Hey everyone! I love talking about fitness and health because it has become such a big part of my life in recent years. In February of 2016, my dad taught me how to lift weights, and thanks to him, I have been living a much healthier life ever since. I am in the midst of my 5th year of weight training, and I love it just as much as I did on day 1 (although it looks a bit different now since gyms are closed). My fitness journey, although not perfect, means so much to me, and I have learned so much along the way. Today, I want to share 10 things that I have learned since I started weight training.
- Your appetite will change
This is something that I was actually not expecting. I started weight training when I was in high school, and I really didn’t eat too much during my school days. After school, I would go straight to the gym, and by the time I got home I was starving. Weight training does change your appetite. Your body needs nutrients and weight training takes a lot of energy. Eating the right amount of food is going to help you. If you want to gain muscle, you need to be eating a bit more (you may even gain a bit of weight). If you are trying to tone up and stay slim, you won’t be eating as much. Be careful when it comes to your diet, and please don’t do anything extreme without speaking to your doctor first. Make small changes, and go from there!
2. Your clothes may not fit you the same
The human body is truly incredible in that it can go through many changes. My body has changed quite a bit since I first started training. This has not been too much of a struggle for me personally, however finding jeans and even some athletic leggings that fit my thighs is still a bit difficult at times! You won’t have to buy an ENTIRELY new wardrobe, but certain pairs of pants or tops may not fit you the same way anymore. Some may even fit you better!
3. Motivation comes and goes (and that’s ok)
If someone tells you that they are motivated 100% of the time, they are 100% lying to you. No one is motivated all the time, including me. I have gone through periods of serious dedication where I felt like I was reaching all of my fitness goals and seeing amazing progress. On the other hand, I’ve also gone through those awful periods where I felt so unmotivated and like I didn’t want to go to the gym anymore. We’ve all been there, you just can’t give up on it. If you have to change up your workouts, try a new form of exercise, or even take a break, do it! I promise you, your motivation will come back.
4. You’re going to make mistakes
Luckily, my dad taught me how to lift weights. I went by his instruction for a couple years and then when I started college, our schedules conflicted and we rarely went to the gym together after that. I wanted to try some new exercises, so I went on YouTube and Instagram for inspiration. There are some exercises that I failed to do correctly, and it has taken me some time to learn that if you practice and you really focus on the correct lifting form, you will get it right. Be careful when trying new exercises because lifting with incorrect form can hurt you and possibly even cause lifelong damage. Start slow, and start light. Take your time. The same thing goes for food. It took me so long to realize that just by eating healthier, I would see even more positive results and changes in my body. Living a healthy life does not just mean exercising; it involves eating healthier too.
5. Staying consistent is how you grow
If you are working out sporadically and you’re not creating a workout plan for yourself, you are not going to reach your goals. Consistency really is key, so if you aren’t making time for fitness and you’re not committed, you are not going to get the results you are hoping for. Even when you are consistent, it still takes time to see change.
6. Patience is key
I know that sometimes it can get frustrating when you’ve been working so hard in the gym and in the kitchen, but you’re still not seeing the results you want. Trust me when I say it takes time and patience. I have been working out for over 4 years now, and there are days when I still get frustrated. Keep going, and keep pushing yourself. Results will come with time and hard work. No one said it was easy, but that is what makes the end result so rewarding!
7. You should take progress photos
I wish I knew to do this earlier on! When I started weight lifting, I did take a few progress photos. I didn’t actually take many more until 2018! Take a ton of photos, because if you work hard, you will eventually see the changes in your body, and it is incredible to look at your progress over time. Without photos, you may not see all of the amazing changes that your body goes through.
8. Sometimes it is necessary to switch things up
After doing the same exercises and routine for almost 2 years, I ended up getting a bit bored in the gym. This can lead to a lack of motivation, and we do not want that! I turned to the internet to find some new exercises to try, and this was really helpful (just make sure you are doing the exercises correctly). I felt excited to try something new again!
9. Comparing your journey to someone else’s won’t end well
This can be really challenging at times. I think we have all done this before, but please don’t do it! Focus on your own journey, and understand that everyone was born in a different body. No matter how hard you push yourself, you are not going to look like that Instagram model. You just won’t. You are going to look like a stronger and more confident version of YOURSELF. You can’t make your body look like anyone else’s, so focus on your own health and do NOT compare your journey to anyone else’s.
10: You’re going to gain so much confidence
In 2016, I had no idea that I would stick with the gym, but I am so grateful that I did. I fell in love with weight training, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I did not realize that working out would make me feel so much more confident in myself, but it truly has. I think that the gym is actually one of the biggest things that brought me so much confidence. Taking care of my body by staying active and eating (mostly) healthy has changed my life in the best way. When you prioritize your health, amazing things can happen. It all starts with you and the choices that you make.
Thank you so much for reading! I am still growing and learning everyday, so these are just some of the many lessons I have learned so far. Whether you are just getting started on your fitness journey, or you’ve been doing it for years, I hope that you found this post helpful!