It’s a passion, a hobby, therapy, an addiction, whatever it may be for you. It was a lifestyle for me.
I use the term was, because currently I am not able to pursue it. Okay, maybe I am. I’m just NOT ready yet.
I want to share my journey with you guys.
It all started with a breakup. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. The typical, I’m sad and heartbroken but I’ma get my shit together and make you jealous. Well, not exactly. But you know what I mean.
Not only that, I have always struggled with my self-esteem. You see, I’m skinny. But FAT skinny. Yes, that’s a thing. Everyone says, ‘omg you’re not fat, you’re skinny’ but guys, that too me is an insult because you don’t actually want to be skinny, the exact term is lean. You want to be toned, you want your body to have a shape.
I wanted to gain weight, more like I wanted to gain muscle. I wanted to be fit. That was my overall goal.
Anyway, about five years ago I started to go to the gym. I was a noob. So I didn’t know much about BMI, cardio, weights, different muscle groups, diet, macros, etc. Ya know that type of stuff. But Heck. I went anyway. I did what I thought would help and that was treadmill and some of those weighted machines. As time went by, I started to learn more and more about what I wanted to do. My first intention was to go to the gym and look a certain way, but I didn’t really know exactly what that meant. I started to do some research and found out about lifting. I learned that weights aren’t only for men. Lifting doesn’t make you manly, not unless you OVER do it. Which I mean, you basically have to hit heavier and heavier weights. You see, to gain muscle you have to go heavier, less reps. If you want to tone, you do a lesser weight, more reps. Plus, you would have to be going multiple times a day for like 20 years. Okay, maybe I exaggerated, but you get what I mean.
So I started to lift weights. I did more and more exercises. I learned to do different parts of your body everyday and not just do everything in one day, everyday. You have to switch it up or you hit a plateau. Which means, your body gets used to it, so you won’t see a difference. I then learned about diet. Diet is such a strong word, I think. Whenever people think of the word diet, they imagine salads everyday, three times a day. NO. Diet is just a word to use for what you are eating, simple. You literally can say I’m on a grease diet…
My diet consisted of six meals a day! Yes, SIX. To gain muscle, you NEED to eat. Proteins. Carbs. Veggies. So I did my best to do that. After a while, It became a habit. I was so used to eating on a time schedule. Basically, I ate every two hours, not huge meals. But three meals, and three snacks. On top of that I would have protein shakes, and other supplements to help with the muscle gain. I did this for about two or three years. I struggled. Like I’m sure many people do. But there was a point where I thought I had an eating disorder.
I became obsessed with working out. I felt great, I looked good and I was happy! What else could you ask for? Well, because I wanted to look a certain way so bad I went through some struggles.
I NEEDED to eat every two hours. If I didn’t I would freak out. I would think, “shit, I’m losing all my gains”. Yes, I thought that. And I felt like it was pointless to even work out if I wasn’t being consistent. So basically, I couldn’t live my life. I was too worried about eating every two hours. I made sure to take snacks everywhere I went. And if that wasn’t the case, I would buy something to eat.
I was really hard on myself. I didn’t allow myself to have cheat days. I didn’t even take a rest day. When I did, I hated myself for it. Why? Because I felt like I wasn’t gaining anything, I wasn’t getting anywhere and I was just wasting my time.
When in fact, these are necessary for your growth. Muscles get tired. They need a break. Which I obviously didn’t think so. Sometimes, I even went twice a day. I honestly can say I didn’t see much of a difference. I think because I wasn’t allowing my body to recover.
Anyway, on top of that I ate really healthy. I enjoyed eating healthy, the problem was that I didn’t allow to treat myself. So guess what happened?
I would binge. I would binge to the point of discomfort. Not because I was deathly starving but because I wouldn’t treat myself. I would go days, even weeks without satisfying this craving. So when I had it, I WOULD HAVE IT. I remember this one time I wanted some pizza and brownies with ice cream. So I ate all three, I ate the entire box and for dessert some brownies and ice cream. I was ashamed and guilty afterwards. The following day I would go extra hard. Yes, I believe I had a problem. And I attempted to be lenient on what I ate, but I couldn’t. I didn’t let myself. I I needed to reach my goal, no matter at what cost. Even if it meant, hitting the gym several times a day.
After my hospitalization incident, I had to put a pause on my workout sessions. My heart wasn’t able to handle that much stress, after what my body had gone through. I had to wait to go back. It was maybe a few weeks. I was so bummed about it. Going back, I was actually scared. I was having panic attacks, I think I had PTSD. Because when I would try to go hard, my heart would beat very fast and when that happened, my anxiety would kick in and I had to retreat. I HAD TO LEAVE. I wasn’t the same anymore. I had to slow down.
The good thing that came out of this is that I stopped being so hard on myself. I enjoyed working out, in a different way. I would eat what I want and I was happier. I tried out herbalife nutrition during this time. It actually helped me get back into rhythm. I was able to lose some weight with it, but I wanted muscle. So I stopped taking it [you are able to gain muscle with it too but it got expensive] and I just went back to eating well. Eating more. I made sure I was focused on balance. Balance was the key.
One thing to take away from all of this is to not compare yourself to others. YOU ARE UNIQUE. What may work for one person, may not work for you. You have to try different things and learn what works for you, and go from there. LOVE YOURSELF. Be happy with your own body. That body was made specifically for you, no one else. Enjoy it, make it stronger, make it better. It can’t change, but it can be better. Be happy with every step of your journey and remember to go easy on yourself. WE ALL STRUGGLE, we all have our CHALLENGES.
But it’s okay.
Posted in: Individual Growth