My Fitness Journey | #FitLife

After sharing so many tips and thoughts on fitness and what I think it should be about, it felt only fair to talk a bit about my own fitness journey. I've never had an easy relationship with fitness -- or my body in general -- but I've recently come to a place where I genuinely enjoy working out, even if I don't always go to the gym as much as I plan to!


I grew up as a dancer and having started dance at the age of three years old, I never had to worry about being active as a child. I played outside on my swing set a lot and generally enjoyed healthy foods so my parents didn't worry. By the time, I'd cut back on dance, I also was taking tennis lessons. In the summers, I would spend time in the pool and run around in the yard.

By the time I hit my later teen years, I had cut back the hours that I was spending in dance classes and had given up tennis (I've never been particularly sporty). I started to feel bad not just about my body and how it looked, but the fact that I was always the last one to finish running the mile in gym class and couldn't do a single push-up. Through my teen years, I would go through periods of obsessive calorie counting and grueling workout routines of hundreds of crunches. Unsurprisingly, I never really stuck to any of it.

Then, I did what most teenagers do: I went off to university, stopped dancing, had sudden access to buffets for every meal, and ate a lot of junk food (I shudder to think how many Cookout milkshakes I consumed in my first year alone...why was I eating ice cream at 1am? I'm somewhat lactose intolerant!). Throughout university, I would occasionally go to a workout class and sometimes I would get into a rhythm of going to the gym and using the elliptical, but it never seemed to stay for long -- partially because I was busy and didn't want to spend my free time doing something that made me miserable.

This past summer after graduation, I decided to try going to the gym and lifting weights. I have luckily come to terms with the weight that I am and how my body looks -- while it wouldn't hurt to lose some weight to ensure that my heart is healthy, I now know that my weight is not a reflection of my character -- but I wanted to be a bit more in shape. What motivates me now is wanting to be able to go up several flights of stairs without getting winded, be able to comfortably carry boxes around the office if we're moving something, and have plenty of energy to play with my young cousins.

I'd always shied away from weight lifting because I wasn't sure what you were meant to do (how do you put all those exercises together into a routine??) and because I was intimidated at my university gym by how all the machines were dominated by guys. But I was inspired by my friend Allie (see my interview with her here!) and decided to give it a go.

I booked in a few sessions with a trainer at my family's country club gym and told him my goals and my lack of experience. He showed me how all the weight machines work and together we came up with a routine that is both an effective all-body workout and actually enjoyable for me. Now, I don't always stick to the workout plan; sometimes I'll substitute one exercise for another.

In the fall, I went to the gym nearby me here in London twice a week. I haven't been going to the gym much recently because I've been sick and then out of town and I've found that I actually miss it. I've learned the importance of finding a workout that is both effective and enjoyable -- if you don't like what you're doing now, try something else!

If there's anything I've learned, it's that working out shouldn't be a punishment, physically or mentally. It should be a way to take care of your body that you find some joy in. x

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