjoy HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and weight training. Also, I love to join in a local barre class for a tough sweat every now and then, but it’s not something I can do every day.
For me, I love seeing my progress, knowing I just lifted 10, 15, to 50 lbs more than I did so many weeks ago, or so many years ago now. I love switching it up and competing against myself, in a way. This is my go-to now, so I’ve chosen my gym based on how accommodating it is to these workouts, and most importantly, I’ve found a way to make time for workouts in my schedule.
*Don’t try to find time. Make time.
Your activity does not have to take place at a gym, or even in a sports bra! Maybe your thing is walking the dog, mastering TikTok dances, kayaking, or goat yoga (don’t knock it till you try it!) The Cobra Kai reboot is making karate look pretty fun, too!
No matter what it is, working out and staying active is so much easier when you do something you love. Get creative! Some of my sweatiest workouts came from days I rode the bike in the gym binging Game of Thrones to catch up before the final season! You do YOU, and don’t care what anyone else might say or think. It’s your life, so why would you let anyone else have an opinion on what you do?
*You can’t care about what others think
Trust me, it was so hard in the beginning to stop caring about what everyone around me might be thinking, especially in 1 of my older gyms where I was usually the ONLY girl on the floor. It took some time, but eventually I came to the understanding that the people around me were probably as self-conscious as I was at some point, if they weren’t still. Every one has to start somewhere, and if I looked silly, was doing something wrong, or maybe just felt out of place, I reminded myself that I’m probably not the only person thinking it in the gym.
I also felt really self-conscious picking up 10-lb weights in front of all these people lifting so much heavier, but eventually I stopped caring because I knew that all these people around me didn’t just start lifting heavy or training as hard as they do; they worked toward it, and they were in my shoes once. We all have to start somewhere, and there is no reason to feel embarrassed because we are all writing our own stories, our weightloss journeys.
*If you don’t know what your activity is, keep searching for it, and you’ll be amazed by how great you feel.
Right now with many still nervous to get out there as this pandemic draws on, there are more online opportunities to try workouts than ever! So many gyms are hosting virtual classes, and there are so many videos out there for you to try something new right from the comfort of your home.
If you still haven’t found your activity, take advantage of this pandemic and start exploring new things online, try them at home, use YouTube to explore new activities, or maybe download some new apps!
In the end, when you have your activity, not only will you be able to enjoy your weightless journey, but you’ll feel happier too! When I am stressed, the gym is not my happy place where I can unwind, and it may have taken some time to get to this point, but it was well worth the journey.