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COLUMN: Claiming my love for fitness and health

Some may say this is sad, but I look at it more as an opportunity – an opportunity to change my mind set, work hard, and achieve my health goals.

As I head towards the end of my 20s, I have become a lot more passionate about my health and well-being. I’ve always had body image issues and never seemed to be able to love myself as I am.

Some may think this is sad, but I look at it more as an opportunity – an opportunity to change my mind set, work hard, and achieve my health goals.

I was never a “gym” person. Gyms intimidated me growing up and I was never taught how to properly lift weights. Any time I stepped foot in a gym, I would run on a treadmill or do some crunches and expect my body to change overnight.

You can imagine my disappointment waking up the next day, seeing nothing had changed.

After going through a break-up, and five months before the COVID-19 pandemic, I told myself something needed to change. I began diving into the research of human nutrition and fitness, got a gym membership at the YMCA, and told myself I would stay committed to the process.

I set an alarm for 5 a.m. the first day. When my alarm went off that morning, I turned it off and went back to sleep. Someone in my family made a passing rmark that day about how they knew I wouldn’t be able to do it.

I suppose I should give this person credit, because it fuelled a passion for my fitness journey like I had never experienced. That evening, I set another alarm for 5 a.m. When it went off in the morning, I got out of bed and made my way to the gym.

I had an overwhelming sense of anxiety as I made my way through the sliding doors on that first day. I put trust in myself knowing that I had done enough research that I could enter the facility and do the workouts properly.

I went every day for the next five months. I increased my protein intake and started counting my macro nutrients. After five months, my body transformed into somebody I was confident in. At the beginning of my journey, I was roughly 165 pounds. By the end of the five months, I had gained 15 pounds of muscle.

It was the happiest and healthiest I had ever felt in my life. Then the pandemic happened.

With gyms suddenly shut down, it felt like my newfound passion for fitness had been ripped from my hands.

I tried to do home workouts, but I had come to love the feeling of being at the gym. I slipped into poor habits, and lost most of my progress.

Ever since gyms reopened, I’ve regained my love for workouts and remained committed as ever to reach my goals. However, I think it is important to highlight there will always be ups and downs, or maybe even large setbacks like a global pandemic.

The important thing I tell myself is to keep going, even in the face of doubt.

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