Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This might get cheesy

If I'm going to write about fitness, I should explain what that means to me and why I have any authority to give fitness advice to other people.

Everything that I know about fitness has been come to through years of me constantly working at being a healthier person. I have been going to the gym for ten years and I have taken a course in personal training, but I do not consider myself an expert on the subject. I am just a normal person who has a desire to be in shape, and I want to tell other people about my experiences from that perspective.

There have been two things that have taught me a lot about fitness. First was working with personal trainers. When I worked out with people whose job was to get me in shape, I started to realize how far I could push my body. Before, I would never have thought that I even could lift heavy weights or do high intensity cardio sprints. Hiring a trainer is expensive, but for me it was probably the best money I've ever spent. Now when I work out I try to push myself as if someone else was there.

The second place I've gained a lot of fitness knowlege is actually a magazine. Oxygen Magazine is the best resource I've found for women's fitness. It's owned by Robert Kennedy Publishing, which also publishes multiple men's fitness magazines. Most female "fitness" magazines are really just beauty magazines full of fashion spreads and editorials, with a few wimpy full body workout plans and some (questionably) healthy recipes. Oxygen is purely about fitness. Every issue includes multiple difficult workouts targetting specific body parts. I take it to the gym with me, and when I follow the workouts I feel like I am pushing myself as hard as I would working with a trainer.

I try to go to the gym 4-5 times a week. Each day I do about half an hour of medium intensity cardio, and 30-45 minutes of weight training. I usually do 2-3 days focusing on lower body and 2 working upper body. I know a lot of females are intimidated by weights. I used to think they would make me huge! But I have learned that lifting heavy weights is the best way to shape your body. As a girl, you're not going to get huge unless you are actively trying to do so, and training and eating specifically for that purpose. I swear.

I don't really want to tell anyone what they should do to be fit. I just want to talk about what I do, and why it works for me. The message I want to convey is that you don't have to be an athlete or a superjock to be fit. Sometimes it's hard to listen to fitness advice from professionals because it seems so natural to them. I totally don't think I fit the image of a person who loves fitness. I'm just giving you my thoughts on going to the gym as a layperson of the fitness world. But I do know that fitness has had a very positive impact on my life. I want to tell people that as much of a struggle it can be, it's totally worth it to make working out a part of your life.

On a side note, when I started this entry I was in a really negative mood. Just writing about something positive completely changed the way I was feeling. Sometimes thinking positive is hard. But it's pretty amazing how much you can improve your own mood by forcing your mind to go somewhere good.

Leg Press makes me feel strong

Thursday, August 16, 2012

the other thing.

In my first post I said there was something that I want to talk about in this blog other than fitness. It's a topic that is a little harder and more personal to get into, but it's also something that I think is really important to talk about. So here goes.

For a long time, I have lived with some pretty heavy anxiety issues. I'm struggling right now to think of how to describe what it feels like. Anxiety, for anyone who doesn't already know first hand, is extremely fucking shitty. It's this feeling in your gut and your head that things are always about to go terribly wrong. It's just intense worry ALL THE TIME. When my anxiety was at it's worst, I would just wake up every day feeling sick to my stomach with fear of what awful things might happen in my life. It affected my work, my school, and most of all my relationships. It was a constant spiral of what ifs and worst case scenarios in my head, and it was paralyzing. I could never commit to anything for fear of failing, and I felt horrible about myself. Sometimes I honestly thought I was losing my mind. Overall, anxiety is an incredibly consuming and negative emotion.

The good news is that I don't feel like that anymore. Over the past year or two I have realized that I was my own worst enemy. Instead of looking at my life the way it really was, I constantly worried about what might go wrong in the future. I didn't come to this realization easily. Learning how to deal with my anxiety and negativity has probably been the hardest thing I've ever done. I definitely had to make some pretty major mistakes to get to where I'm at now.

One thing that has helped me in a big way is talking to other people about what was going on in my head. In doing this, I've found that anxiety is super common. For me, just knowing that I wasn't alone in feeling this way was a big step towards changing my mental attitude. But part of anxiety is feeling like you're a crazy freak, so it can be really hard to open up to anyone about it. That's why I want to write about how I have dealt with all these shitty emotions. I don't want to get all Chicken Soup for the Soul on anyone. I just want to honestly talk about things that have helped me become a happy and positive person.

I feel that the topics of fitness and positive thinking really go together. I guess it's the mind, body, soul thing. And like fitness, positivity doesn't come naturally to me at all. I was born sour. I never thought that I could be as happy and chilled out as I am now. Obviously my hope is that I can help other people by talking openly about anxiety. But if no one ever reads this blog, I'm not going to worry about it (see what I did there? eh?)

Cool, so that's the introductions done with. I promise every entry won't be that heavy. I just had to put it out there straight up. And with two entries down, I might actually tell someone about this blog soon.

A picture of scenery, because bitches love scenery

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Writing the first entry of a blog is the WORST. There's basically no way you can do it without sounding like a weiner. But you gotta do it. So if you read this and think, 'this chick kinda sounds like a weiner,' I know, ok?

I've wanted to start a new blog for a while now, however the Kardashians were still interesting for a while there and that really ate up a lot of my free time. But I think they really jumped the shark with Rob trying to start a fucking sock company, and I just can't make myself care about Mrs Eastwood and Company, you know? So I've got some time to spare.

I've known for a long time what I wanted to write about. I'm a pretty flighty brained person, and my interests are always changing. I have five years of post secondary education in four different programs at three schools with one diploma (sorry about that, parents). The only thing that has remained a consistent and super positive part of my life is fitness. Going to the gym and learning how work out properly and effectively is by far the best thing I've ever done for myself.

 I want to write about fitness and how it has made my life better for two reasons. First is that in the past year or so, I've started to find it a bit harder to stay on track and be at the gym as much as I want to be. I've always been really dedicated to getting my ass to the gym, and I feel like I've fallen off a bit. I think it's just part of the whole bullshit growing up deal where you have more responsibilites and less time to do the things you actually want to do. I feel like writing a blog-especially if anyone reads it-will hold me more accountable and keep me pushing myself.

The second reason is that I don't feel like I connect with many of the people who write about fitness. While there are a few I look up to, most of them seem like super athletes who probably played volleyball in high school. There's nothing wrong with that. Actually it's awesome, and they're probably way better people than I am. It's just not something I can relate to at all. When I was in high school I used to skip gym class to smoke cigarettes on the curb in front of school. I am not in ANY way a natural athlete. The only thing I was good at in gym class was dodging balls in prison ball. I mean,that's proven a pretty good transferable skill later in life, but it's not really a great athletic feat. Yeah I'm in pretty good shape these days but it has taken me a long time to figure it out. I think people could use some real talk when it comes to fitness, and I hope that I can provide that. 

There's another topic I want to cover in this blog, that I think compliments the fitness thing perfectly. But I'll get to that in another entry because I'm pretty sure that even my family will stop reading after 5 paragraphs. I hope I have succeeded in presenting my intent here without sounding like too much of a douche, but if not you can forward all complaints to my manager(surprise! it's my cat.)