I never stepped foot into a gym before college. I looked from the outside in, always wanting to get a membership but continuing to put it off.
Now, in college, the gym is just a 10-minute walk away.
I started going Monday through Friday. At first, I felt great. I started to see and feel changes throughout my body, and it motivated me to keep going.
However, midterms started to come around and I felt just exhausted from studying for exams and writing papers that I stopped going to the gym.
I began feeling sluggish and extremely guilty whenever I ate something with too many calories. Not to mention that it was really difficult to get myself back into the rhythm of the gym after continuing to find excuses not to go. Even though the gym was at my fingertips, I couldn’t seem to find the motivation anymore.
This affected my mental health.
I didn’t feel depressed really, but I felt no urge to do anything. I would crave a cookie or ice cream so badly that I would give in. However, the moment I finished, I would regret my decision.
This cycle repeated for months.
Occasionally I would go to the gym when my boyfriend would drag me along with him.
Freshman year passed, and I wanted sophomore year to be different.
I began going to the gym religiously again. It started out great; I had a better handle on juggling my responsibilities of work, school and homework.
Regardless, I got bored. Doing the same cardio or weights every week got tedious. My tendency of avoiding the gym came back with a vengeance.
Then my roommate asked me to join her in a Fitlates class. It’s a typical Pilates class but mixed in with a little extra fitness.
A whole new world of exercise opened up in front of me. I had so much fun in the first class. Music motivated me to challenge myself and I wasn’t alone while working out. With a routine to follow, I didn’t stand there wondering what to do.
I started to attend Total Body Circuit and other types of classes. I saw that my body was not only lost weight, it was also gained strength. My legs started to look more toned and I had more energy.
I still do cardio every once in a while but I try to attend two classes a week to keep the excitement and motivation level up.
This newfound enthusiasm for the gym has also made a positive effect on other parts of my life. Staying focused came easily and for longer intervals, making me more productive and relieving a lot of stress.
I also started paying attention to the food I put into my body. I wasn’t tempted to eat as many sweets. And if I did treat myself, I wouldn’t overdo it.
The gym helped me find a balance in my life. I felt, and continue to feel, a greater sense of happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m naturally a happy person, but I have this feeling of contentment now, too.
Going to the gym made me realized that my health is my number one priority. Some weeks I won’t make it during the week. However, if I have time on the weekends, then I’ll go and do some cardio.
I make a point to exercise when I can. I typically choose to take the stairs over the elevator when given the choice. Unless, of course, the elevator is already on my floor—then I might as well take it. What’s life without a little indulgence?