My Fitness Journey: From Vanity to Sanity

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Let’s just say, I was never really athletic, being five foot one and always considered a “skinny girl” sports weren’t my thing. I remember being a high school freshman in gym class and my coach giving me a “Most Improved” student award. His words were something like this, “Jones-y when you came to my class you couldn’t do nothing. Now, you can do a little bit.”

In college, I started to get a little bit more serious about fitness. Remember, in undergrad when we had to take a certain amount of gym credit hours? I ended up taking a course where we were required to do an hour workout that included both cardio and a strength training. I’d go to the gym wipe my student ID and get to it. About, 20 minutes on an elliptical and the rest of the hour spent during a strength training circuit.

After a few weeks, I definitely liked the way I felt after a good workout. That’s not what got me though. What hooked me to the whole working out thing was the way my body was toning up and sculpting. I’d bask in the attention I’d get when I would walk past guys on campus, at parties, or the mall. You know when you hear them say, “Ooooh, who is that?!”. I’d keep walking like I didn’t hear it, like I didn’t want to hear it. Truth was I needed to hear it. That male stamp of approval was the main reason I showed up to the gym. I wanted to be cute, to be seen, to be desirable.

My fitness goals were all about gaining male attention and adoration. It wasn’t about my health, connecting with my body, having more energy, or anything intrinsic. It was all superficial. Just vanity.

Even in the midst of my challenges, I’ve always maintained a fairly consistent workout routine. Really, it wasn’t until a few years ago, after doing a lot of the inner work that my workouts shifted from being all about sculpted legs and a nice booty to having more energy, a good mood, healthy heart, mental fortitude, and confidence. After I started reading magazine articles, about how working out helped to lower your risk of heart disease, depression, boosted your mood, and improved your self-image that was the tipping point. Slowly, my fitness life became more about being the best version of myself and pushing my limits both mentality and physically.

Whether I’m in a yoga class, boot camp, or working out by myself at a gym I enjoy it because it’s a lifestyle choice. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it hurts so bad, that last lap, one more push up, another burpee! I keep going because I know that I grow each time my feet touch the mat, my arms push my body up off the pavement, my feet run a little further and faster than the day before. There are some nights, I stay up til 1:00 am and still rise up for boot camp at 4:50 am. If it were all about being cute, I would just hit the snooze and rollover. Just being cute is not enough. Being strong, clear minded, having the energy to accomplish my goals, and great health are worth passing up on the extra snooze.

Don’t get it twisted, I still appreciate a nice booty and sculpted legs, but looking good is just the cherry on top.  Reflecting over my fitness journey, has made it quite clear to me that when we allow ourselves to make that shift from doing things solely for vanity to creating a deeper, sacred, and sanity driven purpose we become more powerful, consistent and committed. Our depth of commitment to not just our fitness, but our businesses, families and dreams expands. We become like the balloon slowly expanding as the helium fills it up. Just like that balloon, we too are filled up with the kind of enthusiasm that carries us all the way up!

Is there a fitness routine you want to finally commit to? If so, let me know in the comments below. Comments aren’t your thing…that’s ok. Tweet me @pretymotivated. Can’t wait to hear from you!

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