Fitness is, without a doubt, worth the struggle. But for most of us, the battle of the bulge seems more like an all-out war – that we never seem to win. I’ve definitely reached lots of little goals, like running a 13k race, lifting heavier weights and conquering my former inability to perform a proper squat. But despite a slew of small-scale victories, I still feel like a sad, sore loser. Why? Becuase I can’t seem to win the damn war.
It’s not that I’m terribly unfit – I know that I am in decent shape – but I’m just not where I want to be. Maybe I’ve spent too much time on pinterest and following fitness junkies on instagram, my expectations are maybe a little high. Yes, I do want a fitspo-worthy bod from head to toe. But I am more than willing to put in the work.
At the beginning of the summer, I was stoked on my fitness level; I was alternating weights, surfing, and 5-mile runs on a daily basis with some double-days every week. I ate healthy and could see the beginnings of a sexy little four-pack coming to the surface. It took me about six long months to get there, with plenty of breakdowns and binges in between, but I did it. I was on my way to where I’d always wanted to be. Super duper fit.
But then summer actually happened, and all that progress went down the drain. I graduated college, which meant an onslaught of celebrations centered around food. And since I’d been depriving myself for months and had hit a major lifetime milestone, some indulging was bound to happen. I also spent my entire summer up until August traveling between Hawaii, California, Europe, and Indonesia – and a girl can only do so many sit-ups on the road. Fitness is the result of habits – consistent, daily efforts towards a single goal. It’s not exactly easy to keep up habits when everything that forms them (i.e., repetition, access to an oven & fridge, familiar surroundings) are fleeting.
I’m not mad at myself, becaues I don’t regret that pastries I ate in Paris or fried rice in Indonesia. I lived my post-college summer in the moment, happy, and with knowledge of the consequences. Since I’d been fit before, I just expected my body to bounce back faster – but we all know that the body will do as it pleases. I’m proud that my travels didn’t make me overweight or lose interest in fitness, but it is hard to start over from square one.
Now, instead of pushing myself, I have to hold myself back to prevent injuries and over-soreness. I’m chomping at the bit to conquer my former deadlifts and show off in the gym, but I have to take it slow. Like any aspiration or relationship, you have to build it up properly to get the results you want – and I’ll have to somehow find the patience to rebuild my progress.