What happens when the person you’re trying to stay in shape for leaves, or your crush actually isn’t into a physically fit person?
Fitness should be done for the betterment of yourself, never for anyone else.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve spoken to people about fitness, and asked them what exactly is their motivation for working out. Nine out of 10 times, the answer is always along the lines of, “I'm trying to look good for someone else.”
As a society, we have become so obsessed with what everyone else is thinking about us, we never take a minute to reflect on how we feel about ourselves.
So let me guess: Your Instagram feed is filled with pictures of insanely fit, good-looking, active people, from all the fitness accounts you follow.
As amazing as that is, are you spending hours on the elliptical because you have self-concluded that looking like [insert your dream individual's body here] will gain you more respect and attention?
Wrong, my friends.
When you change your outlook on working out for other people and bring the attention to yourself and bettering your health for you, that is when you will start to see results.
I vividly remember coming home from my first semester freshman year of college, knowing I had damn well let myself go.
I became a complete walking example of the Freshman 15.
As an active individual my whole life, gaining this weight was both a shock and a surprise.
Once returning to school in the spring, I began working out at the gym regularly, forcing myself into a routine of staying active and eating healthy.
In the beginning, I was working out more for the image I feared other individuals had of me.
Once I returned home for the summer, my mood toward the gym changed.
I realized that if truly wanted to get the results I was looking for, I had to change the way I viewed myself. That’s when I started doing it for me.
I joined a local gym, where I didn't know anyone. Finally, I was able to work out in a place not filled with other students at all hours of the day, where I constantly felt pressure to do more, and perform greater.
Now, over a year later, anytime anyone asks me how I managed to transform my body and stay physically fit and focused, I tell him or her that I do it for myself.
I do it because my health is important to me, and so is my physical physique.
It's not because looking good at the beach or in-between the sheets is my top priority (but I'd be lying if I didn't admit it is somewhat of a thought).
As time passes when you start working out for you and no one else, you really start to push yourself.
You start to self-motivate by setting goals and keeping logs. By doing this, a certain type of confidence begins to surface.
You’ll no longer become that gym peeker who’s more interested in how the person next to you is doing, wondering how fast he or she is running, how many calories he or she has burned or even how much weight he or she is able to lift.
You’ll start to walk into that gym with a plan, where all attention is focused on you. It's where the only person you’re worried about is you.
A major reason why working out should always be for you is because if you center all your goals and end results around another individual, and suddenly, that individual leaves, you’re screwed.
You’re going to begin feeling depressed, unappreciated and like all your hard work is being ignored and completely unrecognized.
This makes you easily susceptible to giving up and falling back into old habits.
Soon, the weight you were able to lose and the strength you were able to gain will no longer become of interest to you.
If you’re with someone who truly loves you, and you're able to surround yourself with people who unconditionally care about your well-being, physical fitness will become a much easier goal to obtain.
Those are the people who are going to encourage you, support you, motivate you and remind you why you started your fitness journey in the first place.
This piece of advice is not to persuade you into not listening to friends and family advice, such as your mother telling you to cut back with the pasta or your significant other bringing up the fact that you can’t go a week without getting some type of fro-yo fix.
Rather, it's to remind you that change starts with yourself.
You as an individual have to want it. You have to want the commitment, the challenge, the highs and lows, all knowing that you can get what you work for.
I absolutely guarantee you that the second you start focusing fitness on yourself and not anyone else, you will become much more motivated to do anything your mind and body challenges you to do.