I don’t talk about it much, but for the last 4 months I’ve been extremely focused on getting fit. In accordance with this goal, I have cut back on alcohol, and abstained from fast food (except for that one night in Beijing, when everything was closed except McDonald’s — oh Beijing). I drink tea, milk, water, and an occasional vodka + water + lemon (there are no limes in SoKo). I do splurge on the weekends, I spend an hour working out every morning, and I take supplements and vitamins.
My goal was never to lose weight, but to gain muscle — and be in my best physical shape.
My problems with this goal have been two fold.
1) The Internet makes getting fit look really easy. It’s not.
2) I am literally starting from nothing. I had little to no muscle mass to speak of. I’ve never been athletic or sporty, but I’ve never been obese either — just, squishy.
About 1 month into my body experiment, I gave up trying to find ‘fitspiration’ online (Pinterest, Tumblr, Fitsugar, etc.) I have banned myself from checking Pinterest because, let’s face it, we are all guilty of creating fitness pinboards where we put ineffective ‘five minute abs’ workouts, improbably proportioned girls, and diet/cleanse food we’ll never eat. Pinterest and fitspo Tumblrs are filled with empty promises. Perhaps if I stare at it long enough, I will look that way through osmosis!
The reason I quit? I finally got tired of comparing myself to other people.
The Internet is really good at encouraging you to constantly compare yourself to others (hello, Facebook). Looking at pictures and making myself feel like shit didn’t do anything to actually make me more fit. I had to start doing and stop wasting time looking at pictures of other people, reading their workout plans, admiring their abs, and never appreciating my own accomplishments. I wanted to feel proud of myself.
The truth? I don’t miss it at all. I don’t miss thinking I will ‘never’ get to that level of fitness, I will ‘never’ have those abs, my legs will ‘never’ be that skinny. It’s poisonous, negative self-talk. I am over wasting my time on negative thoughts and negative people.
In 4 months I’ve transformed my body (I think) pretty dramatically, and I started a new P90X/Insanity hybrid program that incorporates weight training this week. I am achieving my goals by doing the work! Not by re-blogging pictures of bikini models.