Why I Lift

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that I love weightlifting. I’ve done a weightlifting series, written about the benefits, and just talked about it in my story and other posts because, well, it’s my passion! I write about it, post about it, talk about it because I love it and that’s what I’ve chosen to fill my life with (as much as I can of course). Now, lately, i’ve heard through social media and YouTube of many weightlifters, athletes, bodybuilders, etc. who get “shamed” for lifting because they only care about their looks, they’re narcissists, douchey–whatever you want to call it. And while I thankfully have never experienced this, I am still a part of that group being incorrectly called out.

Now are there some people who only lift for those above reasons, probably yes, but like any “stereotype” they are few & far between–the outliers–causing the rest of us to get a bad rap. So today I want to talk about why I personally lift. I think that anyone, whether or not their passion/life is involved with fitness, should always be knowing their why. Why they started, why they’re doing it, why they want to continue, etc. Knowing your why can help you push through when times get hard (very often), it helps you live a life you love, confident in what you are doing, and it helps shape who you are as a person. If you can’t think of a why, then consider it’s time to move on. Your why is fundamental.

So, why do I lift?

I lift because I love it. I enjoy pushing myself to lift more weight, for more reps, to try difficult movements and conquer them. I love knowing that I am physically making a change in my body, mind, and life. From the moment I step foot in the gym, until I walk out (or limp if it’s leg day ya know) I just love it. The whole process of working on myself, for myself, by myself to become better and stronger is something that I look forward to carrying through my entire life.

I lift because it makes me confident. Unlike those accusations of being too focused on one’s self or body, I struggle to love my body. If you’ve read my story, you know that I hardcore struggled in the past with body dysmorphia, with accepting my body for what it currently is and loving it at all stages. I just wanted to be skinny. But, when I stop foot in that gym and start lifting, all those thoughts go away. I’m no longer consumed by how my body looks, but rather what my body can do!! It doesn’t matter if I’m skinny when I’m squatting more than my bodyweight, it doesn’t matter that I tend to hold my fat on my lower belly when I am fighting through the last reps to BUILD my muscle and body. Lifting has shown me that while I still struggle, I no longer want to be tiny and skinny. I want to be strong and healthy and muscular and a freakin’ badass in the gym.

I lift because of what it’s taught me.

Lifting is much bigger than just who it builds physically, it builds your character, your attitude on life, you as a person, how you live your life. It has taught me discipline and perseverance. Results take time, goals take time and through the process you have to be discipline to hit your lifts and nutrition. Persevere over challenges, bounce back from setbacks and come at it even harder and stronger than before. Lifting has taught me to set goals, focus hard to achieve them, and work for it. It has taught me to live a life that I love–no matter what anyone else’s opinion is. It has shown me that I can become whoever and whatever I choose to set my mind to be.

I lift because it makes me stronger.

Not only physically, but mentally too. Sure, the muscle gains are evident. But the confidence to live the life I love, to be damn proud of what I am doing, and to fight for what I want isn’t as easily seen–but it’s there alright!!! The mental toughness to push through hard times, to not quit or give-up. Lifting has even helped my mental health by reminding me to listen to my body. Sure, I’m pushing myself in the gym to get physically stronger. But if I ever want to see that progress, lifting reminds me that I need to take care of resting and my mental health as well.

I lift because it makes me happy.

This last one kind of bundles the previous paragraphs into one. All of these things that lifting does for me makes me happy. I’m not always a cheerful, positive person, but lifting helps change my perspective and brings me joy in what I am doing and who I am becoming. And honestly, your why should be bringing you happiness otherwise why are you doing it?

Lifting is helping me build myself–mentally, physically, in and outside of the gym, my character, who I am, and who I am becoming.

This is why I lift.

Live a Life You Love

So I had planned to make this post something about a recovery update but then I got to thinking and instead of just writing about where I’m out overall, I wanted to touch on something that really hit me hard the other day.

With the holiday weekend, my boss at work let us go early Friday afternoon. As I was heading home, I had to pass the company gym where I workout and I had this strong desire to take the exit and go to the gym. Again. For the second time that day. And no it was not because I hadn’t worked out enough during the week, I thought I ate too much or didn’t workout hard enough. I crushed and killed every single one of my workouts that week, I felt so strong and healthy and good because I was fueling my body. That’s when it hit me: I no longer wanted to go to the gym to burn more calories or to punish my body; I wanted to go because I truly loved the gym, my body, and everything it meant to me.

