the story so far

What I’ve Learned from a Month at the Gym

It’s hard to believe 1: that I’ve been going to the gym almost-daily for a month, and 2: that it’s only been a month! It feels much longer, but it also has gone from being so difficult to so easy, that the month has flown by.

But what have I gained and what have I learned (and what have I lost)?

I’ve gained confidence.
I’ve gained determination.
I’ve gained personal satisfaction.
I’ve gained a good habit.
I’ve gained muscle mass.
I’ve gained agility.
I’ve gained energy, and the ability to sleep at night, and a healthier metabolism.
I’ve gained my own respect and admiration.

I’ve learned how to stretch effectively.
I’ve learned good form for lifting weights.
I’ve learned my (temporary) cardio and weight limitations.
I’ve learned to pace myself.
I’ve learned that practice does make perfect.
I’ve learned what my body is craving physically.
I’ve learned what I can eat during the day and when, and how that will change my workout.
I’ve learned that I am strong in more ways than one.
I’ve learned that this is just the beginning.

I’ve lost 14lbs.
I’ve lost a pant size.
I’ve lost self consciousness.
I’ve lost tension in my body and in my life.
I’ve lost my inertia – my laziness.
I’ve lost 14lbs. Did I mention that?

48 hours ago I couldn’t have written this post. I was feeling exhausted and discouraged, because despite the facts that I’ve listed here, I wasn’t seeing it – I wasn’t seeing improvement. Or at least not fast enough to be happy. But that was ridiculous.

I promise I’m not turning into a fitness blog or anything of the sort. I’ll keep this post to the point, and try not to write about this often.

But listen.

I am not only in the best physical shape I’ve been in in the past ten years, but I’m also in the best mental and emotional shape. That may not sound like it makes sense, but it does. Trust me, I’ve heard it all – about how taking care of your body helps you on so many different levels – but I wasn’t buying it.

It’s too bad I’ve waited this long. It wasn’t until I played a game of pick-up soccer with a couple of friends yesterday that I even saw the difference. I didn’t get out of breath once. I didn’t hurt anywhere. I didn’t need to stop running. My limits weren’t reached, and my capacity to keep going felt endless. I haven’t been able to do that since I was like… ten years old. That blows my mind.

And I was thinking about that and realizing all the other little benefits, not least of all is that now I know I can do anything I set my mind to. I feel AMAZING. That’s new to me.

Who knew 30 days and a gym membership could make so, so much of a difference? I truly, genuinely, cannot wait to see how much more fantastic I’ll feel a couple more months down the line.

5 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned from a Month at the Gym”

  1. It’s so nice to hear about the wonderful changes you’ve seen. There are so many people who try the gym for 30 days and just hate, hate, hate it. I know it’s not for everyone, but I love hearing the positive effects of exercise / believing in yourself!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, as much as I can feel my body craving the exercise if I hint at not going, it is still a struggle to convince myself to go every day. Or once I’m there I want to take the easy way out, run the treadmill for ten minutes, do 15 sit ups and call it a day. But I’m learning that my overall health (and my health in 10, 20, 50 years) has to outweigh the temporary dissatisfaction.
      But I’m nothing if not determined 😉
      Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That determination will get you through a lots of things. So will looking at the bigger picture! And I completely understand how tough it can be to even think about exercising. But you’re doing an amazing job and have a great mindset!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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