It’s been six months since I last went to the gym. Sure, I worked out here and there but they were nothing serious or exhausting. But I could also say it’s because my stamina is getting lower so I couldn’t keep up with my usual program or I needed to lower my weights. After contemplating for about an hour, I finally gave in and went to the gym. It could have been as simple as going to the mall. You know, changing your clothes, putting on your shoes, and walking out the door. But it wasn’t as easy for me. I was so scared to go to the gym for fear that people might judge me.

I know I shouldn’t think that way, but I couldn’t help it. I mean, who am I kidding? Of all people, those gym buffs working out in my local gym should be the ones to understand the most that setbacks happen and, for some people, it’s not easy to be consistent with their programs and meal plans. I am one of those people.

Anyway, so I went to the gym. I wasn’t that productive and exhausted like I normally would be, but I’m glad I went. I also paid for an entire month of an unlimited gym session. So that’s good. Sometimes you just have to face your fears to know that the giant isn’t so big after all, you know? Sometimes that giant is just a shadow on the wall, threatening you with its shape, nothing more. I realized that no matter how many times I get a setback, I always go back to it. I always have this urge to pick myself up and go back to working out. I could have simply let my frustrations eat me alive.. and eventually kill me, but it’s actually the opposite. My frustration gives me more reasons to pick up where I left off.

So I racked my brain and thought of the Why. Why do I keep coming back? Why do I keep working out despite my many fails of losing weight and transforming myself into my dream body? Why? Well, I finally found the reasons why.

Why do I workout?
It gives me confidence. 

I can’t deny the fact that working out makes me feel confident about my body. Even if I haven’t exactly lost weight yet or it’s my first week back in the gym, I can already feel my confidence growing back. It usually happens after every workout. I go home feeling more confident about my body. I walk home like I have zero care towards people who stare at me. That’s what confidence is to me – not really caring how people think of you. Working out gives me that adrenaline rush that makes me feel alive. Maybe that’s where the confidence also comes from.

Related: Eight Things I Learned From Going To The Gym 

It makes me feel beautiful. 

I’d be completely honest with this one. I think muscles are beautiful. I like women in all shapes and sizes, but I personally just zero in on women with muscles. Every time I see a muscular woman, I can’t help but look at her with admiration. Not because I think bubble butts are “sexy AF”, but because I know how much work it goes towards building those muscles. It takes a lot of discipline, hard word, perseverance, heart, and all sorts of pain and frustrations.

Here’s a little secret. Often times when I get back home from the gym, I stand naked in front of the mirror and try to observe some changes in my body. After working out is when you’re usually pumped up. I like to see the cuts* on my arms especially on my triceps, which I’m really proud of, by the way. Triceps is a huge muscle. It’s much harder to build than the biceps. Anyway, so that’s one more reason why I like going to the gym. It makes me feel beautiful. And I won’t deny the fact that I like accidentally flexing my arms in public. 😛

* not actual cuts, but to describe a body part as well-defined or chiseled. 

It keeps me mentally sharp. 

It’s no secret that working out is a brain booster. Personally, I like working right after going to the gym, right when my adrenaline is still rushing through my veins and my brain is pumped up, ready to pour out what smartness I have and do a real word vomit on my word processor. When I work out, I’m more aware of my surroundings. I’m keener. Basically, I’m more alert. Being mentally sharp also enables me to make better decisions. I am a more rational being when I sweat. So sometimes, I intentionally wake up early to go to the gym. Those days, the gym is my coffee. Besides, it helps to get it over and done with, so to speak, so you can fully focus on your day and not get all winded up when you remember that you still have to go to the gym. As they say, “Eat the frog.”

Related: Things I Learned From Being Fit 

It challenges me. 

I normally don’t go out of my comfort zone because I fear a lot of things. But going to the gym is not one of them. More so, it fuels me. I like challenging myself in a way that when I am able to do a certain set of an exercise, I feel accomplished. It’s a way of telling myself, “Told you, girl, you could totally do it.” I remember at one point I was able to squat 80 pounds and, trust me, that felt close to the happiest day of my life. I was so glad I proved myself right that I could be that strong. My ultimate goal is to squat an average of 100 lbs. and by then, I can honestly say, “I made it.”

Having a setback means I have to kind of start from scratch again, but I don’t mind. I should just enjoy the process instead of letting it consume me. Attaining success means trusting the process no matter how difficult or painful it is. I can only look forward to the day that I can finally squat 100 lbs. with ease.

I sleep really, really good.

I believe working out has two sides effect to people. 1) It gives that adrenaline rush. 2) It calms the person. For me personally, I sleep really good at night when I workout during the day. But it’s more effective when I workout at night and go home exhausted. I’m usually restless at night and don’t sleep until I could barely keep my eyes open from reading my Twitter newsfeed over and over again or from stalking celebrities (or judging normal people) on Instagram. I just feel good when I hit the sack knowing I spent the day well by exercising for an hour or so. But then there’s the delayed onset muscle soreness the next day… But that’s a different story.

I appreciate food more. 

Working out for me means eating more as well. I can’t help it. The more energy I use, the more food I crave, too. But that’s the whole point of exercising (and losing weight), right? You should release more energy than the amount of food you eat. You can’t keep consuming the same energy you sweat out in the gym unless you’re eating the right food. I know I’m working out well when I’m always hungry. Like, always. And typically, I can eat more than the usual because I need to get back my energy and more for my next workout. The result? I appreciate food more.

Related: 15 Truths About Working Out

It makes me positive. 

I noticed that when I workout, I’m a more positive person. Problems don’t feel like problems at all. And what others think is an issue is nothing to me. It’s like I can easily shrug off the bad vibes. For example, instead of being pissed off that my brother hasn’t done his chores yet (despite not really being preoccupied with something more important), I shrug it off and just do the chores myself since I can do it anyway. Otherwise, I get negative easily and every little thing irks me. So exercising plays a huge impact on my life. Not only for my physical well-being but for my mental and emotional state as well.

What about you? Why do you workout?
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Bae Milanes

Bae is a 20-something passion blogger from Manila. She likes hoarding hobbies and trying out new stuff, blogging about her mundane adventures, and tweeting about random realizations and musings.
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