As you know, this wasn’t always the case. For me, lifting has been amazing for me because I genuinely am passionate about the lifestyle I have created with it. I will easily get out of bed at 5:30 am to go lift before work. I will push myself farther in the gym (sometimes until failure) to get stronger. Yes its work, yes I have to grind, and yes I have to “sacrifice” some things. But you see, to me, it isn’t a sacrifice, it’s a lifestyle–my lifestyle. I love that I have found to fuel my body now so that I can feel strong and healthy. After the gym, I feel the most confident ever because of what I just accomplished and grinded for. I get excited to lift and go to the gym. But I think the best thing about all of this is that, as I mentioned above, this wasn’t always the case. I have struggled, battled, and fought to get to a good place. And although I’m not fully there yet, I am in a much better and happier place now because of this life I created for myself and the passion I found to make me love my life. Find that for you!!

When you have something to look forward to, when you love what you do and are passionate about your lifestyle, that’s when you will truly shine, live freely, and live a life you love. I am so much happier now that I have found this healthy lifestyle that I really do enjoy. I love the workouts–even the sprints that are so hard they make me cuss in the middle, I feel amazing and strong during and after. I love fueling my body with healthy, nutritious foods (most of the time) and taking care of myself. I love my passion and ambition that I have. I love my work ethic, discipline, and dedication that I have developed. When I had this realization the other day, I realized that I truly am a badass. I am proud of everything I have done and currently do, I am happy to be living the life I am and I can’t wait to see what my future brings me. I’m doing this all for me–no one else. I don’t care if people think about me, I don’t care if people support me or think I’m crazy because guess what? They don’t matter. And not in a rude I dont’ care about people way. But if I am loving what I do and making myself happy, then why would I change for anyone? The answer is you don’t.

To wrap up, I want you to know that whatever it is you are passionate about, whatever it is you want to do or think about doing–DO IT. Seriously. Find what it is that drives you, that motivates you like hell to keep pushing and working, what makes your passion light up thinking or talking about. Find a life that makes you happy and healthy, that you don’t want a break from and you can’t wait to keep living.

Find all of this and I promise you, you will live a life you love.

Personal Development Book Review #1

So I know I said in this post that I was going to get a review out on the personal development books I had read by end of May…and here we are middle of June and it obviously hasn’t happened yet. So I’m making it happen now! Honestly, I had hoped to have a 3rd book finished by now to add to this review, but life has been busy so I only have 2. But that’s okay because these two books are seriously amazing and worth reading!

Book #1: You Are A Badass (7/10)

So as you can see, the first book I read was You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. I actually read this one for a book club a few months back, not really knowing about the book, just wanting to take part in the book club for that month. The tagline for the book is: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. I was really intrigued to read it because for a while now I’ve been wanting to level-up, do more, go farther, go higher, etc. As I’ve grown up and gotten older, I’ve kinda always been getting that way; where I don’t want to just get complacent with where I am; I want to constantly and continually grow, become better, and learn more–working towards my potential. This book definitely helps with that.

Each chapter has sound advice on how to become yourself-the best badass there is! So many of us have so much potential but we don’t go out there and get it because we doubt ourselves, or we have fears or are scared to jump in. Well, this book certainly helps you realize things in life and about yourself to understand that YOU CAN DO IT. You can take control of your life, be confident, and go out to conquer whatever it is you want to do. Each chapter also has an ending not with “homework”. I say homework, but it’s really just ideas and real-life actions to take in taking steps towards living your awesome, doubt-free life.

The only downside I would have to this book is–compared to my next one I’m about to review–the action steps were sometimes harder to implement. You see for me, I am really good at reading and love the idea of growth and change, but sometimes am not the best at applying what I’ve read. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot from this book. And maybe it just takes time to implement and apply what you’ve read to your life. I may go back and read this book in a few months to see if things have changed. But anyway, whether or not you doubt yourself or feel like you are living an awesome life, this book is a great read to everyone and anyone who wants to personally develop and consistently grow!

Book #2: The Happiness Equation (10/10)

The second book I read and just finished last week is The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha. I absolutely LOVED this book. This had been one of the books on my list and I had heard good things about it, so I went in with high expectations (as should you from reading this review) and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!! The basics of the equation, because yes there is an actual equation, is in 3 parts. Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything. The book is written into 9 secrets, split 3 secrets into each section of the equation. So 3 secrets for Want Nothing, 3 for Do Anything and 3 for Have Everything. What I really liked about it was that each secret seemed more applicable to my life and I actually find myself remembering the secrets throughout my day such as “Do it for you” or “Remember the lottery”. I am really focusing my mind around embracing these secrets to be my happiest, and best self!

