There is nothing romantic about getting in shape. I don’t care how happy the lady on the Weight Watchers commercials looks or how thrilling it is to buy new fancy workout gear. When you get down to ACTUALLY getting back in shape – it kind of sucks. But that doesn't mean that it's not worth it.
After I began working out religiously a few times per week during the end of my final year of college, I started to see my body change. During my first three years of college, I thought that I was doing a decent job working out and eating right but I didn't take into account the absurd amount of drinking and lack of activity that I did, plus the amount of food that I ate in the cafeterias was just ridiculous. Looking back at pictures from then, I'm embarrassed at how I looked and how little I actually knew about being healthy.
During my final year of college, I finally started to take my health more seriously because let's face it...who wants to hire an out of shape personal trainer?
What I learned was that getting in shape is hard as shit. You really have to be mindful of what you're eating and how active you are. It's not like the magazines where you can diet and exercise hard for 90 days and look like a cover model. In a way, it's frustrating. I'm still not satisfied with where I am physically or mentally. You think you should be a lot farther a long than you actually are, but yet, you may not look much different than when you started a few months ago. Yes, you may have lost some weight and dropped a few pant sizes, but you still feel frustrated because you don't look like the image you had envisioned in your head. Let me tell you a little secret. This stuff takes time. You will most likely never look like that bikini model. Hell, even they don't look like that for 99.9% of the year. They are depleted, starved, and miserable for the photoshoot. It was hell to get there for them. They look amazing, but they feel worse than they ever have. For most people, that's not what health is. For most people, health is feeling confident in their own skin, being able to physically do the things they love like playing with their kids, pick up basketball games on the weekend, or just being able to break a sweat everyday.
That's the tricky thing about this industry. Sometimes you feel like all of your hard work is for nothing. But sometimes, the magic happens and you realize how far you've actually come. You realize that just a few months ago you couldn't do one single pushup but now you can do 10. It may not seem like a lot, but you start to notice other small things like that and it can make you realize the difference this crazy journey has made in your life. You notice that your pants fit better, you get more compliments, you just feel more confident in your own skin.
At the end of the day, getting in shape kind of sucks. But you begin to realize that it's also so worth it.
So I will gear up today and go to the gym and put my body through another tough workout, knowing it will get easier with time, it always does. I may have to sit in my car for a few minutes and psych myself up beforehand, but once I'm finished, I'll be so glad that I did it. You should be too. You should realize that all of your hard work will be worth it. All sensations, no matter how strong or uncomfortable, are transitory and will pass. This is the greatest lesson I’ve learned from the highs and lows that I've experienced a long the way.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going!” -Winston Churchill