Fitness comes in phases:
Phase 1: The obsession
Fitness is you. You are fitness. Everything about your life is fitness. Fitness overcomes every fiber of your being. Who even were you before your gym membership and weekly salads? Those days were seriously dark.
The shirtless mirror selfies and snap chats of your steamed vegetables are in full force with no feelings of remorse. You have seen the light and are fully embracing green juice and kale salad.
This phase comes to a halt as your friends begin to call you out for being a complete tool. You realize that normal people don’t like to talk about half-priced shaker bottles, various supplements, or protein.
This is when you move onto phase 2 in order to keep getting invited to social functions.
Phase 2: This is the way I live
By this point you have started to fall in love with your body and living a healthy lifestyle is just apart of your daily routine.
You have found your niche and the way you like to move. (for now)
You still feel the need to be in the gym everyday, as it is how you are forming your identity. The “who even am I without the gym” notion is still in full effect.
Although, fitness is more than just pushing your body, bringing us to phase 3.
Phase 3: Let’s get weird
You might be getting emotional and realize when you found fitness, you also ended up finding yourself in some weird, complexing, way.
This is when you get in touch with the Gandi-Dalai Lama-philosophical side of yourself that you never even knew you had and start posting memes with deep-rooted quotes relating to fitness that touch your soul on an intimate level.
I am aware most people don’t take it to this semi-dramatic level like myself, however, by this point you realize that mind-body connection is real and it’s amazing.
Those who once felt lost, begin to find themselves.
Fitness is a way that I connect my mind and body— bringing the various pieces of my sometimes messy life together.
It is more than lifting weights in a gym or a yoga class.
In the past few months I began to let in so many voices saying push harder, lift heavier, run more, run less, and do more of this or less of that.
I had slowly forgotten why I even liked to move my body in the first place. I began to ask myself, “Why am I doing this, why am I here?” Is it to be skinnier, fitter, or stronger than her? Is it to better myself as a person? Is it for the health of my body?
If I answered any of those questions honestly a couple of months ago, I wouldn’t like my answers.
At the end of the day, your fitness journey is about finding your sense of self, whoever that might be.
For me, it is taking life day by day and doing something fun that involves moving my body. Whether that’s a yoga or spin class, Crossfit, hitting 400s on the track, or whatever kind of trouble I can get myself into.
I wake up everyday knowing I will do something that benefits me mentally and physically, whatever that might be and that is what works for me.
A healthy lifestyle is a way of living that makes you the best possible version of yourself, stop doing what everyone else is doing and do what makes you feel alive.
Food for thought: If you eat all the kale, consume all the vitamins, do all the workouts, but are still the unhappiest version of yourself, are you ‘healthy’?
“Not all who wander are lost”
J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)