Each secret is broken up into chapters with real-life example, action ideas, history, etc. all on these secrets, what they mean, how they work and why you need to implement them in your own life. For example, I’ll give you the first secret..but no more because I want you to read and discover them on your own. The first secret is: The First Thing You Must Do BEfore You Can Be Happy which is “Be Happy First”. Might sound cliché, but his explanations and examples so good and help you to see life and your attitude in a whole new light. The current happiness circle people assume is: Work Hard –> Be Successful –> Be Happy. Yet so many celebs, professional athletes, people with money successful people are still unsatisfied or unhappy even when they get to that top-level. And that is because happiness should not be based on an event or certain level of something–no, you need to be happy first. The new circle looks like this: Be Happy First –> Work Hard –> be Successful. When you’re happy right where you are being who you are, you will want to work hard which will in turn make you successful–however that looks in your life.

As I mentioned before, reading PD books may have started out as a book club, but the reason I read them now is because I never want to stay right where I am. One of my biggest fears in life is missing out on my potential and never fulling realizing what I can and want to do,and then doing it. I’m constantly wanting to learn and grow, working on myself to become the BEST that I can. I want to get in this habit now so that I won’t look back with regrets when I’m older. Personally, I have a list of about 15-20 (and am always looking for more) and you don’t have to be exactly like that, but I do encourage you to read a few personal development books like these because it can honestly only make you better Never stop learning or growing so that you can achieve exactly all that you want!

Why I Became a Fitness Coach

As you’ve probably seen on my facebook and instagram posts, I have recently become an online health and fitness coach! No, there wasn’t much planning before this. Heck, I didn’t even know I wanted to or was going to until about 3 days before I became one.  I just saw an opportunity, took that leap of faith, and decided to go for it–all in! Here’s why….

So like I said there wasn’t some big planning ahead of time before I became one. I didn’t know how it would turn it, or exactly all it entailed, or even where it would take me or how I would like being one. I didn’t know any of this. All I knew was I absolutely love health and fitness and I wanted to help people by sharing my passion for it. To me, it was that simple. My insanely huge passion for all of it was enough to give it a chance, to try it out. Because I knew that it was my strength, determination, and love for everything I would be doing that would push me through and carry me on.

I also knew it wouldn’t be work. Would it be hard? Of course. Would I need to work hard? Definitely. But you see, for me, it wouldn’t be dreadful work I loathed to do like some people’ jobs are for them. Because when you are fervent about something (like I am about health, nutrition, fitness, etc.), you’ll enjoy and look forward to the work you do. I’ve already found that to be true in my first 2 weeks. I love creating meaningful posts, talking about my journey and encouraging others on theres. I enjoy talking and answering questions that are health and fitness related. I look forward watching/listening to personal development calls or videos and taking notes because I know the information is going to help me persevere, rise above obstacles, and succeed!

My ultimate dream/goal is to own my own fitness/health/nutrition business one day. I don’t know the details yet, I just know this big vision I have. So with this in mind, I found that this coaching job was perfect to get my feet wet in the industry and see if it was truly something I wanted to commit the rest of my life too. (Note, I will do so anyway personally, even if my job ends up being non-fitness related.) Sure, it was a big commitment on top of juggling school, a full-time internship this summer, workouts, etc. But I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to let me fear take me over on this opportunity. And yes, it is scary because I could fail. But I’m letting my fear motivate me to push harder, do more and ultimately I’m letting my fear drive me to success.

The biggest reason I became a coach though is because I want to inspire. I want someone to look at me and say because of you, I didn’t give up. I believed in myself and I achieved. I want to share my passion with others to help them be motivated! I want other people to be changed by fitness like I was. I want to help those who have never tried fitness to start their journey. I want to show people who think they are on an endless road that they aren’t, and that they can and will make it. I want my story to inspire others to keep going and fighting in whatever battles they may be facing, fitness-related or not. To put it simply, I want to make an impact–make a difference–in the lives of others by sharing what I’ve been through, what I’m doing, and ultimately, the one thing that will always keep me going: my passion!

So, why did I become a coach? Ultimately, I did so because I have big dreams that I want so badly to achieve. But more importantly, I want to help other people dream big and achieve those dreams by being an inspiration for them in their own lives.

As Walt Disney said, “If you can dream if, you can do it.” Well I’ve certainly dreamed it, now stand back and watch me do it!