- A Healthy Mindset. Working out to “look good” is all well and dandy. But once you start actually training for performance- like trying to squat a heavier weight, or match your bench press personal best- it feels about a gazillion times better mentally and physically! Now, my workouts aren’t a “punishment” for eating something “bad.”, they are a reward for being healthy and strong and having the ability to push my body to new limits and take on new challenges!
- Release. There’s just nothing like having a stressful day and coming into the gym with headphones blaring, and throwing around the heaviest freaking weight you can find. Really exerting yourself in that way is one of the best stress relievers out there! For me, it beats running on the treadmill like a hamster on a wheel, anyday.
- Mental Strength. Some days I just don’t feel like lifting. Some day the thought of squatting with weight heavier than my own bodyweight on my back is enough to make me want to run for the hills! Some days I just want to “take it easy” and do some sprints instead. But you know, I do it anyway. Because this is the commitment I’ve made for myself. It really teaches me to not be intimidated by the weight and get over my mental hurdles. And trust me, I’ve gotten better over time. When I first started, my poor fiance Kyle had to battle with me a LOT. I was a difficult client. But I’ve definitely improved, and jumping my mental hurdles is easier and easier everyday.
- Consistency. You can’t expect to go up in weight without being consistent. You won’t make any progress and you just won’t improve. Personally, it’s an amazing feeling to know I’m getting stronger, and upping my weight progressively is a goal I am always striving for! While I do take adequate rests periods, I never quit. Even if I’ve taken a week off, I just continue the next week. It’s as part of my life as brushing my teeth is at this point. I just know on these certain days I’m GOING to make it work. I WILL get the workout in. But if I don’t? I don’t beat myself up over it and throw in the towel. I just keep on going. That’s what makes the difference between someone who just “can’t lose weight” and someone who achieves their goal. Consistency.
- Confidence. Lifting makes me feel like there’s nothing I can’t do. I feel like I can hold my own in any situation! I’m not ot the “fragile, damsel in distress,” I’m the butt-kicking, fierce gal that doesn’t need a guy to help me carry things. YEAAAHHH! While I’m a quite unintimidating person at my petite 5 feet 2 inches- it feels great to totally take people by surprise sometimes and be a beast, ya know? 😉
- Not to Give Up. In life, you’re going to be faced with heavy situations…all the time. Lifting weights in the gym is almost a physical manifestation of that, to me. I’m faced with something heavy, often times it’s literally “on my shoulders,” and I have NO CHOICE but to get it up. When i’m pushing for a squat PR, and I’m at the bottom and it just doesn’t feel like I’m going to be able to get it up, I have to muster forth EVERY OUNCE of energy in my body and just decide I’m going to get that bar up. I WILL. And then I do. I think it’s a very appropriate metaphor for life!
- I am an Athlete. I remember back in elementary school, always behind at the back of the line during our running exercises, because I literally didn’t have an athletic bone in my body. In middle school, I was that girl that would run the opposite way in kickball, only to be yelled at by my peers. In high school, I stuck to art and drama, knowing that it was a pointless effort to be involved in any sports, thinking I could never do anything athletic, really. After lifting weights for the past couple years, however, it’s really transofmred my mentality as well as given me athletic skills like being a faster runner, increased flexibility and agility, and faster, reflexes. It feel pretty awesome to really use my body like an athlete does, even though I don’t necessarily play an organized sport!
- Dieting Sucks. Like we didn’t already know that, right? But honestly, some of my main problems when it comes to nutrition literally is me not eating “enough.” For someone who used to LOOK at a piece of cheesecake and gain a pound, this is BIG. But for me to properly perform in my training I have to eat tons of food. For someone who loves to eat, this is NOT a problem at all. 😉 Of course, I have several nutrition guidelines I follow to make sure I eat healthy the majority of the time, however I don’t sweat it when I’m in social situations and things. I treat myself often. And I’m happy. I don’t have to diet, I just eat to sustain my training and IMO that’s one of the coolest things about lifting weights as it’s really been able to help me change my mindset in that area. I don’t need to count calories, macros, or whatever. I just do me. And I like that.
I have to agree with all the things you listed! I am so glad I found lifting. It was the catalyst that made me stop “dieting” and banishing food and start eating for FUEL. ps. Dangggg that cake looks good!
Here’s to a great post and ladies who lift!