What Lifting Has Taught Me This Year

Helloooooooo WordPressland!

It dawned on me how long it has been since I last posted as I was looking at today’s date. Then I also realized that it was an important date for me, as well.  As a year ago, I made the decision from going to the gym every other day, three days a week, to going to the gym more often; taking it seriously to try to change my life. This conscious drive, wanting to go in a different direction in my physical life, turned to a major leaf turner and it has made a big difference in my being.  

I honestly am a changed person from a year ago; not just physically, but mentally.

At first, going back to the gym, I had that usual ‘Mom’s Guilt’, which btw, I am also Italian and Roman Catholic, so I am a pro at feeling guilty over everything.  So dumb.  But, with my kids in the prime of their elementary school lives, I felt very selfish at first.  Like I was taking time away from ‘my real life’ to go do something for just myself.  Until I realized, doing this for myself isn’t just for me.  It’s for my health, yes, but for my mind and if my family sees me trying, even if I am struggling, or, reaching personal goals, it will change them, too.  It will show my kids that mom is not just a mom, which I haven’t ever really been anyways, but, I want to show them that being strong and fit and clear, is a lifelong process…something I wasn’t ever shown or taught, unfortunately.  

Changing myself is not something that just stops now, it is forever. 

 

The Physical Changes

Once I got over my guilt, which was surprisingly fast! haha  I saw myself so differently.  The physical transformation in my body has been a very personal change.  The things I am capable of doing now is astonishing to me.  My core, my weakest part of my body, is now my strongest, something I decided midway through this year to try to strengthen.

To be completely honest, working on my core was extremely hard at first.  It was actually embarrassing at the beginning.  I couldn’t even do many exercises I was seeing the other gym goers doing.  So sad.  But, I never let that embarrassment stop me.  If I could just keep at it, even if I couldn’t do more than a handful of reps, I would walk away knowing I tried. If I kept trying more and more, I was ahead of myself from before. SO I kept at it, until one day I could do something I couldn’t do before…like 3 reps of 10 in a row or graduating heavier weights.  

Long journey here, but my God, so worth it!!!

I decided to get strong, not focus on losing weight.  It was so difficult at first because going for strong and not skinny, is a different ideal than I’ve ever been used to thinking about. In 2010, when I started on this initially, losing over all 67 lbs, I had always been focused that to be fit meant to be skinny and, well, not like I am being curvy; thick thighs and hips.  

But it doesn’t, not at all.  

I definitively decided this go around that I don’t want to try to be a railing. I don’t want to be anything or anyone but me with realistic goals.  This body acceptance means a lot and it’s not easy, but, it means I am happy in my feelings. I know I am not weight training perfection; you all see me on social media everyday. BUT, I am me; with my hips, hard scars, cellulite, pregnancy induced stretch marks, all my wonderful imperfections. It is just, well, I don’t think that I ever realized that these scars and imperfections are something I have earned.

I am a woman with a story and a past and a HUGE future ahead.  

And… No one can take this away from me, because I know what I do everyday.  I know what I do to keep myself physically able to move. I know what I do to keep my mind clear.  It is hard work. Lots of sweat. Lots of aches.  Moving parts of me I never thought of.  Exhausting sessions. Loss of motion from muscle fatigue. But these things make me happy somehow.  To have muscle fatigue makes me work harder.  To feel exhausted when I am rolling back home from the gym makes me shine.  

Somehow, someway, going in this direction over the past year made me feel good.   

Made me clear. Which brings me to the mental changes. 

 

The Mental Changes

One of the biggest reasons I started hitting the gym harder, was the fact that I needed a mental release, too. When I took that big gym hiatus, over 2 1/2 years ago, I started feeling, well, uncentered, and just not right because that long hiatus caught up and I was feeling the ramifications. Keeping my mind clear is important to me, and having my own time to focus on myself and whatever my mind feels like is, too. ..and what’s cheaper than therapy?

Working out. Haha 

I have a totally different perspective on thinking things through, somehow, like how I am dealing with issues in my life, not being over analytical about people, caring less about being perfect and feeling more confidence in myself. 

Confidence is such a wonderful feeling, guys!

Holy fuck.  Really, this is probably the first time in my life that I just like me and I love the way I feel; the way I see myself.  Who knew I could actually do the things I am doing?  And that it could have a profound message for me more than just body strength? 

Not me!  

And, the working out I did six years ago compared to the working out I do now are drastically different, too.  Before I was dying to get out of the gym after only doing cardio most days, now I feel like the time flies and I want more sweat and heavier weights!  It’s funny how much change can come in a year.  

If you told me last year that in one year’s time you could feel the way I do now, I would’ve laughed and scoffed that was too long a road…   So crazy right?! yikes.  But I’d do it again, and am continuing to do it for as long as I can stand it.  

I love this feeling and am looking forward to my journey ahead.  So, in a synopsis of my post here, I think the best things I have learned in all of this year is:

  • I am not selfish if I take time out of my day to improve upon myself.  It’s actually quite the opposite.

  • A healthy body and mind are directly connected to my happiness. 

  • I can turn my weaknesses into strengths, if I just keep trying.

  • If I can conquer a weakness, I can do almost anything.

  • About an hour to an hour and a half of my day is spent challenging myself to be better, in all ways.  That is not that much time in the scope of life.

  • My kids look at me like I am Super Mom (Wanna say Wonder Woman, but I am not there yet).

  • I am not in competition with anyone but my own self.

  • Dedication to something is about loving the process, as well as, the outcome. 

xoxo

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