7 Things I Wish I Learned Before Constantly Going To The Gym
Weeks ago, I went to the gym again after a really long time. As I was working out, I realized some things. I just want to share them with you. I hope you get some bits of wisdom here, too. It’s a bit lengthy so maybe grab a cup of coffee or something while you’re at it.
The gym can be your training ground and playground at the same time.
As I always say in my fitness blog posts, working out shouldn’t be something that pressures you. While working hard for your fitness goals is a must, and which can include physical bruises and injuries, heart burning activities, and muscle soreness, it should also be something fun – something you enjoy because you love your body enough to take care of it, and not because you hate it so you want to punish it.
Being “sexy, hot, and physically desirable” is often a deceiving goal for many.
Not all who go to the gym are in it for the muscles or the hots.
These are some overlooked reasons on why people go to the gym:
- To heal their injuries/recover via physical therapy. There’s a guy in the gym who I became friends with just last year. He constantly works out and I really saw his progress. When we go to chat, he told me that his doctor advised him to exercise and lift weights as he has a weak back. You can easily tell from his workout program that he does, indeed, focus on his back mainly.
- To think clearly. I sometimes go to the gym when I feel stuck in a rut – be it with my mood, with my writing, etc. As I progress with my workout and near the last few exercises, I feel better. It’s an instant mood fixer sometimes.
- To recover from mental illnesses. I know a great deal of people who workout for this reason. Some common mental illnesses are eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. You might think that an eating disorder is purely physical, but nope, the brain has to do with it 90% of the time.
What I mean with it being a training ground and a playground is that you can “play in the gym” while training your body and mind to be stronger. You’re literally training yourself so you can enjoy things later in life.
You are lifting weights now so you won’t have a hard time with heavy objects later on.
You are doing cardio now as a warmup for chasing after your toddler a few years from now.
The gym is where you dump all your insecurities and leave it there. The gym is something that should be able to inspire you and not intimidate you.Workout because you love your body & want to nurture it, not because you hate it and want to punish it. Click To Tweet
Lifting weights is necessary for everyone.
It’s already 2017, already a few years past being “warned”, yet with the influx of articles online, some people still refuse to get rid of the whole “muscles make you bulky” mindset. Muscles can make you bulky, but it’s not a guarantee. I know so many people who tire themselves in the gym but still not gain a single pound of muscle, simply because lifting weights don’t guarantee it.
You might have looked at these sexy photos of celebrities and thought, “I want to be lean as her.” Guess what? Jumping jacks didn’t form those strong things, squats and lunges did. She didn’t get those full buttcheeks because she ate salad and did 30 minutes of brisk walking every single day – she went to the gym and worked her ass literally. She didn’t get that arch on her back from lifting 3 pounds on each arm. I’m guessing it even took her 30.The gym is something that should be able to inspire you and not intimidate you. Click To Tweet
Besides, it’s in lifting weights where you get your real strength.
It’s what allows you to carry those grocery bags when no one else is with you.
It’s what enables you to open that tight jar lid.
It’s what makes the muscles stick around your body even if you go on a gym hiatus for weeks.
All for those practical reasons.
It’s really time that people push these myths away because they’re not true, and somehow, it’s starting to get tiring doing your best to educate people, YET THEY STILL WON’T LISTEN/BELIEVE.
Ego is never a good thing.
I’ll be really honest. Until recently, I used to lift with my ego. And it was the worst feeling ever. I didn’t feel more accomplished; worse, I actually felt defeated. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t impressing anyone. Not that guy who could lift a pair of 30 pounds easy. Certainly not me.
A few weeks ago, when I finally went back to my gym, I completely let go of my ego. I listened to my body and lifted only what I could. Weights felt too heavy? I returned it and got a lighter pair.
And I tell you, it was SUCH A RELIEF.
I didn’t feel like I was hit by a bus the next day.
I wasn’t wincing in pain.
AND I COULD REACH MY BACK WHILE I SHOWERED.
It was the best!
More than that, I was able to become more productive and saved some time. I used to workout for 2 hours straight. But when I let go out of my ego, I was able to squeeze everything in 1 hour and 30 minutes.
