I Joined a Gym for the Booty Gains, But a Year Later, I’ve Achieved So Much More
As life starts to get back to normal after the holidays and work schedules solidify back into 5-day work weeks after burning through a year’s worth of vacation in 2 weeks, the reality of your new year’s resolutions starts to stare you in the face. You know, the ones you made while you were blissfully on vacay and still buzzed from all the holiday happenings? Yeah, those – it’s actually time to start working on them, like now.
Joining a gym is not on my list of resolutions this year, but it was last year. It’s on 45% of people’s lists this year. And like clockwork, the new year always seems to bring with it the spirit of introspection. As I was reflecting on this past year and 2019 resolutions verses 2018 resolutions, I realized that it has been exactly a year since I made the plunge and joined a gym after a year (or *ahem 2, or 3) workout hiatus.
I realized that one, the gym will be super packed this month – ugh, get ready to wait in line for the leg press machine. But more importantly, two, my new year’s resolution last year to work out more has evolved way beyond the gym, and that’s something worth reflecting on.
So to start, let’s be real. The physical results from working out won’t likely be the first thing you notice after committing or recommitting to joining a gym. I remember a couple months after I started working out – while I may have seen small glimpses of evidence from the work I was putting in (and I was putting in work! Lbs) – the results weren’t what I thought they would be.
In the spirit of the new year, I started to get all deep (that’s the scientific term btw) and think about how that concept applies to all areas of life. When you really think about it, while we’re practicing discipline in any area of our life, it’s not always “fun”, exciting or pleasurable. And it often seems to take longer than we expected. This was especially true for those days when all I wanted to do was flop on the couch and binge watch “This Is Us.” But the gratification is almost always delayed. And most times it seems as if no progress is being made and we start to question if any of it is even worth it. (*I know this seems a little deep for an article on joining a gym but stay with me).
I liken this experience to an analogy you’ll hear used in a lot of sermons - the planting and harvesting of seeds. It’s a great analogy for life inside the gym, and out. When a seed is planted, rarely ever will results yield right away. In fact, that will never happen. Because a seed needs time to be nurtured and grow. Watering, changing the soil, maintaining upkeep week after week, month after month, it might appear that seed is dead because absolutely nothing is happening. But then, that one day comes and we look up and see it - progress, results, gratification. And years go by and we look at that tree, or whatever yielded from that seed, fully matured and alive and in its glory, but forget the process that was required to get there.
I feel like a lot of people look at all these Instagram fitness gurus that way. At least I know I did. Or even people in the gym who appear to be seemingly perfect and you compare yourself and wonder, “why don’t I look like that?” Not seeing all the weeks and months and years of toiling that had to take place before their progress matured externally for all to see.
I joined my gym last January and even now, a year later, I am just now beginning to yield and maintain the results I desire. That’s partly due to me not knowing what heck I was doing but acting like I did. Party because I just didn’t push myself as hard as I do now in the beginning. And partly because I was still learning my body and what worked for me, and only me, not the chick next to me with the six pack and hella booty gains. Side note: what works for others may not always work for you, and that’s ok. Find what works for you.
I, like many people, went in to working out for all the wrong reasons... something along the lines of daydreams that booty gains would completely change my negative self-image and perhaps my relationship status, and in turn, my life. I know. How exagerada right? But I will say that now, working out has become so much more for me. I don’t even care what my body looks like - I mean of course I want to look good, who doesn’t?
But it’s more about how going to the gym makes me feel, and how this discipline has and will continue to carry over into the rest of my life.
Not to mention it’s crazy good for my health. If you’ve been following my articles you know that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid disease and working out paired with eating clean and cutting down on stress (still working on that!) are all essential for maintaining a healthier, saner me. Because yes, I’ve turned into that girl who gets cranky if I can’t go to the gym or get a workout in.
Joining a gym more than anything forced me to find balance. And in the fast –paced, career-oriented and results-driven world we live in today, balance seems to be more of a luxury then a necessity. Joining a gym (or hiring a trainer or whatever version of this looks like for you) is one of the best investments you will make in your life because you are making a commitment to consistently show up for yourself and finally make that balance a priority. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Zumba girl or glued to the weights rack, the actual activity is not as important as the choice to invest in yourself. You can figure out all those minor details – or hire someone to help you figure it out.