Fitness has always been a part of my life. My Mom was an aerobics instructor and honestly, my first memories of my entire life are of picking out her leotard and legwarmers and going to classes with her. For the most part, fitness has also been a very fun and social thing for me. I’m a big fan of group exercise (obviously, I started a wicked company that revolves around it, yay Hot Mama!). I love the people. I love the energy. I love the swearing. I truly love group ex.
Recently though, my workouts have become a grind. Like a “I really don’t wanna go in there and get on that treadmill and push, push, push myself. I hate it in there. Ugh” type of grind.
Here’s the thing, I was working out to lose weight, not to have fun. Yeah, I know. Me, the Founder of a fitness company that is successful because we make fitness fun, loving and supportive. Me, who battles against that F**KING scale and creates events to smash the aforementioned scales with sledgehammers. Yeah Me. I’ve been working out to lose weight. Because well, I’m uncomfortable in my skin right now and that’s not an awesome feeling.
I have Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid. Basically, my thyroid doesn’t work at all and I take thyroid meds to manage it. It’s seriously not a big deal, but my medications never seem to even out and balance. This summer I became severely hypothyroid and couldn’t get on top of it. Weight gain and fatigue had me feeling self-conscious, embarrassed and oh-so-tired.
But, every morning I would get on my treadmill and hammer out some intervals. I would sweat and swear and couldn’t figure out for the life of me why I kept gaining weight. I would push myself and my workouts to a point where I started hating my body for not responding like it is supposed to. Stupid thyroid.
When you workout for weight loss and forget why you’ve worked out most of your life (fun, joy, health and community), it’s deflating. I found I started to dread my workouts. Why? Because they’re really hard. I pushed and pushed and pushed myself on my treadmill and with my weights. And, to be honest, my workouts were super lonely. Solitary workouts can bite me, they may be necessary for the way my life is right now, but I don’t have to like it! LOL.
This summer, though, I was staying home because 1) I’m ridiculously busy, 2) it’s just easier to get it done in the morning at home and 3) I didn’t want people to see me.
Being a fitness trainer there are certain expectations. If you don’t know me and all you see is my social posts, I’m most likely going to disappoint you when you see me in real life. Most people expect me to be ripped, super healthy and you think you’ll be envious of my body. You’ll be thinking I should look like the fitness trainers in the magazines. Well, here’s the reality. I have an ass. I have a tummy. I have cellulite. I’m going to be bigger and more smooshy than you’d think. But, I’m still going to throw down when it comes to cardio and strength and THEN you’ll be impressed.
Now, don’t get me wrong. When my thyroid is level and my fitness and nutrition are on point (thank you, Body Smarts), I look athletic. But, I’ve been battling Hashimoto’s for 9 years now and my thyroid stimulating hormone is rarely stable. No amount of HIIT workouts, weights or sweat can conquer hypothyroidism.
ANYWAYS, all summer I pounded it out. I sprinted, dripped tons of sweat and had sore muscles for days. By the end of summer, I hated my workouts. I’d lost the purpose of why I do fitness. I wasn’t getting on my treadmill for fun. I was getting on my treadmill to punish my body. And that, my lovely readers, is a big, big, BIG mistake.
But, that all changed last week. Last week I went to the spa with my Mom and one morning I decided I’d go down to the gym for a nice, easy workout. I opened the door and stared at the treadmill. I was at the spa. I didn’t want to hammer it out. I just didn’t. So, I decided “y’know what…I’m just going to do a slow, easy jog and stare at the gorgeous scenery”. And I did.
I did an easy peasy jog, I didn’t push myself and I didn’t do a single interval. I just…jogged. Then, I decided to get on the rowing machine. I did an easy row. Maybe a 6 or low 7 on my Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale. Then, pushups!
Wanna know what happened?
I left that working thinking “Jeez, that was nice. That was fun. I love my body”. Remember, when I finished my workouts in the summer and pushed myself to the brink, I’d finish thinking “F**K this body. I hate you for not responding. You suck”.
Holy shit, people. I’d forgotten my WHY when it came to fitness. I don’t workout to lose weight. I truly don’t. I workout and I do fitness because I love it. It is who I am to the core. I needed to remember that fitness is supposed to be fun and not a punishment for a body that fights for me every day.
So, if you’re finding that your workouts are a grind and that you aren’t looking forward to them any longer, it’s time to reframe WHY you’re doing fitness. It could be that it’s to help you get healthy. It could be the social aspect. It could be the endorphin release. It could be the community. Or, it could be because it’s who you are to the core.
But, don’t forget it: Don’t use fitness as a punishment to the body that takes you through this life.
And, if fitness isn’t fun for you any longer….find a way to make it something you look forward to. We’re not training for the Olympics here, people. We’re training for life. So, make it fun and don’t forget about how good it is supposed to make you feel.
Oh yeah, and get off the friggin’ scale.