Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Journey to Fitness #1


Today I am starting a new series on my blog. I am going to call it "Journey to Fitness", because in these blog posts I'll tell you some stuff about my journey to fitness. For me, it is a journey, because a few months ago I was at my lowest point of fitness, ever. And while I was writing my Gratitude Journal #2 (click) I caught myself writing down how bad I was feeling the past year and how unfit I was and what I am doing about it. I realized that I had to write about that in a different blog post and ta-da! My Journey to Fitness was born. I hope this series will be helpful to you, motivate you and/or just give you that extra push you need to keep going on!

I have been feeling not too great lately. I skipped gym for months and landed in some sort of funk where I didn't want to go to the gym, because I was ashamed of the way how I looked. I haven't ever been this heavy and my fat percentage never has been this high. I am saying "this" and "this", but truth is, I have no idea how much I weigh, because I am afraid of what the scale might show me and I don't have a device that can measure my fat percentage. However, I am pretty sure that it never has been this high.

This summer I have reached the point that I started to feel unhealthy. I got tired very fast, I couldn't climb the stairs without breathing heavy, I almost couldn't see my jaw bone... etcetera etcetera.
I really was uncomfortable with the way I looked and was unhappy about it and I knew that I am the only one that could do something about it and that the only way was to monitor my food intake and exercise.

A few years ago I was working out every single day (fitness, bodybuilding). It was going really well and then practicals happened and I got stuck in the habit of not going to the gym and being lazy and snacking. As everyone can tell, this resulted in weight gain. I told myself everyday that I would start eating more healthy and work out. I did a few attempts to start working out again, but they never succeeded, making me feel even more bad about myself.

This summer I started working out again. I realized that setting the goal "losing weight" isn't enough motivation for me. I would love to have my figure from when I was 16 back, but somehow losing the weight as goal is not enough for me. So I obligated myself working out three times a week, for my health. I want to build my stamina and I want my resting heart rate to be in a healthy range, losing weight is something extra that comes with it in the process.

Currently I am not going to the gym every day. I tried several times to go every day when I wanted to pick up working out again. But it was way too much for me to start off that die hard. I stopped after 2-3 weeks of trying and fell back into my way too chill lifestyle.

So after feeling really bad about myself for months I decided that it was time to make an end to that feeling. I had to start monitor my food intake and working out. I created some sort of anxiety and really didn't want to go to the gym, because people would see me there.. So I started slowly: I only was monitoring my food intake. I was not going to eat that ridiculous amount of food every day at dinner and I cut out snacks.

I would eat out of boredom and that is not a good thing. So I tried to cut out snacks entirely for at least a few days. Surprisingly, it wasn't that hard. Every time I would've gone for a snack, I asked myself if I was really hungry and I also would ask myself if I needed that energy (am I going to work out? Nope. I was just going to sit on the couch, so I really didn't need the calories). If I was hungry I would eat a slice of bread with some ham on it or so instead of an entire bag of chips.

I first tried to eat less junk. After a few weeks I found it wasn't that hard and I felt a lot better. I started to do cardio three times a week, in the morning, before breakfast. It didn't have to push myself at all to go, because it was only three times a week (instead of six) 50 minutes. Besides, every time I got back home from the gym I felt really good about myself and could feel myself becoming healthier (.. placebo much). And because I was going to the gym to improve my health, it motivated me to eat healthier too.

I have been going to the gym three times a week for three months now and it kind of snuck its way into my routine. My pants are less tight and my body gets fitter. That, plus the fact that every two weeks I push my exercises to the next level (and being able to keep up) motivates me even more to keep going to the gym!

Of course there are days that I am not in the mood to go and that I am scared to "be noticed" at the gym, but then I think: everyone is there to work out and people who are judging others are really wrong to do that, at least I am making effort to become a healthier person! And besides, every time that I am there it is not as bad as my brain thought it would be. It's mostly you who makes it "scary" to go to the gym, not the others.

Every time I fall back into scared to go to the gym I force myself not to think that way, because in the end it's not as bad as I thought it would be.

I changed up my gym routine a bit and I now not only do cardio, but I also do some lifting. I have been doing it before for a long time, so I am no stranger to the exercises. I think it's a good thing to not only do cardio, because when you have more muscles, your body burns more energy while resting. That is because muscles need more energy than adipose tissue while resting. So it helps with losing weight/lowering your fat percentage.

I hope I didn't bore you too much with my story, but this is kind of an intro to the tips and hopefully motivational stories I want to share with you.

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