“The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do”
When I first came across this ‘inspirational’ fitness quote, I became more determined to hit the gym harder than ever, train as many days of the weeks as possible and strived towards this idyllic fitness lifestyle that felt so desirable to me. It felt as though that life would complete me; make me feel confident in my own skin and feel able to walk around being proud of my body for the first time. I would finally have that body I have wanted and be able to maintain it through my well-structured schedule. The rule and regulations would help to keep in on track to improve my health and happiness.
Also, it would lead me to an increased following on social media will all those amazing sweat post-workout snaps of myself flaunting my incredible toned physic and my perfect peachy bum, as well as making lots of super healthy meals and snacks to share with the world at how ‘balanced’ my intake was. Because let’s face it, what good is it being a blogger/influencer these days if you don’t post endless booty shot and your latest bowl of organic chickpea & kale salad?
Though being such a fitness fanatic did much more damage than it did getting me any of these things.
See what I did realise back then was that I was putting all my time, energy and thoughts into one specific part of my life. I was swolely (get it) focused on getting the perfect body, the perfect diet, the perfect fitness routine, without a second thought to anything else.
I became blinkered to this idea that having such a highly active & healthy lifestyle would bring a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and acceptance in myself as well as with others. It didn’t do this. It only made me become a recluse, isolated, lonely, controlled, pressurised and eventually depressed because I was merely existing.
It seems that we need to give it ‘work on the grind’ on a daily basis in every aspect so that we can be deemed as living successfully. This isn’t just referring to training, is goes for work, friendships, relationships, any dreams, goals, and ambitions we have. There is no end to the bombardment on social media of being seen to be doing something amazing, having it all together or looking the best we can.
Though there is so much positivity surrounding the health, fitness and wellbeing industries, something still isn’t quite sitting well with me. Personally, I believe that there is a message to us all that in order to be happy and content, we need to look, live and think a certain way. Unless you follow a certain type of lifestyle and stick to it religiously, you won’t find happiness. Am sure you can think of at least one type of lifestyle you have felt the need to have so that you can get THAT body, THAT fitness level, THAT confidence.
Only recently have I spoken to a fellow blogger about all of this and it just emphasised the need for this topic to be brought to light. Banhass is known for her no-nonsense attitude towards health and fitness, which has been a source of continuous inspiration for me. She said herself in a tweet:
I really believe people use training (and overuse) to fill a gap or void. Myself included.
To have someone like Ban speak out so frankly about this obsession that is portrayed as a ‘healthy’ lifestyle, did make me realise that this isn’t just me thinking it. and we cannot be the only two either.
Once I set myself free from the regimented days of the daily grind I once saw as the right way to be, I finally learned the real meaning of the word ‘balanced’. The word harnesses the sense of bringing together every aspect of life you love and allowing them to work harmoniously side-by-side so that your soul is respected, loved and being cared for.
Of course, I still lift weights. Of course, I still eat healthily. Of course, I do think about my appearance. But these things no longer consume my world nor define me for who I am.
What defines me is my personality that others are drawn to like and love. It is the impact I have on others lives. The memories of all the adventures, the meals, the occasions that I cherish dearly. It is the milestones I make and the lessons I learn. It is the strength and resilience I have towards adversity that guides me forward and continually grows with time. It is what I truly desire and strive for in life that gives me purpose in life.
What works best for me will not be what works for another, and that is okay. So long as what each and every one of us does for-fills us and we are content within ourselves, there is nothing wrong with it.
Find what makes YOU FEEL confident and happy with your body and your soul.
Just do you. No questions. No apologies.