My fitness journey is one that is far from over – in fact I don’t think it will ever end, and I wouldn’t want it to. Get comfy, this is a long one.
Like most girls I envied the women on magazine covers or in movies, but not for their flat tummies and toned arms – though I like that, I envied their curves and shape. I had always been a naturally thin girl with an A-cup and not much in the butt department either, and I was actually pretty happy with that throughout my early high school years. It wasn’t until later in high school that I started to wish I had been dealt a different body-shape card. I wanted curves, mostly because I wanted to look more feminine and I wanted to look older.
I have always looked younger than I am, and I’m still waiting for the day that I’m thankful for this, but of course when I was a teen I loathed it most. I was headed for University soon enough and I wanted to look old enough to be going out to parties and be taken seriously by everyone else there. So I told myself I was going to go crazy with my meal plan card in residence and eat whatever I wanted. I just thought maybe I was too skinny, and a little extra fat could only help me gain the curves I desired.
Gain weight first year is exactly what I did. I went from weighing around 112 pounds to weighing 120 pounds – and I was actually pretty proud of that. But the thing is I still wasn’t happy with the way my body looked, I liked the extra weight on my legs but I wasn’t a fan of the inevitable gain on my tummy as well. And let me tell you – none of it went to the boobs or the butt….damn. So it was at this time that I decided I should try working out to get the toned tummy I wanted, while hopefully keeping my now thicker legs (Belief in the mythical spot reduction at its finest, I know). So I pitched my plan to start working out to my then roommate and she was also in. We had a lot of fun going to the University’s indoor track multiple times a week and finishing our run with a few body weight exercises on the side. I was saving Tone It Up workouts on Youtube like no other. This no doubt made me feel good, I was spending time with one of my best friends, my running improved, and I felt like I was really doing something good for myself – because I was.
That was where my passion for working on my body began, I loved the feeling of accomplishment and the added confidence that came with it. I could have stopped there and continued with this routine of working out because it was great, but the truth was that it still wasn’t body I was looking for. Not that I didn’t like my body, but I just wanted something different. I still wanted those curves, running and body weight exercises had me thin again and more toned – but I wanted some curves in all the right places, let’s be real, I wanted a booty. I expressed my confusion with how to get what I wanted with my boyfriend one evening and he hit me (metaphorically) with some advice that changed the game for me. He had been weight lifting for years consistently and suggested I give some heavy weights a try. He let me know that was what would really help me build my legs and booty, and give me the curves I was looking for instead of the all around fat-gain I had tried.
I was pretty hesitant about weight lifting at first, not because I didn’t think it would work, but because I was so nervous to purchase a gym membership and workout around all the guys at the University’s gym. Talk about intimidating. My boyfriend assured me that no guy would ever judge me – 1) Because guys give kudos to the females that brave the free weights, and 2) Guys have no idea how much average girls can lift, so they can’t judge you for baby weights anyways. After a long conversation and some contemplation I decided to buckle down and purchase my first membership! I contacted a girl friend I knew had a membership and asked her if she’d go with me and show me around.
I started lifting weights and I have never looked back. I love everything about it and it indeed started me in the right direction to reach my physique goals. 2 years later and I’m still working at it – the changes in my physique are not drastic, but I am so proud of it because I have created it through hard work. The physical benefits (#gains) are what started me, but the mental growth is what keeps me going. My confidence is greater and I feel STRONG. My family and boyfriend crack jokes about how I could beat them up, or how if they need help moving things they should call me. And you what, that feels good, I feel like one strong and powerful chick! Even though sometimes I’m inconsistent with my workouts, I haven’t lost sight of reaching my goals. And hopefully you don’t either, everyone starts somewhere, and it may not be the right answer or method the first time, but I hope you keep going and keep searching for what works! And if you have given up, don’t be afraid to pick it back up!
I still have a long way to go, and I have a lot more I’d like to share with you about getting started working out and the many benefits! So keep posted 🙂
Thanks for reading,