I finally walked the talk.
I didn’t care about how others saw me.
I became honest with myself.
Some people don’t sit well with the gym. That’s okay.
I used to be one of those people who would judge people who don’t go to the gym. I was SO HOOKED. What was there to hate about the gym? It was heart pumping, it was exciting, it was ADDICTING.
But apparently, not for others.
So while I was working on my body, I was also judging those who weren’t. Big mistake.
Some people don’t sit well with the gym and that’s okay.
It’s okay to not enjoy working out because it’s not for you.
It’s okay to not get hooked as others do because you don’t feel that adrenaline rush.
It’s okay to just be mindful of what you eat but not exactly be a fitness junkie.
It’s okay if you enjoy brisk walking in the park instead of running on a treadmill.
It’s okay if you prefer swimming over lifting.
It’s okay. To each his own.Some people don't sit well with the gym. That's okay. We all enjoy different things at different times. To each his own. Click To Tweet
Judging makes you a douchebag.
While I was judging those who weren’t going to the gym, I was also judging those who weren’t making progress in the gym. And I’ll be the first to admit, I was a douchebag for doing so. Who was I to judge anyway? Who was I, period? As I mentioned before, people go to the gym for different reasons. Losing weight is not everyone’s ultimate goal. For some, it’s just a bonus. For some, strength, endurance or even peace of mind is more important.
So respect their goals and focus on your own. Don’t judge. You’re in there to workout, not be gym goer’s critic. Besides, wouldn’t it be better to just support everyone regardless of their goal and regardless if you don’t the same agenda?Support other people regardless of their goal - regardless if you have the same goals or not. Click To Tweet
There’s this thing called “not giving a fuck and just focusing on your own workout.”
We often become consumed with our own insecurity and that reflects on our actions. The more we don’t like what we see in the mirror, the more we try to alter our appearances. We wear clothes that won’t make our stomach bulge as we run, we wear gym pants that will accentuate our legs, we wear tops that will make our shoulders look sexier. I’m guilty of all that.
I’m guilty of all that.
But while I’m getting worried about my appearance, others are just working out. They don’t really care if you see their love handles while they stretch. They just stretch. And these are people are not even gym junkies. They’re there to workout, to take care of their health, that’s it. And I admire that. I really do.
So one time, I tried to practice what I always preach and didn’t care how I looked.
It was life-changing.
I worked out faster.
I felt more accomplished.
And it was more practical to stop giving a fuck on how you look and just do what you came for.Stop giving a fuck about others and just do what you came for. Click To Tweet
The gym is not the be all end all of all physical shortcomings.
When we want a meaningful change in our appearance, we immediately think that the gym is the ultimate solution. Well, I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s not the be all end all of all physical shortcomings. How do I mean? I mean that
How do I mean?
I mean that you can’t fix some things just by going to the gym. Again, I’m so guilty of that.
When I encounter problems, I immediately think I just need to go to the gym to clear my head and everything will be fixed once I get home.
Sometimes I just need to sleep early.
Sometimes I just need to eat better.
Or sometimes I just need to stop scrolling on social media to avoid having toxic thoughts.
Often times, people also think that to lose weight, they need to go to the gym.
Maybe you just need to stop eating 3 cups of rice every meal.
Or you need stop “treating yourself” every weekend.
Or you need to drink more water.
Or overall, you just need to be more mindful of what you eat.
Another thing: someone’s lack of admiration towards you is an illogical reason for you to to the gym.
If the person you like doesn’t like you back, mere physical attraction will never be enough if you don’t have that connection from the get-go.
If you’re going to the gym to gain self-confidence, then I’m with you in spirit. But if you’re doing that to snag men or women (or both), then you’re on your own.
Find it in your heart to do something for you. It’s more fulfilling that way.Find it in your heart to do something for you. It's more fulfilling that way. Never compromise your priorities for others' convenience. Click To Tweet
To end this blog post, I hope you don’t make the same mistakes that I did. I hope you learn from this personal blog post and apply whatever it is you learned.
You can always reach out to me.
With love and light,
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.